Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7 Hours - Post 3 - Recollection by Tom Pawlik



Let's begin with the summary of this 7 Hours title:

In each installment of 7 Hours, a character is visited by the enigmatic Thomas Constant, who makes a heart-stopping statement: “You are about to die. But you may choose from one of three options: Live seven more hours, travel back in time and relive seven hours, or accept the inevitable and die now.”

New York City cabdriver Adrian Colfax awakens one night muttering a mysterious string of numbers and with the fragments of a bizarre dream in his head. He can’t shake the feeling there’s something he’s supposed to do. Something very important. He just can’t remember what it is.


Through a series of haunting visions, Adrian comes to believe he's been transported back in time to prevent the violent murder of the girl he loved. But he also learns that saving Kate could result in something even more catastrophic.


The clock is ticking. What will you do with the time you have left?

And now, my review:

I haven’t finished all of these great tales, but having read from the beginning of the collection (this is book four), I noticed Tom was the first author to mention how going back and changing the past could have a negative ricochet effect on others. Tom goes there with his character’s choice to return to a certain moment and make key changes. 

One of the strong elements in this story is that of mental illness, for lack of a better term. At the beginning of the story, we aren’t really sure what’s wrong with Adrian. We’re surprised the authorities take him seriously. He doesn’t even understand himself. And the psychic isn’t really helping, or is she? 

Personally, this story wasn’t among my favorites so far. I can’t help my editor’s tendencies of finding redundancy (probably purposeful since the character’s thoughts weren’t always linear) or noting other things. I was lost in the POV character’s confusion or at least unengaged within the swirl of his cyclical thinking. However, I will say that about one-third to halfway through, the story picked up.

One of the things I love about these 7 Hours stories is how they make you look at your past. The takeaway for me here was that people spend all this time wanting to go back and relive something, just to avoid a certain mistake or change a certain situation so the outcome is different. But if we did that… if we had our way (and not God’s), the result might not be what we wanted. That choice may not be wisdom after all (and God is wise to no allow it). That’s pretty good takeaway, huh? 

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