In Their Arms by Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore’s presents voyeurism as a way of life in the eerie glow of “In Their Arms”. Featuring a main character who looks at the lives of others online, those he quite seems to dislike, the story unfolds of one who prefers observation to participation. Everything involving the rest of the world feels weary as he hooks up with the same old he saw online a few months ago, reading the comments of everybody who opts to share online. Most, if not all, of the time he reads the sort of things that sort of startle and shake him to his very core.
Even with the beginning the character wakes up with a great tiredness. Nothing feels real. All feels memorized nearly. Friendships are there, he is cared about, but returning that care appears to be a bit of a struggle for him. His career seems perfectly suited for him as well as he judges the artistic output of others. Judging from his internal monologue that forms the crux of the book, the art he could create would be rather beautiful. Much of the time he’s confused, wondering how people interact successfully with each other. This is why he makes up stories, tragic ones, of non-existent previous loves, working out every possible detail. While he tells these stories he notes how others project their hopes onto his work of fiction.
A particular person’s twitter handle is bookmarked for his own curiosity. Over the course of the book we see what the main character sees. The tweets range from the love of being submissive to the outright depression this far-off individual feels. Balancing between the two the individual seems to veer erratically between the two emotions. For a few moments the individual has self-realization of the horribleness that goes on around him, which is why he dives deep into a kind of escapist pleasure.
Online worlds loom large throughout the book. Some of them are mere observations like how he sees the artist’s daughter looking through Tumblr. A few others are the direct results one would see on a particularly well-curated Tumblr feed. Whichever is chosen the online the digital tends to make him nervous and comfortable at the same time. By leaving the online, by ignoring his phone, he becomes closest to absolute peace, as if shutting out all that noise leads to a form of intimacy that otherwise feels unapproachable.
With a night vibe and a deep look inside the inner workings of emotional states and introspection, Thomas Moore’s “In Their Arms” is darkly beautiful work.