“Grey Skies” by William Becker

I have nothing against surrealism. A surrealist work is like a puzzle that presents us with tantalizing hints of meaning, toys with our perception of it, dangling full understanding out of reach, and then leaves us with powerful images that keep reappearing in our minds, forcing us to reconsider what we have read. It makes us think.

“Grey Skies” starts out looking like surrealism, but then it goes off track. Unusual and unexpected events occur in macabre settings described in intricate detail, but if somewhere in that description there is meaning, I couldn’t find it.

I give the author credit for creating an incredible mountain of creative material, but it is so large and so complex it is impossible to extract any meaningful message from it. Not to worry. After leading us through this maze of horror, the author comes right out and tells us what is going on, and wraps it up in a neat package at the end.

Which is probably less satisfying than the mysteries of the rest of the book. It is like being set a puzzle that is impossible to solve and then being patted on the head and given the answer.

I know surrealism doesn’t really have any rules, but I’m pretty sure it is not supposed to work like that.

A super-surrealistic novel for people that like their macabre up close and personal, and their meaning very hard to decipher.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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