There is everything in Bizarreries du banal: everything in the strangeness, whether it makes us smile or shiver. And the more the bizarre is inscribed in the ordinary of days, the more we hang on!
The Oddities of the Banal short story collection is subtitled "13 Odd Stories". Éric C. Plamondon indeed demonstrates a keen sense of observation for the quirks of life with this first foray into the world of fiction.
The new Ascenseurs offers an eloquent illustration of this. His narrator is fascinated by another employee of the high tower where he works because he systematically "always positioned himself in advance and with precision in front of the elevator which would open its doors first".
The narrator looks for the trick, makes it an obsession..., and indirectly transfers it to us: you will no longer wait for an elevator without thinking about it!
The TV repairman also relies on a familiar universe. A young man who loves to play with televisions, VCRs, cameras and the like becomes an apprentice at the small repair shop in his neighborhood.
One day, Will, the owner, asks the narrator to accompany him for a house call, which he had not done until then. Why this first? Will doesn't say a word. But once there, “[t]he door opened slowly, after an endless series of clicking. On the other side, no one to welcome us."
The whole visit will be of this freezing water. But Will, who remained silent on the spot, will not explain himself further. And yet, it will not stop there.
Obviously, we like this kind of mysteries, because their simplicity reinforces the effect – even more when they are associated with everyday objects. In the short story Glasses, we discover that a certain pair can be used to find lost objects: from loose change to...bodies! Quite a power!
Conversely, when the story becomes more complex, like the short story centered on a reliquary or the one that highlights psychic forces to explain the talent of an actress, the fascination is lost. The demonstration is interesting, but we feel less concerned.
In the same way, it is easy to see that a short story like Le visage is well shot, but it is part of the police investigation and the genre is already so exploited that the story only adds to an abundant corpus.
On the other hand, the exploitation of a contemporary fear, that of being abducted, hits the mark in the short story L'invitée, which also offers a great lesson in resistance! As for the Descriptive Narrative text, it is written with such emotional detachment and precision that one leaves with goosebumps!
Plamondon demonstrates in fact that what distinguishes him as a novelist is his efficiency in identifying the paradoxes of everyday life and playing on them in just a few pages. We find ourselves even more confused by its astonishing finals!