Disappearing by Edward Harvey

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Lester Curtis
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Disappearing by Edward Harvey

Post by Lester Curtis »

A story of dissociation, taken -- elsewhere.

Well done, but damn depressing.
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Post by Megawatts »

The intro did grab my attention. That is always a good point.

Carl had quite an experience during his early years. Why Mr. Slate beat him is not made clear in the story, but we can assume that Mr. Slate had vile intentions from the description of his eyes and the fact that Carl saw through his fake kindness. And his mother giggling over every word dribbling for his pale lips!

Carl’s disappearing is interesting. It is a defense against danger, and in this case a defense against the sadistic, manipulating boyfriend of his mother. Why Carl never told his mother is a study in mother-son relationships that can become extremely complex. Perhaps
in this case Carl saw how happy Mr. Slate made his mother, and Carl accepted his fate in order to please her. She probably had no idea what Mr. Slate was doing to her son. Maybe she did and didn’t care! There is no way to determine it either way.

Carl gets help from a spirit, Michael, who must live in the apartment building, and at one time Michael must have been victimized, at least that is what I think. Michael was helped by another spirit, possibly, and now Carl who learns how to disappear is helping out other children. A girl who is subjected to beating such as he was. A nice twist.

The interior thoughts of Carl show a boy in distress, and they present a very good picture of the fears and uncertainties that a youth can encounter when parents divorce. A new place to live, a new school, Mon’s new boyfriend, strange surroundings, and the uneasiness of adjusting when uncertainty is present. The author has captured the fears and wishes of a young person going though unwelcome change.

Good one
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