Friday, March 2, 2012

The Perfect Game by John Hansen

The Perfect Game 
by John Hansen

Amazing Race. Survivor. Hell's Kitchen. The list of reality shows goes on and on, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. As the audience demands more extremes and more excitement, for their entertainment to not just push the envelope but tear right through the damn thing, author John Hansen envisions a world in which murder has become the latest televised sensation in a program called The Perfect Game.

A Murderous reality show is far from an original idea, as it's been seen in pop culture numerous times--from the lesser-known flick Series 7, to the Manhunt video game franchise. Luckily, then, the TV show is mostly background noise for this piece, as it is really about an obsessed viewer named Jeff who is wrestling with the idea of performing an amateur version of The Perfect Game on his wife.

The concept of murder is treated almost like a virus here, as it infects Jeff through the television screen and changes him from a brow-beaten husband to an embittered man with homicidal tendencies bubbling just beneath the surface. This, for me, was the most interesting aspect of the story although it was unfortunately only briefly touched upon.

I'm glad that the ending had a twist, but I can't say that it was as clever as I would have wished. It could use a slight tweaking to make it even more satisfying.

This story is very short, and the whole experience could have been greatly enhanced with an extended length. I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters at least a little, as they were basically sketches painted with the broadest of strokes.

Minor complaints aside, this was a decent story superbly written. John Hansen is a young writer--teenaged, even, though I can't say exactly what age--and already has a great grasp of language and narrative flow. If I wrote as well as he does when I was his age, I'd be rich and famous by now.

Purchase The Perfect Game from Amazon by clicking HERE, and visit John Hansen's personal blog by clicking HERE!


1 comment:

  1. Interesting premise, I like how it circumvents the reality murder cliches. At first I thought the author was John Henson, and I thought the book would be some narrative about the television show Wipeout.


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