Posted by: Matt Y | 06/07/2015

Review: The Day the World Turned Upside Down

The Day the World Turned Upside Down is a story about how the main character’s world got flipped, turned upside down. I’d like to take a minute so just sit right there as I review a story about how everyone fell into the air.

Early Immersion – Starts with how a man gets dumped and has has world turned upside down. As he’s feeling sorry for himself the world literally turns upside down. Or at the very least gravity reverses and people walking around outside fall up.

Immersion is maintained – Even though the gravity inversion is never explained, strangely large bodies of water such as lakes or rivers aren’t affected. While it provides interesting imagery it goes against what is established because the author wants it to alone, which jars immersion.

There is a plot – Strangely the plot is that the main character has his ex-girlfriend’s goldfish still, misses a call from her after the world flips, and decides that he should return her fish and see if she’ll take him back. While it can be taken that this guy is flat out crazy because he doesn’t appear to care about the millions of deaths it works for me. His world was flipped upside down figuratively, then the world was flipped literally and while he can’t fix the latter he still can try to do something about the former.

There are characters – We get to see a lot of the protagonists inner struggle and thoughts throughout the story as well as his motivations and the pity party he’s throwing himself. There’s a child and the girlfriend but both barely exist in the story.

There is foreshadowing and it doesn’t suck – No real foreshadowing.

There are no gaping plot holes – The water thing.

Pacing is appropriate – Keeps moving forward.

The piece has an emotional payoff – Sort of, the protagonist finally is able to move on, but he is pathetic and doesn’t really feel like he’s done anything to earn being able to do so.

I’m not sure if I read this story as intended, because I enjoyed it because I thought it was a super dark comedy, like In Bruges. Taken that way this is one of the slated stories I enjoyed. The main character puts the fish in flat sprite because fish and lemon go together. When the world flips the line says ‘Skulls cracked. Necks broke. Babies bounced.’. The girl is stuck on a swing because she was swinging too high and her mom had warned her about it. At one point the girl adds more water to the bottle because the fish is thirsty. There’s a child molester in a hang glider who has adapted amazingly well to the situation.

The main character though is a sad sack and the girlfriend is portrayed so negatively that it makes the protagonist look even worse for dating her in the first place and then for going through it all for trying to get her back. He also seems like a spiteful prick for someone willing to go through all that. Like the world ending isn’t a deal breaker but a dead guy in her place is.

If it’s a dark joke, it’s kind of funny. If it’s not a joke, oh man.

One Puppy Metric of Judgement: It has plot and character but the character is pathetic, the immersion is broken for no reason and the protagonist getting a positive payoff considering the rest of the story feels odd. Unworthy.

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