Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Man in the Empty Suit"

Sean Ferrell's novels include Numb (2010) and the newly released Man in the Empty Suit.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Man in the Empty Suit and reported the following:
I think that page 69 is representative of the book because it is filled with denial, deceit and questions of culpability, even though it only features one person.

From page 69:
Video was waiting for me. I marveled at dark circles beneath his eyes. He gestured, urgent, waved a hand in the direction of the door as if saying, Go on, go ahead.

I turned to Yellow. "Did you watch this?"

"Are you crazy? This place reeks of paradoxes. I never saw it before, so I shouldn't have seen it now. Seventy didn't even remember seeing any of this shit."

"He didn't?"

"Did I fucking slur my words?"
The protagonist is plagued by other versions of himself--those he used to be and those he'll become. And though there ought to be trust, or at least understanding, there is only paranoia and deceit. In the quote above, Yellow, Seventy and Video are all versions of the narrator, and each of them has an agenda. At this point the dominoes
are already falling (the narrator has been tasked with preventing an older version of himself from being murdered) and the narrator, already unhappy to be surrounded by these other selves, is beginning to actively distrust them. The events of page 69, the narrator viewing a video he'll make of himself in the future, is very much in the spirit of the whole book.
Learn more about the book and author at Sean Ferrell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue