It seems to my a lot of you are using the Smoke and Mirrors version as reference. Another version that gives a visual and can answer some of your questions is the graphic novel illustrated by P. Craig Russel. Not that you will get all the answers you seek from it but it is still a source.
Someone mentioned something about the car the kids drive by in being Tink's stolen car after the narrator drove back to the hotel, well in the graphic novel the car and Tink's car are not the same.
Of course this could only be the artists interpretation I don't know how close he collaborated with Neil on drawing the graphic novel.
Do you think that Neil is releasing this particular story in so many different mediums (graphic novel, short story, and play) to give us a slew of different ways to try to figure out the mysteries?
I think an important distinction needs to be made that you can't evaluate the story by comparing the details of versions in different media. Each exists as its own entity - images from the graphic novel are not part of the experience of the short story, nor are juxtapositions, additions, or deletions in the voice drama. An author's intent can only be guaged by its success in revealing itself within a work - any external version or commentary is borderline irrelevant. Obviously, Neil's intent in writing Murder Mysteries as a short story was not to answer all of the potential questions that arise in the narrative. In the voice play, the graphic novel, or any other version, he may have allowed a more distinctive spin on the information presented. For example, in seeing the image of the bloodied drawing, we are now experiencing both the author's idea and the artist's interpretation, and, if I remember the graphic novel well enough, the image had much more of a "flash of memory" feel to it than is described by the narrator's naggingly hazy vision in the story version. Just because other versions seem to make Neil's intent more obvious, doesn't mean a) THAT the intent was the same for the short story (after all, ambiguity in print form is certainly more acceptable (read: commercially viable) than in auditory or visual form) or b) if his intent WAS the same level of obvious clarity, that Neil was as successful in conveying that intent in the short story as written - perhaps a visual medium made it easier to be straightforward. As an adaptationalist (a word coined by a friend to describe my tendency to want to adapt art into other forms), I am always aware of the need to adapt a story from its heart to suit the medium at hand. A good novel does not necessarily make a good book - but a good story will invariably find a way to be told visually.
I recently bought Murder Mysteries. Great story. Took me a second reading to figure stuff out, plus reading this thread. Here's my take on the whole thing.
Raguel took the narrator's memories to cleanse him of his sins. Raguel was never the angel of punishment, just the angel of vengeance. Of course, vengeance doesn't have much of a place in God's teachings these days. And besides, Raguel has already expressed his opinion that the complete destruction of Saraquael wasn't just. He (Raguel) says that he's doing his job as he sees it. So perhaps he sees absolution as a fairer justice than punishment? The narrator mentions that the kiss Raguel gives him burns (a symbol of the narrator being cleansed by fire of his sin?). God himself (through Zephkiel) says that forgetfulness gives a sort of freedom, so perhaps making the narrator forget what he has done preserves his free will to choose to do good next time, rather than evil?
I'll probably look back on that tomorrow and realise what a garbled mess it was *grin*
I'd really like to know what this other mystery (the one that Neil says no-one has solved yet) is now. That's going to drive me nuts, so it is *grin*
i think the murder mysteries title is neil playing on words.....murder of mysteries
he does demystify and almost humnise God, as well as not placing him in a very good light at all....manipulating his angels to his own ends, creating the darkness that consumed lucifer....he's a dictator of sorts....for a while some of my friends had the consensus that the narrator was Zephkiel and Raguel forgave him for all the bad he had others do in his name...now there would be irony, God's vengeance meting out vengeance on God Himself?
plus raguel does seem to know the narrator...did anyone else get that impression? There seemed to be some familiarity there..........
oh i forgot....also perhaps the delivery of forgetfulness of who He is is more than sufficient punishment for the narrator? To be God Incarnate but not even know? I think the guys who mentioned Rsguel's fall being a refusal to do things god's way is a good one...we saw his dislike of the killing of Saraquel....i think that may be it he was actually chiding God with the story......
you sound like you'd fit in fine here at the boards dreams, why don't you pop over to the more social part of the board, the Worlds End and join in a few conversations over there, or feel free to introduce yourself and see if you can blag yourself a few free gifts (blame me if you want to, i can take it ) (although there are less given than use to be through the very sensible but dissapointing hotlinks rule)
~ I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.
the parrot... ...gets tiresome. the parrot... ...i ate him.
I found your insights in Murder Mysteries extremely interesting. For this reason, I would like to ask your opinion on what is the "clue in the title" that he refers to in the Introduction... Thank you for any help.
This whole discussion was fascinating (I wasn't registered when it first happened). I'll have to go back and read it again.
One thing I interpreted differently than anyone else if that Raguel does punish the narrator while at the same time absolving his sins by making him forget. The whole incident with the elevator is not random, it's supposed to kill the narrator. It doesn't show how the guy actually dies and what happens to him afterwards, but it strongly suggests that this is his fate. That's why the kiss burns, because it seals his future.
After reading the thread I start thinking that maybe the guy really is one of the angels and he'll go home after this.
Posts: 341 | Location: Indiana, US | Registered: January 12, 2006
After reading this whole tread, I realize that this is probably going to sound a little strange, but I've read the short story a few times now and I always thought that the "angel" killed Tink, the kid, and the friend. The story he told always seemed rather confession like to me. In fact, I've always wondered if he was even a fallen angel... maybe he was just some crazy guy.
Apparently, the consensus on this board is that the "nameless narrator" killed the 2 women and kid. It makes a lot of sense and has given me some serious food for thought. But I can't shake this intuitive feeling that it was the angel. I don't know. Someone help me out here.
Just a thought, but in the Smoke and Mirrors intro where Neil says there is a 'clue' in the title. He also says that the title was originally going to be 'City of Angels'. Nobody has touched on the idea that the clue was in the original title to the story as opposed to the revised title (Murder Mysteries).
well it takes place in los angeles which does translate directly from the (spanish?) to city of angels.
My thoughts on it were, yes, our nameless narrator does kill tink and the kid etc, and yes the homeless guy is Raguel... for me what he does is absolve the narrator of his sins in a way that he wishes he had been able to do for Saraquael...
It's in Lucifer's line "but he loved, he should have been helped..."
so Raguel does his job still, in his own way, so what we see at the end in the elevator is simply a mirror for the beginning of Raguel's story - the narrator, alone, in a white cell, completely innocent of his former sins: redeemed in the way that Saraquael should have been
im just taking a shot in the dark, i mean i know there is a lot of mystery i the murders of this story but the story had a much higher mystery than the ones that play out... why did god allow for the creation of murder in the first place? thank you -Stac
Originally posted by stacey_girl_va: ... why did god allow for the creation of murder in the first place? thank you -Stac
That one's easy. If you must have all the permutations of "Love", then "Death" must also include murder. A larger theme, but unmentioned in the short story, would be free will - although it is questionable whether angels had free will.
Personally, I don't think the guy in the short story dies in the elevator. I do think that he killed Tink, the child and Tink's friend, but the angel made him forget the facts, leaving behind only the guilt.