Monday, October 31, 2011

Remote Control by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Published by Imajin Books
Review based on Kindle version

Like a step into the Twilight Zone, be careful what you wish for! This novelette is sure to please the afficionado of the old television shows, the story is atmospheric, even the feel is grainy black and white. Cheryl Kaye Tardif never disappoints with the quality and depth of her writing, whether full-length, novelette, short story or part of an anthology, she is consistently exploring the mind. Well-written, gripping, and with a moral buried within, Remote Control is sure to warn and entertain.

Take a lazy, very fat man who spends all his time wishing his way to a rosy future, then picture an over-worked long-suffering wife. Who would guess that these two were the football jock and the class valedictorian in college? What happened to them? She works at two jobs and still can't afford to pay all the bills and keep him fed. He is a plumber, and could have been very good at it, but no. He is so fat, so lazy, and so glued to the TV with his hand gripping the remote, that he has lost his ambition. Not enough money to pay the bills? He just tries to talk his wife into working longer hours or take on a third job. He is convinced that if he wishes long and hard enough, he will be rich. He "knows" that it is happening soon. In the meantime, he lives in his imaginary world of TV and wishes, while his wife tries to make ends meet and wonders where everything went wrong. She wishes, too; wishes that things could be as they were. Is there a turning point? Ah, if I delve into it too far, I'll give the ending away.

Once again Cheryl Tardif has taken us away from our comfort zone to find that we enjoy being there. Once begun, the reader is compelled to find out what happens, thereby reading and watching all the way through, driven by the story to the outcome, thinking about wishes we've made. A brilliant and fitting ending, I am now going to be careful what I wish for, much as I might think I really want it. A well-metered story, picking up pace as it goes along, an impressive writing style.

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