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Blink and You Miss It

This study guide will help you analyse the text “Blink and You Miss It” by Alex Garland. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message, and we will help you put the text into perspective.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Blink and You Miss It”
Author: Alex Garland
Published in: Disco Biscuits (short story collection)
Date of Publication: 1997
Genre: Short Story

Alex Garland (1970) is an English author of novels and screenplays, who is today mostly known for his debut novel, The Beach (1996) and for being the screenwriter of movies like 28 Days Later (2002) or Never Let Me Go (2011). 

The novel, The Beach which has also been adapted into a film, is based on the author’s travels through Europe and the Philippines and follows a Generation X youngster as he enters a beach community and experiments with drugs.

Excerpt 

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Literary period

The short story "Blink and You Miss It" belongs to Postmodernist literature. Alex Garland, like other Postmodernist writers, uses fragmentation (the story mixes two timelines – present and past), an unreliable narrator (the youngster has developed an obsession for kid-neighbour Sammy, and he is a drug user) and explores a subject less dealt with in literature (a sub-culture): drug culture...

 

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Blink and You Miss It

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