Do not be deceived by the Five Star rating. I will have changed my mind about it many times, I expect, before finishing this review reaction. I wanted to simply mark this one as Read, letting other readers debate its starredness. Or, replace those five unfilled-in stars with a .gif which would flash repeatedly: Five Stars, One Star, Five Stars, One Star, Five, One…
Others think they have plans for you but you keep a memory of your future free.
This is one of those books I should hate. Anyone who has seen my reactions to DFW, Bulgakov, Hawkes, et al. (why does “et all” look more correct?) would likely tell me: Don’t bother, Puma; leave this one alone. At another time or in another circumstance, I might feel exactly that way. Its linearity, it storyline, if you will, so jumbled, so askew; conveyed in shreds of dialogue, pulling events forward and backward before ricocheting them along on a tangent, the war story that isn’t but is, the coming of age novel, that isn’t but is; punctuation that adds little or no clarity, partially italicized words, run-on sentences (which, of course, I really like) confuse before opening up. I have visions of a frantic editor throwing up his or her hands and shouting: Who the Hell knows?
Told at a breakneck speed which demands reading at a similar pace just to keep one’s head above water. Oh, and tons of water. I couldn’t help thinking, this narrator is suffering from PTSD, something is randomizing his thoughts, making everything urgent, and I still think that’s possible, but this isn’t exactly a war novel, as the blurb suggests. It is, but it isn’t. Not exactly.
There’s doubledness afoot. Things begin to make sense, never for long, yet ultimately and of a sort.Logic is where and what you make of it:Unreal becomes real when it hits you.
She, in this case, being the narrator’s sister…don’t ask.”I wish I remembered everything you read to me, but I kind of do,” I said. “I remember what I didn’t,” she said.
And speaking of that doubledness, in a passage that seems to have been written just for me (or, perhaps, those others of you forever locked in the ‘60s):
Five stars—for the fun of it, to be on the right side of (literary) history, for the hits, and most importantly, for Umo, all three-hundred pounds of him. Like most of what I read, this one won’t be for everyone—it’s frustrating, kinda crazy-making, though, for me, well worth the ride. A real, and likely wonderful review by the one, the only (coreader) Spenkerz should follow in the near future; talking this one over with him, albeit briefly, while reading made it even more fun.I said I had taken a hit or two and came out better on a particular dive I had explained the competitive fine points of, though was that even it?—I had taken a hit or two.