Overall, I really enjoyed Pry. It was cinematic, atmospheric, and really drew me into the character and his story. From the beginning, I liked how it seemed to be divided into clear sections of narrative–reality, lucid thoughts, and intrusive thoughts–but that quickly became blurred with the imagined Jessie appearing and looming over his bed, and continued bleeding into each other as the story progressed…until even you, the reader, is uncertain as to what exactly is James’ memories or imagination and what is actually happening (or has happened). The mechanics of opening James’ eyes, or ‘pinching’ them further shut and retreating into memories and intrusive thoughts, was both visually compelling as well as helped to build James as a character.
I also liked the metaphor of his current career. As a construction worker, he is literally trying to build something of his life, but all he is able to do is tear it (buildings, his life) all down in explosions both literally and metaphoric. The braille motif was very interesting as well. I liked the mechanics behind it, running your finger over the images of the dots to see what it means to James, as well as the symbolic nature of the motif. I took it as foreshadowing concerning his vision: as James’ mental health deteriorates, he is unable to ‘see’ what is actually happening in his life and what is his own intrusive thoughts and flashbacks…and so he’s becoming literally unable to see as well, relying on braille and memories to find his way through the world.
Finally, I thought that the overall story was really intriguing. I thought the author did a great job of crafting a realistic world and characters, immersing the reader into James’ state of mind and being. The cinematography helped to portray James’ mental state as well, from the clear, steady camerawork of the prologue, to later scenes with off coloring or tilted cameras as James’ view of the world around him grows more skewed and distorted. I can’t wait to keep reading and find out what happens next.