Chris wakes to find that every message delivered to his spam folder comes true. What could possibly go wrong?
After I saw the blurb I had to read this. I mean, we’ve all had chain messages and spam that were absolutely insane (I’m still waiting for my Nigerian prince to come). So, a world where we were the foolish ones for ignoring those bizarre messages was something I just had to see.
The photons in the cheese are lost is a comedy and a lot of the humour derived from poking fun at its narrator, Chris Popadopolis, an overweight, nerdy unemployed loser who might as well be living in his mum’s basement. The humour is acerbic and often crude; it made me smile once or twice, but it was far from hilarious. I liked a lot of the crazy scenarios that Chris found himself in, but felt like it jumped from scene to scene way to quickly and it would have been better if it slowed down a bit to allow it to sink in just how crazy these situations were.
A lot of the criticism around this short story centred on it ending too quickly and nothing being resolved. When it comes to short stories, I feel that you cannot hold them to the same standards of novels. You cannot expect a fully realised world with all the possibilities to be fully played out in a short story; it doesn’t have the time or space. However, I have to concur with the general criticism of the ending in this case; it felt like it was meant to be a punchline to a joke that didn’t quite land. The whole story felt a bit too frenetic, and even if Werbeloff didn’t want to turn this into a full novel, this short story should have been a bit longer if for no other reason than to give the reader and narrator a bit more time to breath and digest what’s happening.
Overall, The Photons In The Cheese Are Lost was entertaining in places, and I liked the writing, but it didn’t quite reach its massive potential. However, I am drawn to Werbeloff’s writing style and will definitely be reviewing more of his work in the future.
RATING: 2 ½ thousand grands worth of inheritance from a Nigerian Prince if you just call this number / 5