Michael Cohen. He appears in The Forbidden Game trilogy as one of Jenny Thorntons best friends. When we first are introduced to Michael he seems to be a bit nervous. Other than Jenny he’s the only one who hesitates to play the game. You can tell the idea of facing your nightmares does not appeal to Michael, even if it is supposed to be make believe (like they all believe it to be at the time.) And later Michael even hesitates to go to the bathroom due to a fear that Julian or the Creeper or the Lurker will take him away. Than again, his fear doesn’t seem so odd when he actually is taken from the bathroom. Michael’s used to being picked on. That’s obvious. In The Chase Jenny finds Michael picking up papers and things that a couple of other guys have apparently made him drop. Julian tries to get Michael into despair in The Kill by appealing to this, by calling him names and telling Michael that his girlfriend, Audrey Myers, has called him names. Actually, this is the lead in to Michaels change in the trilogy. Like Julian says to him “You’re the one who reads about things because you’re afraid to actually do them.” Well, by the end of the trilogy Michael has faced more than one nightmare, and he’s come out a lot stronger for it. The same guy who would have been squeamish about any type of blood before is now the one who doesn’t seem to think twice about stabbing his own finger. Also, the same guy who would have backed away, ran and hid before, now offers himself in place of Jenny when the shadow men want to take her. Michael is discovering new sides to himself, such as the side that is protective of Audrey and comforting to her.
Let’s not forget of course one of Michaels greatest attributes, his sense of humor. It’s obvious that Michael first became a joker as a way of hiding his insecurities, maybe laughing at himself before others could laugh at him? Michael has a wonderful sense of humor such as when he tells the girls “This isn’t much of a game. No reset.” He’s intelligent, and this is reflected in his humor a bit as well. One of my favorite quotes from Michael is this: “Wasn’t it Sartre who said hell was eternity spent in a room with your friends?” Michael Cohen, an unforgettable character.
The Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith