Monday, December 13, 2004

Game On

"Game On" by Iain Rowan, Shred of Evidence, November 2004

This is an interesting, if rather disturbing, trip into the mind of what used to be called a sociopath. I say "used to be" because I understand that the powers-that-be in the psychology/psychotherapy field have decided that there is no such thing as a sociopath. But what the chrome-domes decide to call something doesn't change what it is. And the main character of this story is a real nutter no matter the official designation.

Mr. Rowan takes us on a guided tour of the inner workings of a monster, someone who has no respect for the agreed upon conventions we call society. The attention to detail here is absolutely amazing. Nothing is too small or insignificant to escape the notice of this fiend.

The thing that absolutely blew me away was the self-centeredness and narcissism of the character. In virtually every paragraph there is some reference, either directly or indirectly, to his superiority and contempt for everyone and everything else. There was, "people like me who would soar above the rest," "a sweating pig of a security guard," "rather ordinary food," and on and on. Everything connected to him was superior. Everyone else, everything they chose or said or did, was contemptible. All in all, an utterly believable characterization.

I was surprised at how easily this read. I would have expected something this self-absorbed to be boring, but I found myself fascinated by this guy's view of the world.

But you want to know the truly disturbing part? After reading the narrative, you have to ask yourself how did Mr. Rowan know all of this well enough to write so convincingly? [Insert tongue firmly into cheek.] Write what you know, right? If I ever meet Mr. Rowan, I think I'll walk very softly and make awfully sure he knows how much I liked this story.


At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers for the good review, Bob, and glad that you enjoyed the story.

Of course, I'm just a cuddly kitten in real life, and bear no resemblance to the sociopathic protagonist of Game On. Except when people suddenly stop in front of me in shopping centres for no reason at all, of course. Then, all bets are off.



At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent story. Keep up the good work.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Aldo said...

I enjoyed this story too. I'm hoping Iain takes this character farther....maybe a novella. I would like to know if there is a character who can match him wit for wit and stop him....

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers R.T. and Aldo.

I hadn't thought of writing more with this character but it's not out of the question. Perhaps he might decide to take up a career in politics. I mean, he's a natural...



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