Days Gone By by Jerry J.C. Veit
Caleb, a young man with his life ahead of him, has shut himself away from the rest of the world. After a fatal accident four years earlier that led to the loss of his cherished nephew, he was left unable to walk without a cane and suffers from an intense case of agoraphobia—the fear of being around other people. As the fourth anniversary of his accident and nephew’s death passes, Caleb finds himself in the midst of past family, friends, and loved ones offering him a chance to change his future.
Jerry J.C. Veit’s Days Gone By, a play in three acts, brings a new twist to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The author delightfully updates the story for modern times, but also reinvents it by creating a more human Scrooge and delving deep into his insecurities and fears. Veit has removed any extraneous detail from his dialogue which takes some getting used to, however it creates not only a Harold Pinter-esque feel to the play, but also lets the reader get to know Caleb and his family much faster. All of the characters are well fleshed out and the relationships between them have been fully developed, leading to a complex story. Veit’s attention to detail in characterizing and character relations lends this piece to be utterly believable which gives the reader an opportunity to experience all of Caleb’s grief, shame, fear, and pain which are contrasted with the supposedly-joyful holiday season. Days Gone By offers compelling new characters in a seemingly-old tale that will keep readers thinking about the story long after they’ve stopped reading.
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