Nikki's Reviews > The Monster's Million Faces

The Monster's Million Faces by Rachel Swirsky
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Jun 09, 2011

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bookshelves: contemporary, short-stories-novellas
Read on June 09, 2011

This short story is available at Tor.com, here. I didn't like it as much as The Memory of Wind; Rachel Swirsky's writing is as effective, here -- more to the point, perhaps, sharper, somehow -- but it didn't sink its hooks into me. Perhaps because I didn't let it, because I've had therapy, and it is hard, and this situation just seemed... too easy. Even though it takes so many tries for him to get something that worked, it still seemed too easy. Perhaps if there had been more doubt, more emptiness at the end -- maybe if it had ended on the line, 'No reason at all,' where the reader is left to do that bit more work. If the story ended there, you're left to wonder if that scenario really did ever lay anything to rest, or whether the narrator was still left without any help. I guess because I believe that everyone is different, that no one thing works for everyone. I do believe there is a cure for everyone, but I don't believe in forcing everyone down the same path. I wouldn't even want my mind altered in this way.

Maybe the technology is possible, maybe it will be like that one day, but for now it felt like cheating. It didn't ring true.

(If you have triggers relating to violence and/or sexual abuse, I don't suggest you read this.)
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