Sunday, May 3, 2009

I wandered aimlessly as a cloud

Loe's greatest gift was creating such an genuinely directionless and disoriented character. The fact that nothing really happened in the book reinforced this authenticity, but it left the book's only value being in relating to the protagonist. 

I think Mom and Dad really hit the peg with the hammer with some of their analysis. I think I fall in another part of the unit circle of admiration, curiosity, and the general sense of being nonplussed as to where the book was going. I would say it was truncated, but it hardly started itself in the first place.

I did not realize I felt like this until Dad said it, but I think it's great: "I had the sensation our author was making fun of us for finishing his book, for expecting something --- or else I missed a whole lot!

This is the way I felt overall: "I found myself feeling a grudging admiration for the author, Erlend Loe. He relinquished plot, restricted himself to a few characters, and had *little* by way of setting."

Nonetheless I derived much satisfaction from reading it. It found it very funny, and fantastically witty. I annotated while I read this time. Here's a quote I like. My reaction is illustrative of how I felt about the book. 

"I fell all who cycle are my friends. One big family. When I meet others who are cycling, I sometimes say hi." When I read this I just burst out laughing. Loe's ability to create a character that thought this statement of supreme triviality might be interesting to a reader is remarkable. Especially the "sometimes I say hi" part. It just caught Loe's state of arrested development (to borrow from Dad) so perfectly.

The style of the book was unique. This is undoubtedly it's core appeal. I think it would be difficult to replicate. I think Loe almost accidently got it just right. 

No comments:

Post a Comment