In good form

ARTS_Motion Sickness

‘Motion Sickness’ book review

By Joshua Grant, Senior Columnist

4/5

Ursula Pflug’s Motion Sickness is a flash novel about a young woman named Penelope. Each of its 55 chapters is told in exactly 500 words, on a single page, and faces a scratchboard drawing by S.K. Dyment. Though Pflug’s economical and often poetic writing help to tell the story, the scratchboards give the story its nocturnal ambience. This is appropriate.

Much of the action is at night, in after-hours bars and bedrooms. It’s set in a city somewhere in Canada (Toronto, probably), but that’s easy to forget. Everything seems dark and slightly sinister. Everything seems important. Penelope falls for Theo, a guy she meets while jamming at an after-hours club. Theo is less than forthcoming about his marital status. This leads Penelope to an ill-advised threesome with needy, psychotic Stan. Pregnant, scared, and confused, Penelope has to make some tough decisions. It’s not a new story, but it’s an emotional one, and perhaps others will connect with it more than I did.

A lot of writers limit themselves to common forms, to experiment only a little and within the confines of each. In Motion Sickness, Pflug picks an uncommon form, the flash novel, which demands writers condense writing to be tight and quick to tell a novel’s worth of story in about half the space, and juxtaposes the words with a striking graphic component. This, I think, makes Motion Sickness a triumph and a delight. It’s new, it feels different, and it reads at a dizzying pace.

I expect many readers will be charmed and carried away by Pflug’s hyper-condensed prosetry and Dyment’s shaky, surreal scratchboards. Let it happen. That’s a good way to enjoy this one.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

1,407 comments on “In good form
  1. Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working
    with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster
    then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!

  2. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is just spectacular
    and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your
    permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming
    post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding
    work.

  3. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you,
    However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody else having similar RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  4. Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through
    your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the
    same subjects? Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*