A Different Bed Every Time – Jac Jemc
Final Thoughts: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Different Bed Every Time is a collection of short stories, and when I say short, I mean short. Several are only two to three pages, and a few were even shorter than that. This collection is perfect for reading during the morning commute on the train, or, like me, for devouring in the span of one afternoon.
Jemc has carried on with her instinctual sense of poetry and signature abstract style. The stories all read like metaphors, and even if there isn’t a moral at the end of the story, they kept my brain digging for more insight. The surrealism of her writing makes the stories seem, though they are standalone stories with no self-references, like they all exist within the same strange context, and the same weird world.
I was reminded of the book reports we used to do in high school, and how we’d read a fairly straightforward book (think Frankenstein, or The Great Gatsby, or Catcher in the Rye), and have to analyze it to absolute death, spending hours explaining symbolism that was pretty obvious to the eye. Not to say that these books aren’t symbolic, significant, and enthralling, but we get it, the green light is Gatsby’s fantasy and Daisy is the American Dream. We get it.
Jemc forces us to scratch and claw our way deeper into the heart of her stories. The impact isn’t face-value; it is buried beneath many layers of prose and imagery and abstraction. Even then, the morals may never really appear to us; the stories are ultimately open to interpretation. Personally, I find this desperate digging and all of gratification incredibly gratifying. A book that makes me think, and also keeps me thinking, is a perfect book, and this, A Different Bed Every Time is a perfect book.