Thursday, 1:17 p.m., by Michael Landweber
Thursday, 1:17 p.m. (208 pages) is Michael Landweber’s second work of fiction. After the death of his mother, seventeen-year-old Duck finds that he is the only moving being in a world where all other life forms appear to be in suspended animation, raindrops hang in the air, and only manually operated machines can function.
Landweber’s first novel, We, won ForeWord Magazine’s quarterly debut novelist award and a bronze in the General Fiction category of ForeWord’s Book of the Year Contest. We was also a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose and Independent Books.
“Thursday, 1:17 p.m. is an unconventional and intriguing novel that blends thoughtful insight with an irreverent, anything-goes attitude reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk. It’s a fun read that also gives something to think about after its final page.” Read more….
—Bradley A. Scott for ForeWord Reviews
“Landweber’s hybrid novel Thursday 1:17 p.m. is a provocative, stop-motion parable for an accelerating world.” Read more….
—Steven Felicelli for Necessary Fiction
“The writing in Thursday 1:17 pm is affable, even breezy at times, and yet easily slips into tender and even wistful moments, giving them weight without weighing them down. This is a very fast read, and yet one that satisfies both in context and style. I truly, utterly enjoyed this book, and it gave me a lot to ponder, but in a way that was invigorating rather than dismal, despite there being so much isolation in subject and action. I would heartily recommend it to literally every reader, young or old, of any genre or style. Do yourself a favor, and find yourself a copy of Thursday, 1:17 pm; it is not mere hyperbole to call it a gem of a book. Put simply—it shines.” Read more….
—Sharon Browning for LitStack
Duck is 17. He will never be 18. Tomorrow is his birthday. It will never be tomorrow.
Time stopped at 1:17 p.m. on a beautiful Thursday afternoon in Washington, DC. Duck is the only person moving in a world where all other living beings have been frozen into statues in an endless diorama. Duck was already in limbo, having lost his mother to cancer and his father to mental illness. Now, faced with the unimaginable, he approaches his dilemma with the eye of an anthropologist and the heart of a teenager trying to do the right thing under the strangest of circumstances. Ultimately, he realizes that while he doesn’t understand the boundaries between friendship and love, that uncertain territory may be the key to restarting the world.
Says Landweber, “We’ve all wanted to stop time. Thursday, 1:17 p.m. started with the idea that this particular wish could turn into a curse if you weren’t able to start time up again. After the initial thrill of being the last person moving in a frozen world, how would a person deal with the loneliness? Or the temptation to do things that you would never consider doing in the fully functioning world? But what interested me most was turning that potential nightmare into a story about one person finding meaning in a world that makes no sense.”
Michael Landweber lives and writes in Washington, DC. His short stories have appeared in literary magazines such as Gargoyle, Fourteen Hills, Fugue, Barrelhouse, and American Literary Review. He is an Associate Editor at Potomac Review and a contributor for Pop Matters. Click here to find Michael online.
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