Friday, March 01, 2013

Beastly Milepost: IJ

Page 666. Wallace is capable of writing a compelling tale, or at least a few short tales, but they are embedded in a vast matrix of horrific dreck. He likes to chop up his stories and feed them to you in little bits, interspersing them among each other. They are, we can see from here, converging.

The overwhelming theme is deformity and depression: psychological, social, physical and societal. This is his best prose, actually. Not surprising from someone who committed suicide due to his own depression - psychotic depression, in his term.

The book has lots of fans. I still have very little idea why. Much of it is like a parody of every vice of pompous literary pretension - an absurd vocabulary, most of which is not found in my Kindle's dictionary, warped and crooked run on sentences, and preposterous dialog. Character's are distinguishable almost entirely by their particular physical deformities or outrageous costumes. Nowhere is there much hint of ability to sketch and define actual characters. The cast is more like a collection of wax museum dummies complete with giant sandwich boards declaiming their particular deformities.