Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016
I was immediately charmed by Ferry’s first chapter, which begins “Sometimes I try to show my students the power of the story by telling them one.” He then continues to do so, complete with Princess Bride-esque interruptions by his students.
One night while driving home, Ferry drives alongside and behind a woman who can’t quite keep her car on the road. Before he can decide what, if any, action he should take, she crashes and dies. Obsession ensues, as Ferry embarks on an amateur investigation into her death. He attends her funeral, tracks down her friends, and intercepts medical reports. Or does he? His students question everything about the story accusing Ferry of “saying illusion is more important than reality.”
In weaving fact and fiction (or is it all fiction?) throughout his tale he keeps his students fully engaged. But how much is Ferry making up, and is any part of his story true? Without an investigation of our own, we’ll never know. As Ferry tells his students “very often illusion is all we have.”
Fans of Dan Chaon’s twisted truths in Await Your Reply will appreciate Travel Writing's blurred narration.