Tuesday, September 18, 2012

45 Days of Halloween Movies, Books, and Music - The Scrubs by Simon Janus

The Scrubs – Simon Janus

I found this quick little Novella pick-up for my Kindle for 0.99. I’m trying to write shorter works these days in addition to my diet of my two novels that I’m publishing in this blog. So when I find novellas or short stories at my fingertips in Kindle, I try to consume them as well.

This story takes place in London at Wormwood Scrubs Prison. The prison administration finds themselves in possession of an inmate with a powerful sixth sense. They open a project called the “North Wing Project” that pumps this prisoner full of hallucinogens where he creates an alternative world called the Rift where the souls of his victims live. People are able to enter this prisoner’s world through a computer link, and other prisoners are offered pardons for doing so. The prison warden believes he has a gold mine with this inmate, if he can only control the world.

The story is a bizarre story to say the least. It immediately challenges the reader’s ability to not only suspend their disbelief, but throw it out the window. If you had a hard time accepting the premise of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, where it spent two and a half hours convincing you of a person’s ability to do it naturally, then The Scrubs will be a little hard to accept that a computer can do it.

I was able to set aside that disbelief, and accept the strangeness of the world inside the prisoner’s mind. It was an odd place, but not as strange as I felt it could have been. There felt to be a very strong tether to the real world and I never felt too far away (as I did watching The Cell). To my surprise, I found myself liking the criminal they sent in better than the non-criminals that were running the project. I didn’t expect that to happen, I was anticipating an HBO-style story where I wouldn’t like anyone, but the author delivered, and I liked that. The criminal was regretful of his crimes, and made to relive and face what he did in the Rift world. The author threw a pretty cool twist at the end, and I appreciate that.

4.0 out of 5.0

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