josh (joshc) wrote,

book: his illegal self

Last week I read His Illegal Self [$]. The story was nice enough, but I think that what I liked best was the off-kilter and economical prose; the way that it takes a few chapters before you really know what's happening and why; how the uncertainty of the plot is reflected in the way that things are described. James Woods explains this much more effectively in current issue of the New Yorker provides a much better explanation:
One of the secrets of Carey’s capabilities as a storyteller is a serious commitment to what is known as free indirect style, or the bending of third-person narrative around the viewpoint of the character who is being described. ... A child is here decoding the universe, and the novelist expects the reader to decode that child’s inventive solutions. It is characteristic of Carey to throw us into the depths of his sentences and let us swim for ourselves. [newyorker]
It's my favorite kind of review, but if you're someone who worries about being "spoiled" then maybe it's worth filing away until after you've read the novel for yourself. I often wish that more critics were freer to write about the whole thing that they're reviewing rather than just the parts that they can tell you about to convince you to see the whole thing for yourself.

On the topic of marketing, isn't it weird that this book has its own trailer? AND, on the topic of obfuscation, isn't it odd how the kid on the cover looks a lot older when you can only see half of his face?
Tags: books

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