Geez, I guess it’s been awhile—nine months since my last review, in fact. I think the problem is this: the world has turned to shit. How can one allowGeez, I guess it’s been awhile—nine months since my last review, in fact. I think the problem is this: the world has turned to shit. How can one allow himself the luxury of distraction when all the things that used to matter (e.g. facts, words, truth) no longer do? I feel as though...as though disconnecting from reality, even temporarily, is akin to complicity. Remember when you were taught that witnessing an evil act but doing nothing to stop it made you just as guilty as the one committing the wrongdoing? Well, broaden that concept and that pretty much sums up my life. I can’t do anything without worrying what horrible things are happening that I don’t know about, and which of course I need to know about, and ultimately do something about or else I’m a failure, which is clearly a vicious cycle because it is something over which I have no actual control—this shit is way too big for me to do anything about on my own, except to stew and seethe and writhe and tweet. So a few pages of a book, or a few minutes of a sitcom, is about all I afford myself. And not becauses I don’t want more! It’s just that...the world might be falling apart (and likely IS FALLING APART!!!1) and here I am reading about a couple of soul-suckers luring prey into their orisons and lacunas, whatever those are? What kind of person willingly gives up everything that has ever mattered to him just to lose himself in a fucking daydream?
Except that’s just it. I’m stuck in this hyper-vigilant, wide-awake world where it’s high-octane coffee allthefuckingtime or else Earth implodes on my watch, so I’d super better be watching.
About a month ago I got into a fight with this asshole who tried to tell me that I was making too much of things, that “none of this really affects me.” Jesus. AYFKM? I didn’t even know how to respond, partly because I wondered if he were right. What if all this stress, this fear, this expectation of impending doom, is nothing more than a manifestation of my own self-righteousness?
Well, you know what? It isn’t. This is my world and my country and my goddam life, and it matters to me so therefore it affects me. And somehow I found the opportunity to distract myself just enough to read this tiny book and you know what? I liked it. Maybe this reading thing could actually go somewhere.
A stranger on the Internet instructed me to review this book, so I guess I’ll do as I’m told.
This book is okay. Actually, the second half of this bookA stranger on the Internet instructed me to review this book, so I guess I’ll do as I’m told.
This book is okay. Actually, the second half of this book is great, but still not great enough to resurrect the full work to anywhere beyond its three-star label of mediocrity.
Often with mystery novels there is a slow but steady build of intensity, a momentum that gathers in a such a way that the reader remains riveted to the end. That occurs here, as well, so I don’t ascribe my disappointment with the first half of the book to any lack of momentum on its part. Instead, I think I was turned off by the writing. In fact, I’d say that the plot drive in the second half was so well executed that it overcame what I would otherwise have to describe as naïve, whimsical writing. But in the author’s defense, he was (at the time of this book’s initial publication, anyway) a naïve writer. The Other was Thomas Tryon’s first novel, written after having spent much of his early adulthood as a Hollywood film actor.
The Other is a frame story, but the identity of the narrator is unknown until the book’s denouement. The story involves two twin boys, one of whom is a vicious evildoer while the other acts as his doe-eyed apostle. Of course, every evil deed performed is accompanied by telling amounts of circumstantial ambiguity so one could probably see “The Big Reveal” coming a mile away, especially if he’s seen enough M. Night Shyamalan films. Still, the reveal (and the events which occur after it) are well executed, as I stated earlier, which makes this book—all being said—ok....more