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December 28 , 2010

The Babysitter


'She arrives at 7.40, ten minutes late...' She babysits for Mr and Mrs Tucker. She has left a boyfriend alone for the evening. From this seemingly simple start Robert Coover masterfully explores the subtle barrier between 'reality' and thought. As the babysitter triggers the men's sexual fantasies, their erotic imaginations twist into alternative narratives simultaneously experienced by the reader: she does or does not take a bath; she does or does not invite her boyfriend over; she does or does not get caught unawares by Mr Tucker. In a profusion of happenings and imaginings, Coover layers moment upon moment, narrative upon narrative, to shatter the timeline of one evening into a multiplicity of events - contradictory, simultaneous, but all equally 'real'.

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