Like it happened to me with the two previous novels by this author, this book happened to me also. As in, there I was reading, and the gorgeous writing caught me and carried me through the pages.
The starting issue is difficult to read and heartbreaking. Mixing of cultures, a despicable man and a sweet, naive girl. Reading Nigel's though process was forever icky, and, like I mentioned in some progress update, an abridged manual for abusers. It is startling and scary how accurate many of his observations on human behavior are, and how he uses normal expectations and disbelief as a refuge in audacity (at one point he observes how he's being over-the-top in his villainy, and how it's to his advantage, because who would believe such a discourse happened in real life).
Once Betty enters the stage to stay, it becomes more like the standard Hodgson Burnett fare. Much like Sarah Crewe, she's a plucky, resourceful angel. It's one of those unbelievable characters that one still can't help but love and be charmed by.
It is a lovely book that tackles a thorny issue in a somewhat rosy but insightful way, and I liked it very much.
Alright, there is a lot going on in this little piece of poison dripping, mind-fuck of a story, and I don't know that I'm up to the task.
First of all, because it's the immediate, I call bullshit on that end (I'm talking of the 21th chapter that was cut-out of the USA version; if you've not read it, this paragraph will make little sense). I read the author's introduction and explanation, and I more or less agree that our empathy and sympathy tends to grow as we mature (and we are more or less savages as kids and teens), but having read the book, I don't believe this level of inner cruelty and utter disregard for other people, or the length it was self-indulged and brought out onto the world can be called "a folly of youth" and hand-waived like that. I do not believe that level of monstrosity is something that can be redeemed, worked out, grow bored out of, and the person just go on to be some well adjusted adult.
I also do not know what is to be done with such a person to be honest, even if my knee-jerk reaction if I was the victim would be to kill them. Brain-washing into effectively loosing their free will does not seem to be the answer though.
Next: There is a very strong undercurrent of the battle of the generations going on here. The way money is treated, those articles in the diary, and the mention of day hour and night ours, and whom the street belongs to, and even, who has the power in the first part vs. the second, and what it consist on.
Actually, the three parts are distillate poison on abuse of power: young hooligans for first, then the police and other punishing/correctional institutions for second, politicians in the third. Everyone screws everyone over, and in the end I hated the lot, little Alex, and his little followers, and the police, and the jailers, and the priests, and the doctors, and the politicians, and the social fighters, and even his victims.
Shit, I wouldn't recommend this one, even if I found it oddly compelling *shudder*. It is interesting, and effective, but a vicious way to provoke thought, maybe unnecessarily.
Done. Onto "I am Pusheen the Cat", ice-cream and a helping of crack fics for the soul.
"And is there Hell, or do we make our own on earth?"
"The dead don't stop"
“Poison spreads like ink in water.”
"This isn’t some half-assed morality tale."
Said the devil.
That was awesome! I love it when pop-culture classics are really all that.
This one kept surprising me:
- Because I had NO IDEA what it was about (beyond some vague notion that there was an apocalyptic event, and some plants were involved)
- It changed lanes and directions non-stop (no getting too comfortable here, shit kept happening and fucking everything up)
- The dry, matter of fact and concise way some things were put, like
Oh, yeah, and one day those plants picked themselves up and went walking, whats it to you? Did I mention they are carnivore? Bah! People got over the novelty in a week or so
- And the sassy social commentary.
I was very much entertained, and could hardly stop reading, or muttering exclamations every chapter or so. Classic campy deliciousness. Loved it.