Sunday, February 24, 2019

Review - Professor Panini

Professor Panini
by Matthew Grigg
Date: 2008
Publisher: East of the Web
Reading level: A
Book type: short story
Pages: 3
Format: e-book

Professor Panini is too clever for his own good.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This could have been hilarious. The narrator is some sort of engineer who creates a device that can swap the minds of any two beings. While he's having breakfast in his flat (which is the first thing that struck me as odd; why wouldn't he be doing this in a lab?), he tries to swap the minds of a duck and a cat. But the cat freaks out, the machine goes haywire, and the narrator's mind is swapped with that of his smart toaster (the story takes place in 2023).

The rest of the story concerns the narrator trying to get himself out of his predicament. It could've been so funny, but there are distracting continuity problems (at one point the toaster's bread bin becomes empty after he uses up all the slices to send desperate messages for help... but then he's casually flinging toast again a page later) and the toaster-man (the narrator's original body with the transferred toaster mind) is woefully underused. The ending also doesn't make much sense at all, given what we're told about the cognitive capabilities of the toaster.

So, this was disappointing. It had potential, but it tried too hard and kind of shot itself in the foot with slapstick and an unbelievable conclusion.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.29 out of 5 ladybugs

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