Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"The Blood of Others"

I finally finished it, and I think it's going to factor into the book version of The Alice '65. Because it's a classic of existentialism but I felt it was self-indulgent, in the extreme. The style changes, constantly, from third person to first and back, again, often without rhyme or reason. One sentence it's about Jean Blomart and what he's doing, or Helene and her self-involvement, and suddenly it's a first-person account of what they're doing and thinking. Very distracting, and not in a way that's experimental or engaging or thought-provoking.

A while ago, when I first got the book, I wrote a small piece about Adam working in his father's book shop and wanting the read the book, and his father telling him to ask him mother about it, since she'd read it years ago. I didn't know why that came up...but now I do. Adam's mother is a strong woman who found Helene to be childishly drawn and locked into doing things for the man she loves instead of just for herself.

It's not until the last 10 pages she senses there is more to her life than that, that important things are going on around her...and then she's dead. She's not even given the right to have her death explained except in the most oblique of ways...and I'm not giving anything away about the story, by saying this; it starts out with Jean sitting with her as she dies from a bullet wound.

He's given all the existential angst you can imagine. The intellect. The caring. The curiosity. The action.  The sensitivity. All Helene does is want him to love her, and when he doesn't she drifts about with nothing to anchor her. And that's what Adam's mother disliked about the book -- it was written by a woman to glorify a man.

I think that reflects on what Casey's doing in A65. She's pissed at Lando and wants to get back at him instead of just realizing he was a shit and being glad to be rid of him. Granted, her ego's hurt. Her feelings. And that's not easy to let go of. But she's using Adam to smack the guy down, meaning she's still making her decisions based on Lando's actions.

I'll need to work it in better, but it's given me a hint of where the story wants to go. I halfway think the reason I decided to read the book was to get my mind working on it so I could segue in once OT is done.

Hmm...serendipity strikes again...maybe...

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