Jolt

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Every now and then you read a story which gives you a jolt. ‘Suicide Watch’ is one of these. In spite of its confronting title, the story is not depressing. It takes you into the teen world of social media, with its relentless pursuit of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ and what lengths teens will go to so they can elevate their quota. The tension and uncertainty are nicely calibrated so the narrative skips along.

 

It has one of the best openings I’ve read:

 

Jill took her head out of the oven mainly because it was hot and the gas did not work independently of the pilot light. Stupid new technology! And preferring her head whole and her new auburn sew-in weave unsinged, and having no chloroform in the house, she decided she would not go out like a poet’.

 

I love the humor and desperation in this. The ending though comes with a jolt. Partly expected, partly not. The writing is an exercise in style, masterfully balanced between the vernacular and the poetic.

 

AS Adam Ant says, “Do yourself a favor’ and read it. *

 

Have you read a story recently that has given you a jolt?

 

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