Physical setting
Character sketch
Point of view

Short story “Blink and you miss it“ is written by Alex Garland in 1996.

An unnamed narrator begins his story as he sees his five-year-old neighbor Sammy from England, looking carefully to his right and left.

The narrator then tell us that he was just as careful when he was the boy's age, but that he had changed in time.

The story jumps to when the narrator is seventeen on a beach in South Asia, where a small community of “hippies“ lives under the leadership of a beach guru.

Since no one sells drugs any more because of the raid and the community needs to remake their supplies for the party, the guru decides to use a contact he has in town.

Through a random choice, the narrator is the one who gets to go with the guru to the town, he also is the one who pays for the ride in there.

As it seems, at the end he finds out that the drug contact is the chief of the police. Although he is scared and thinks about leaving, the narrator is too naive to take any action.

The narrator, who is in jail, sends a Christmas card to Sammy, his neighbor, advising him to look both ways when crossing the road.

The story “Blink and You Miss It” by Alex Garland is structured as a flashback story.

This means that the narration begins at a present moment and leaps back in time; in other words, the main plot takes place before the time of the narrative.

The story begins in media res (in the middle of events) with the narrator ‘seeing’ his neighbor from England trying to cross the street:

“About twenty seconds ago, I blinked, saw a window and outside it, my next-door neighbor's kid, Sammy. Sammy recently turned five. He was standing on the far side of the road and wanted to cross over.”

The main character is writing like a letter, or a memory. As it looks, he is in prison and is telling a story about how he got where he is now.

There is no physical appearance, but as we read the text, we can see that he is willing to risk everything.

His actions affected him in a way he probably didn't expect, but as a teenager, you are willing to sacrifice something for the sake of your own “having fun“ second.