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Will Williams

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In the modern retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'William Wilson' by the author of 'The Old drift,' a young black man's paranoia escalates as he is followed, challenged, and terrorized by a doppelgänger bent on sabotaging his life. Ever since high school, somebody's been playing the echo game on Will Williams. A look-alike with the same tattoos and the same name has been follow In the modern retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'William Wilson' by the author of 'The Old drift,' a young black man's paranoia escalates as he is followed, challenged, and terrorized by a doppelgänger bent on sabotaging his life. Ever since high school, somebody's been playing the echo game on Will Williams. A look-alike with the same tattoos and the same name has been following him. Starting by implicating Will in petty crimes, and escalating to offenses with serious prison terms, he's undermined every attempt Will has made to get his life on track. Now, drifting from city to city, Will's doing everything in his power to outrun his shadow. Will Williams is part of Disorder, a collection of six short stories of living nightmares, chilling visions, and uncanny imagination that explore a world losing its balance in terrifying ways. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single disorienting sitting. ©2019 Namwali Serpell (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.


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In the modern retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'William Wilson' by the author of 'The Old drift,' a young black man's paranoia escalates as he is followed, challenged, and terrorized by a doppelgänger bent on sabotaging his life. Ever since high school, somebody's been playing the echo game on Will Williams. A look-alike with the same tattoos and the same name has been follow In the modern retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'William Wilson' by the author of 'The Old drift,' a young black man's paranoia escalates as he is followed, challenged, and terrorized by a doppelgänger bent on sabotaging his life. Ever since high school, somebody's been playing the echo game on Will Williams. A look-alike with the same tattoos and the same name has been following him. Starting by implicating Will in petty crimes, and escalating to offenses with serious prison terms, he's undermined every attempt Will has made to get his life on track. Now, drifting from city to city, Will's doing everything in his power to outrun his shadow. Will Williams is part of Disorder, a collection of six short stories of living nightmares, chilling visions, and uncanny imagination that explore a world losing its balance in terrifying ways. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single disorienting sitting. ©2019 Namwali Serpell (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

30 review for Will Williams

  1. 5 out of 5

    TL

    *Read for free with Kindle Unlimited and Audible for the audiobook* My favorite of the bunch so far:) Quotes: Williams. Will Williams. Yeah, you can call me that. My real name brought me a whole lotta trouble in my life, blowing in and outta all of these yappety lips, soured up with lies. I’m not that man, and that name is dead to me. There ain’t nothing left to gain, me holding on to it in here, that’s for damn sure. My time’s up. I just don’t want to depart this earth with misunderstandings on me *Read for free with Kindle Unlimited and Audible for the audiobook* My favorite of the bunch so far:) Quotes: Williams. Will Williams. Yeah, you can call me that. My real name brought me a whole lotta trouble in my life, blowing in and outta all of these yappety lips, soured up with lies. I’m not that man, and that name is dead to me. There ain’t nothing left to gain, me holding on to it in here, that’s for damn sure. My time’s up. I just don’t want to depart this earth with misunderstandings on me, you feel me? I don’t wanna talk about what all I did—all that darkness. Everybody knows and it ain’t worth the breath. What I wanna tell you is how it started. Most niggas get hard slowly, bit by bit. But for me, it was like I gave up all the good in me at once. Just stripped it off and dropped it on the floor. I did petty shit at first, like we all do when we’re young and raw. But really and truly the devil entered my life one day. You know, you look back on it. And you see that something stepped in. Right. There. Gritty and slightly creepy at times. Narrator: 4.5 stars Story/plot: 4.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dee Cherry

    Interesting modern day twist to this story. Will's life and mind are in a disturbed state as he described troubles that has him in present predicament. Good read

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kira Simion

    Free kindle book and audiobook for Amazon Prime members. Narration: while I don’t listen to audiobooks often, I can enjoy them. This one was a 2.5/5 Plot: this is a retelling of an Edgar Allen Poe story. However it is much too short and unexplained. 2/5 2/5. What? Interesting but more like a prequel than a story in my opinion.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think many of the short stories in this collection are misunderstood. This is another one I've come across that was wonderfully written and thought provoking, yet a lot of people don't seem to get the point. I could be off base because I never read the original by Edgar Allan Poe, but to me it seems that the main character is suffering from some sort of mental disorder and does not realize that the doppelganger he blames for all of his problems, doesn't actually exist. I thought it was a cleve I think many of the short stories in this collection are misunderstood. This is another one I've come across that was wonderfully written and thought provoking, yet a lot of people don't seem to get the point. I could be off base because I never read the original by Edgar Allan Poe, but to me it seems that the main character is suffering from some sort of mental disorder and does not realize that the doppelganger he blames for all of his problems, doesn't actually exist. I thought it was a clever idea and the writing kept me interested.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chava

