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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dark Side of Town by James Patrick Kelly -- Reader’s Guide

Dark Side of Town by James Patrick Kelly -- Reader’s Guide

Summary: Talisha discovers mechdream pills in her husband’s underwear drawer. She suspects it’s a pricey, sick sex dream, upsetting her because she wants to live in a better place. To get revenge, she asks Ed, an expensive and popular consultant what she should do. He advises her, if she still loves him, to take a pill to see what it’s all about. When he gets home, she tries to rile him, but he is unmoved. She takes the pill and discovers he’s built a new world for them, full of cars and a better home.


What are two ways of reading Werefolk? You will probably read one way on your first reading and a different way on the second.

When Talisha asks if Ricky thought she was stupid and lists evidence to the contrary, are these good evidences?

In terms of philosophical debates, “everyone said that” is a what? Name and define it. How does “everyone said that” play out this time?

Explain the undermining of Talisha’s understanding of Werefolk through the images here: “Just before the camera could reveal that the beautiful young man wasn’t wearing any pants either, the ad cut away to an older roundish woman in a daisy-print dress.

Describe the irony here: “Who was doing for Talisha? ‘Call Ricky,’ she said.”

Why doesn’t Ricky react to Talisha’s anger?

How does the quote from Hegel tie in thematically?

Make a list of how Talisha in her anger sees Ricky and how his actions show something else. For example, Ricky and his beer might suggest to some he is a lush; however, Talisha notes that it only takes three to get him going. Also, how does Talisha feel about Ricky, despite her anger-colored vision.

What is the point of the title?

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