Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Disappointing All Around

(Read for The Complete Booker 2010 Challenge, not to mention my own lifelong quest to read all the Booker winners.)

You may remember my previous post about this book. Despite an intense desire to abandon it (not to mention the encouragement of my friends!), I soldiered on through. After a while, I actually got interested. Despite the difficulty of the stream-of-consciousness point of view (and the resulting obscurity of the plot), it was intriguing in a masochistic, train wreck way.

I kept thinking that Sammy the narrator was so unreliable and his viewpoint so skewed that there were revelations lurking around every corner. When the police suggested a theory about what Sammy might have been up to during his blackout, I perked up and began sifting his narrative for clues. I kept a sharp lookout for indications that he wasn't really blind at all, just pretending. I paid attention to hints that he was involved in some political activity bordering on violence, and that people really might be after him because of it. I tried to figure out if his girlfriend really had left him, or whether he'd murdered her during this blackout, or whether she existed only in his imagination. And I became more and more certain that there was going to be a stunning revelation at the end, when all the pieces would snick into place like the tumblers on a combination lock.

None of that happened. The book ended as obscurely as it began. There was no slam bang finish. There was a tiny, telling turn of phrase in the final sentence, but that's it. Very unsatisfying. Frankly, as Sammy might say, it doesnay seem worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Now if you had read the end before reading the middle, you'd have known there was nothing to look forward to, and given up the book sooner. Just a thought. :p

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