    This retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's William Wilson was an interesting read and I have to say, Namwali Serpell did a superb job re-imagining this. As a Poe-junkie, I really appreciated this. Great ending to a really interesting Amazon collection. I love these and I definitely found some new authors to check out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dori

    Wow - a thought-provoking story I’ve never been inside that world. But after reading this short story, I have a tiny glimpse into one man’s mind and realize many of us have destructive triggers. For whatever reason, we’re suddenly on the other side of a conflict, wondering how things got so out of control. Are we the victim? Could we really be who they say we are?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee (The B-Roll)

    The final installment of this collection, Will Williams was another really weird tale for me.  This is a modern-day retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's William Wilson; a story that I have also not read.  This story focuses on Will Williams, who is incarcerated for crimes he claims he didn't commit.  It begins in school, where a new kid appears with the same name and a birthday very close to his own.  As the story progresses, this new kid begins to adopt Will's way of dressing, his mannerisms, and his The final installment of this collection, Will Williams was another really weird tale for me.  This is a modern-day retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's William Wilson; a story that I have also not read.  This story focuses on Will Williams, who is incarcerated for crimes he claims he didn't commit.  It begins in school, where a new kid appears with the same name and a birthday very close to his own.  As the story progresses, this new kid begins to adopt Will's way of dressing, his mannerisms, and his overall image becoming what appears to be Will's twin.  He also begins to frustrate Will as time goes on, placing him at the scene of several crimes.  Is there really a second entity committing crimes that look, talks, and acts just like Will? I liked that this story isn't about some outside supernatural entity but is probably based more on the main character's mental state and the ways he deals with stress in this life to cope.  I could be completely wrong, but the fragmented and disturbed state of Will's mind from a very young age helped to develop this other entity that looks and talks just like himself, but obviously cannot be the real Will.  This outside other is the scapegoat that he relies on.  While this story isn't spooky or eerie, it is disturbing at its core because of the blatant belief that the other entity is out there committing crimes and ruining his life just before things seem to be getting better. On a deeper level, this novella is sad because it could be seen as a glimpse into what a lot of people go through once being injected into the prison and punishment system and never being able to find solid ground again, outside of it.  The novella was an interesting read, but even more, if you try to look at it from a deeper level and make sense out of what is happening and what it would stand for, in today's world. Overall, this novella wasn't my favorite, but it did have a solid core for me.  It isn't something that I would read out of my own volition, but I can see how it fits into this collection of disorder.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Honya

    Will knows he’s done plenty of bad things in his life. But the things he’s gotten caught for, gotten in trouble for? He swears those were never actually him. . . . In this contemporary retelling of Poe’s “William Wilson,” we are given an intriguing look into the mind of a very paranoid, disturbed individual. Everything is told in first person, with an older character in prison for the rest of his life looking back on how his downhill road all started . . . with a gravely-voiced doppelganger–same Will knows he’s done plenty of bad things in his life. But the things he’s gotten caught for, gotten in trouble for? He swears those were never actually him. . . . In this contemporary retelling of Poe’s “William Wilson,” we are given an intriguing look into the mind of a very paranoid, disturbed individual. Everything is told in first person, with an older character in prison for the rest of his life looking back on how his downhill road all started . . . with a gravely-voiced doppelganger–same name, same clothes, even the same tattoo–that no one else seems to notice or remember. You’ve got an obviously unreliable narrator, and it’s interesting to see the persecution complex that builds in his mind throughout the story. There’s a strong use of dialect that adds quite a lot in terms of character development as well–though strong warnings for the language, including some racially offensive terms. I haven’t read the original Poe, so I can’t say how they compare, but “Will Williams” was an interesting character study, with a nice use of dialect, rising tension, and sense of madness.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    Not what it seems Saying too much about what I really think this story says would be a major spoiler, but what I'm sure of is that you cant take what's being said at face value. This is one of those stories where you read between the lines. Will Williams swears he has a doppelganger. He assures the reader that although he's done some bad stuff, none of it is why he's in jail. Instead, he's been unable to shake this mysterious nemesis who has his name, his tattoos, and a similar upbringing. Will W Not what it seems Saying too much about what I really think this story says would be a major spoiler, but what I'm sure of is that you cant take what's being said at face value. This is one of those stories where you read between the lines. Will Williams swears he has a doppelganger. He assures the reader that although he's done some bad stuff, none of it is why he's in jail. Instead, he's been unable to shake this mysterious nemesis who has his name, his tattoos, and a similar upbringing. Will Williams vs Will Williams, and our unreliable narrator's story is that they are two distinct beings. I don't know the original, but this version told from a modern point of view, by an admitted drug user, is gripping. I thought it was authentic and though I didn't care for some of the language it fits the character. It's only confusing if you try to make sense out of Will's literal meaning. If you acknowledge his obvious issues and consider the possibilities, what you'll feel is not confusion but a more complicated mixture of feelings, including helplessness.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... This is another dud in the Disorder series for me. I haven’t read the Poe story, William Wilson before so maybe I would have enjoyed this more if I had? Who knows? I liked the premise of the story but it just doesn’t work for me. The story is narrated in the first person and I usually enjoy this POV but it doesn’t work for me here. Will is paranoid and clearly an unreliable narrator. I found myself unable to believe that someone else using his name and cop https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... This is another dud in the Disorder series for me. I haven’t read the Poe story, William Wilson before so maybe I would have enjoyed this more if I had? Who knows? I liked the premise of the story but it just doesn’t work for me. The story is narrated in the first person and I usually enjoy this POV but it doesn’t work for me here. Will is paranoid and clearly an unreliable narrator. I found myself unable to believe that someone else using his name and copying him committed the crimes he went to prison for. The writer didn’t make me believe this. I would have believed his version of events if there had been some proof of the doppelganger rather than the sole word of a paranoid prisoner.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I do not know what to think about this or how to rate it. I found the story interesting. Did I believe him? I am not sure, because most people in prison say that they are innocent of the crime they are sent there for. If this is the story he is telling to prove his innocence, well it is a good one but not believable. I have not read the Edgar Allan Poe story that this a retelling from. Maybe if I read that story I would have a clearer understanding of what is going on, but like I said previously I do not know what to think about this or how to rate it. I found the story interesting. Did I believe him? I am not sure, because most people in prison say that they are innocent of the crime they are sent there for. If this is the story he is telling to prove his innocence, well it is a good one but not believable. I have not read the Edgar Allan Poe story that this a retelling from. Maybe if I read that story I would have a clearer understanding of what is going on, but like I said previously I found the story interesting. That is especially so seeing that people always believe there is someone out there that looks like them. 2.5 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anomaly

