Little Yew Shodkin had always had the little ‘being’ inside his head, but it never spoke to him until he turned six, and then his ‘egot’ encouraged him to act out in ways that those around him viewed as anti-social. Punished for his bad behavior, Yew listened less and less to his egot until, finally, it withered away. He then went on to become a well-adjusted, but not totally happy, member of society until one day, in adulthood, he snapped.
The Little Voice by Joss Sheldon, like its main character, Yew, refuses to be pigeon-holed. For want of a better term, perhaps it’s okay to describe it as experimental fiction. Actually, though, it’s whatever the reader wants it to be. It’s a story about conformity, about how society and its demands can suck the creativity right out of an individual until there’s nothing left but a dried out husk, or, like the egot, we wither away and die.
The story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at first; just a series of incidents where Yew engages in increasingly bizarre behavior and ends up in therapy. We’re then treated to scenes of Yew learning to adapt to keep the pressure off, and the angst he endures because of his adaptation.
In the end, after Yew finally snaps, he takes a completely unexpected turn—I won’t spoil the book by telling you what—but, the reader is left to wonder if he recovered what he lost.
An interesting voice in the forest of today’s fiction, and a recommended read.
I received a free copy of this book.
I give it four stars.