The author’s stories make good use of retrospection. This author does not see history as a thing merely for looking back time and feeling empathy for those people involved, as most would. He treats history as his endless fountain of inspiration, his sea of ready-made settings for stories and his effective and advantageous tool for writing stories. In this book, this is obviously evident.
The settings of these stories are varied. They are set in different periods of history, and in different places all over the world. The whole world is the author’s stage, and his stage is the world. However, the settings that most Singaporeans are able to relate to is the Second World War period, of which he has used in two of the stories in this book, and stood out from the rest of the stories.
The author’s characters are all of no mediocre personalities. They are all unique people with extraordinary challenges. He gives life to these fictional characters created with only his words, by allowing ample use of dialogue and thoughts, and in each story, his characters adopt different personalities. In every story, he uses “ I ”, a first person’s point of view, which allows in depth characterisation. He also makes it a point not to have too many characters in the stories, which permits easy comprehension for the reader.
In most of his stories, the author does not give a satisfactory conclusion, not that he cannot write conclusions, for he does this deliberately to allow the reader to cogitate the endings. In fact, if he does write a conclusion, he will obliterate his story, as he will break his character’s personality, of which is not that of an inquisitive one. Anyway, he leaves enough clues for us to pick up, and thus the conclusions, though unwritten, are obvious enough to be able to conjecture, and subtle enough to make you scratch your head for a while.