Which isn’t unusual in CanLit novels. Although the reasons vary. There are unstable parents, like in Barry Dempster’s The Outside World and Ian Colford’s Perfect World, who are fearful of dark forces in the world beyond their homes or people embodying those dark forces. There are addiction issues, as in Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall’s Ghosted and Lauren Davis’ The Empty Room.
Times of crisis and change are overwhelming for characters, as in Joey Comeau’s Unqualified and Joel Thomas Hynes We’ll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night. There is remarkable rage in Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist and in one of the stories in Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden and debilitating loss and sorrow in Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You and David Chariandy’s Brother.
Devin Krukoff’s Hummingbird is Felix-soaked. And so it should be. But what does that mean, when you cannot determine where meaning resides?
Word choice matters: adjacent, synchronized, abutting, intimate, drowning, isolated, hunkering and trembling. He forgets how to interact with things and he forgets people.
Vision holds rapidly changing shapes, patterns or fractures: concentric circles on a screensaver, flickers on a screen, an answering machine’s blink and fireworks. Some things are unfocussed and other things are overfocussed (what’s the difference really).
Sound is rhythmic or random: skipping songs, doors rattling, applause, a migraine’s thrum, a dial tone, a bass vibration and an appliance’s hum. There is a button next to a hospital bed and there is a mouse button to click.
And someone’s stomach lurches. Wait, maybe that was me.
It’s lonely, it’s disorienting, but it’s also consistent and credible and crafty.