This book is about much bigger issues than the people who create or participate in them. It is about school bullies, religious cults, relationships, death, the end of the world - all the things that tend to keep us up at night. In fact, this book disturbed me just enough that I knew better than to read it at night. I would only pick it up in the mornings, when my mind was fresh and ready for the emotional battle. I consider this high praise for a book to be able to set fear in me, without resorting to horror or gore.
�Flashes and Specks� is written in 35 episodes. What does that mean? Could it be like television episodes? Each one is a cliff hanger to make you want to read the next one. There are definite references to comic books and superheroes and villains. So that could be it. Or could it be like episodes of insanity? Short bursts that ebb and flow when someone has not taken their medicine or when the world becomes too much to bear. This is very likely too, as madness was settling in on many of the characters.
One phrase in this book that kept being repeated over and over was �I can't tell you.� Henry�s principal could not tell him the details of a case where a student tortured another student, and then a teacher beat a student. Henry�s wife could not tell him why she left him or why she came back. Henry�s son could not tell him what will happen in his city in the basement. And maybe I am trying to say I can�t tell you about this book. You will just have to read it for yourself. All I can say is that �Flashes and Specks� made me think, and made me want to read it again.