Although it is set in a single room with only one character, this story does not lack for conflict.
Albert Ross spends most of his days in his flat watching television, passively consuming. Until one night the broadcasts start to raise very personal issues.
The book is written in a relatively stylised third-person voice, reminiscent of voice-overs from the early eighties. While this is quite noticeable for the first few paragraphs, it is very skilfully handled and fits perfectly with a story revolving around a habitual viewer.
Albert starts as another forgettable average man, rendered only as a cipher by his self-isolation, However, as the programs flicker past, the events on screen and his reactions mimic the interactions of more populous works showing the reader how he is unique, and building sympathy.
Despite the very short length of the work (14 pages), the plot shifts between comedy and horror without becoming rushed. However, the story does feel quite short; more of a great appetiser than a whole meal.
The reader will probably guess what is happening before Albert; however the characterisation and style are strong enough to draw the reader to the end.
Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it subject to the caveat that – unless you only ever read in short bursts – you will need another book to hand to start when this ends.
I received a free copy of this book.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)