    Fascinating But Over Too Soon I loved the flow of this tale - the way it felt like actually reading a transcription of someone speaking naturally. It feels authentic when reading, and the emotions the character feels all come across wonderfully. I just wish the ending were more conclusive or the story lasted a little longer. I'm left wondering whether Will suffered a mental illness or truly was haunted by a sinister, paranormal doppelganger.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Modern re-telling of Edgar Allan Poe story Criminal in prison tells the story of how he ended up in there. I never read the original story but this story just did not ring true with me. It seems the whole story he blamed an identical looking kid with the same name for all the really bad crimes he was accused of. Least favorite of the series so far.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Krystal Gibson

    Apparently this is based off of an Edgar Allen Poe story, one I haven't read, so it really didn't make much sense overall. I didn't care for this one at all. I don't mind being confused in a story if it all comes together, but this one didn't. I get his mental state was off, but this wasn't spooky or scary or mysterious at all.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vonny Farrell

    Superb writing. If she didn’t read some Stephen King as a kid I’d be shocked, because her narrative is clean and clear and psychologically intense like his. But, the stuff about the school? Classic Edgar A. Poe...it made me smile, because I actually taught in a school that had rats in the walls. I look forward to more from this talented writer!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tara Jo

    Kept me on the edge of my seat I really enjoyed how the book was written in the language spoken. Page after page the story was getting even better. Then it stopped. That's why I rate it with 4 stars; I wished it hadn't ended so abruptly. I wanted more!

  17. 5 out of 5

    BL

    This is my first book by this author Namwali Serpell. This was part of the Disorder collection series and was kind of weird for me. I am not sure I would read another book by this author but it was a short story and did not take long to read. It does leave a lot to the imagination.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    This free from Audible/Amazon short story is a modern retelling of an Edgar Allan Poe short story which I have not read. The narration was done well and I liked the story well enough to seek out the Poe version.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Andrew

    One life One life or two! Was the narrator seeing ghosts, was the other Will real or a vision trying to stop hm from doing bad. You grab a copy and decide for yourself. Highly recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    TNae Wilcox

    A page-turner! This author hit the story out of the park! The narrative drive and language made the reading experience wonderfully horrific and real. I’ll definitely be looking her up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jami

    This was a short story and part of the Amazon Disorder collection. The story was well written and did a good job showing someone in mental health crisis. I never read the Poe story this was based on so I have no comparison.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Out of all the books in this collection, this is the one I found most intriguing and interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Interesting Poe retelling.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Loved the modern resetting, but I feel like she could have plumbed a little deeper with it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    carrie martin

    Not impressed This story was kind of boring and it didn't make any sense to me. It was hard to keep up with the story

  26. 4 out of 5

    turnerrbee

    Will Williams It was a good read. Helps you understand the inner visions of a confused personality. Makes you want to help, but know that it is beyond your expertise.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Leaves you wanting more to the story. Good read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Onionboy

    I could tolerate the non-stop profanity if there was a point to the story, but there was not.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    A trip down mental illness that someone in that school system should have spotted before the kid ended up in juvie and then prison. Unfortunately, this is probably quite the norm today.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Dunton

    This was my favorite story of the entire collection. I loved the narrator in this one. He made me feel like I was really in the story.

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