Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review - The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It
by Philip K. Dick
Date: 1953
Publisher: AmericanLiterature.com
Reading level: A
Book type: short story
Pages: 4
Format: e-book
Source: AmericanLiterature.com/

Mrs. Louise Mallard, afflicted with a heart condition, reflects on the death of her husband from the safety of her locked room.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

So... somebody noticed those weird, disembodied eyeballs decades before I was even born! Whew. I'm glad I wasn't just imagining it.

This story is kind of hilarious to readers like me who can't figure out why certain writers seem to enjoy putting their characters' eyeballs through a literary version of CrossFit. Here's an excerpt from a review I wrote back in 2009, Blue Moon by Alyson Noël:

... the word you're looking for is "gaze"... not "eyes". When I see eyes grazing, raking, resting, and roaming, my mind conjures up strange images of freed eyeballs doing all kinds of things they really shouldn't be doing. How exactly do eyes rake something, anyway? That sounds painful.

The Eyes Have It takes this premise even further, and the narrator gets absolutely freaked out by the mention of people giving their hearts and taking each other's hands. English truly is a strange language; it's a wonder non-native speakers ever learn the nuances!

This is a short, but enjoyable, story. I think I may have read some Philip K. Dick years ago, but I don't recall ever reading The Eyes Have It. I kind of wish I'd done so sooner; now I don't feel so alone in being annoyed by acrobatic eyeballs in literature.

Quotable moment:

...his eyes slowly roved about the room.

Vague chills assailed me. I tried to picture the eyes. Did they roll like dimes? The passage indicated not; they seemed to move through the air, not over the surface. Rather rapidly, apparently. No one in the story was surprised. That's what tipped me off.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.71 out of 5 ladybugs

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