What I gleaned about the stories: The real advantage of living in the Dark Ages was that the people who bully you will die soon.
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Note: This is a short story collection, so the rules are slightly different from standard Immerse or Die: instead of reading on every time I lose immersion, I stop reading that story and move onto the next one. As usual, I stop reading after the third WTF.
Note: Rather than using either of the usual methods of listing copyright for collections of republished works (a single page at the start of the book or a short statement at the start with full publishing histories listed after the body of the book), each story in this collection starts with a full individual copyright declaration of (on small text size) two-and-a-half pages. The table of contents lists both the story and the copyright for the story, but both link to the start of the copyright page. While these two choices irked me, I didn’t charge a WTF as I hadn’t started the next story when it happened.
Analysis: None of the stories have a title at the start. While this might have been merely curious in another book, combined with a copyright declaration immediately beforehand that stretched to several pages, a start point set to the first copyright page, and a contents page that took me to the first copyright page, the lack of a title meant the start of the first story came before I realised, so I glanced off like a skimmed pebble.
With my trust in the formatting damaged, I moved on.
Analysis: A short way into the second story of a young man constantly belittled by his family and community, I encountered:
But they did perturb me. When Father dies, I’d tell myself, when his 21 stone lie mouldering, I’ll get Mother’s land in London, and be Lord over them all!
Perturbed suggests confidence weakened by doubts, so his belief he would be lord over everyone jarred. A moment later, I decided the author potentially meant didn’t perturb; but by then I had bounced out of the story, so I moved on.
Analysis: I used the table of contents to move to the third story and flicked through the copyright page for a third time. As I read the first sentence of the story, the ‘before you go, review this book on Amazon’ pop-up appeared.
With immersion not so much lost as cut off, I pulled the plug.
Analysis: The comparisons displayed a wry appositeness that made them seem both fluid and informationally dense.
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