Short Stories Challenge – Narrative of Agent 97-4702 by Rajesh Parameswaran from the collection I Am An Executioner

Published August 23, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s Narrative of Agent 97-4702 all about?:

Our narrator in this short story is a government agent who details her daily working life, how she came to enter the Agency, her relationship with her husband and the time when she faced disciplinary action.

What did I think?:

I Am An Executioner has been one of my favourite collections of short stories and introduced me to an author who writes with such intensity and passion that I was so glad I discovered him. Not every story is going to be perfect however or speak to the reader on an individual level. Unfortunately, Narrative of Agent 97-4702 was one of those stories for me and even on a second reading failed to interest me although as before I appreciated the unique style of writing that the author gives us with every story.

Our narrator is a government agent in a dystopian future whose current mission is to report on the actions of a particular subject as he leaves for work each day. Our narrator does not know much about the subject in question, not even what he does for a living, her task is to merely report on what he does each morning and then at 1900 hrs when he returns from his working day. The reader also gets an insight into our narrators personal history – how she became an Agent in the first place, her relationship with her husband (referred to here only as “J”) and a matter with another Agent where she viewed personal information that she was not supposed to have access to and which may result in disciplinary action. The story itself is presented as a written confession from our narrator, admitting that she has accessed this unauthorised information.

This review has proved very difficult to write, I appreciated the intrigue of our Agents role and thought the relationship with her husband J was very interesting as neither were allowed to speak about what they do during the day. For some reason though this story fell quite flat for me and I was disappointed as I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the stories in this collection. I’m not sure whether it was because I found our narrators voice quite cold and hard to relate to but then again, I believe this was what the author meant us to feel due to the mysterious nature of her work. All the stories in this collection are about love and in all the different ways it is represented and even though our Agent and J are very limited in what they can talk about round the dinner table, you can sense the deep love in their relationship. I would love to hear other people’s points of view on this story, am I missing something and did you enjoy it?

Would I recommend it?:

Probably not.

Star rating (out of 5):

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NEXT SHORT STORY: Small Degrees by Kevin Brockmeier from the collection Things That Fall From The Sky

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One comment on “Short Stories Challenge – Narrative of Agent 97-4702 by Rajesh Parameswaran from the collection I Am An Executioner

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