‘Monroe’s Wedding’ by John Holman

Monroe’s Wedding by John Holman, 1989

The magic trick:

Creating slight confusion for the reader by building a story around a protagonist who is confused

I like a story where the titular character isn’t the main character. I don’t know why. I just do.

It’s like an album where the title isn’t a song but a lyric from a specific song on the record.

Kind of.

Anyhow, this is an interesting story. Characters and situations don’t fit neatly into place. Everything is slightly layered. This is most true of our protagonist, Thompson. He seems to want things to be a certain way in every paragraph. But it’s never as straightforward as he’d like.

It’s ever so slightly disorienting for the reader. But it’s not something wild like surrealism or magic realism. Nothing of the kind. It’s all very much standard realism. But it’s confusion enough to create character and movement.

And that’s quite a trick on Holman’s part.

The selection:

After breakfast, Monroe went back to his room and Thompson went home to his duplex apartment on the other side of town. The rain didn’t let up, so Thompson sat on his green Barcalounger and assembled a new Weed Eater while watching Donahue on television.

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