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15 Seconds

james hörner

right off the bat this book has you wondering if you should be laughing or not - after a few pages you quickly realize it's safe to have a black-humoured, politically incorrect, laughing fit.

15 Seconds book cover the story surrounds Mathieu, who has cerebral palsy, his brother Claude, and their love interest Charlotte. these characters are tough, jaded by life and its constant promise of something better. nonetheless, they don't stop searching. each wants out of their everyday limbo, reaching for meaningful relationships in the haze of self-doubt.

this is a short play. yet François Archambault was wise to keep the monologues to a minimum and the dialogue intense.

one of the most refreshing elements of this play is Mathieu, and the honesty with which Archambault deals with cerebral palsy. Mathieu is real, not an archetypal, token disability - his personality is passionate and conveys the human condition of longing with honesty.

although i call this play black-humoured, i suppose that's just another way of saying it doesn't shirk away from reality. however, Archambault isn't morally condescending or didactic with his portrayal of contemporary life and relationships. each character has a unique perspective on how we persevere through day to day existence, refusing to give in entirely to the pressures of conformity. readers will undoubtedly find a piece of themselves floating about in this play, and it is this connection which gives 15 Seconds such impact.

published by talonbooks
ISBN 0-88922-427-7

james hörner edits canadian content.

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