Sunday, August 4, 2019

"The Escape Room"

Megan Goldin is the author of The Escape Room, a corporate thriller about colleagues who get trapped in an elevator with a killer.

She applied the Page 69 Test to the novel and reported the following:
Here's what's on Page 69 of The Escape Room.
"Everyone, say hello to Sara," Vincent stood behind me with his hand on my right shoulder in what he probably intended to be a reassuring gesture. The team was spread around a large table in the meeting room, immersed in work.

As Vincent's words registered, their eyes shifted from their laptop screens to me. I stood hesitantly in the doorway. I secretly cringed under their piercing scrutiny. It gave me the awkward new-girl-at school feeling.

"Hi Sara." I turned with relief in the direction of the first friendly voice in the room.

"I'm Sam." Sam sat on a black swivel chair with his arms crossed and a cynical twist to his lips that belied the friendly tone of his voice. He had closely cropped blond hair that you could tell would be curly if he let it grow, and large blue eyes that never missed a thing.
To give some context: Sara Hall meets her colleagues at Stanhope & Sons for the first time on this page which is the first of a chapter. On the next pages, we are introduced to the members of the team and given a sense of who they are in the pecking order. On the surface, it is a close-knit team, but underneath, there is plenty of tension and rivalry between the members. To succeed in their jobs, the team members all need to work together. Yet at the same time, they are playing a zero-sum game: their success must be at the expense of other members of the team. They can't all get promoted and they can't all get big bonuses so the team members are both teammates and bitter rivals.

The Escape Room is divided into two narratives. The first narrative is the narrative of what happens a few years after the scene described on Page 69 when the characters are trapped in an elevator during a team-building exercise. The second narrative is the perspective of Sara Hall, a colleague who worked with the team years earlier. Page 69 is representative of the Sara Hall perspective, which is essentially a flashback narrative that explains why the characters are trapped in the elevator and why things turn deadly when they learn each other's secrets. Woven together, both narratives tell the story.
Visit Megan Goldin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue