Paul Sutton Reeves

Sometimes in a book, there will be a short episode or event of such power that it casts its shadow over all that precedes and comes after it. Typically, it will be a moment that shocks you then leaves you desolate. It’s a rare achievement and etches the book into your memory. To be truly effective, there can be only one such moment in a novel. We’re not talking about plot twists here. Post-Tales of the Unexpected, plot twists have become as hoary an old cliché as describing something as hoary and old. It might be a revelation, stripping away much that the reader had previously believed about that fictional world. It doesn’t have to be, though. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has such a moment as does Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (in order to avoid plot spoilers, the scenes to which I’m referring have been relegated to footnotes at the end of this…

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That Gut-wrenching Moment

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