Catalina's Reviews > I Look Divine

I Look Divine by Christopher Coe
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really liked it

At our local library there are "quick choice" shelves, not just once happened for me to find little gems there. This is just one of them, a slim and fast to read novel yet your gears are constantly moving throughout all the 100 and a bit of pages.

We are presented with the "portrait" of Nicholas sketched by his brother. The flow of memories that contour Nicholas for us is rooted in grief and kept going by a picture, a life size picture of Nicholas in a Japanese robe in front of a wall of skulls found in Chichén Itzá. Is the picture staged to reflect Nicholas's own life? Was it just a coincidence to laugh upon or was it a life goal?
"it was the winner of the match, that it was not the loser, who gave up his life in sacrifice, and that men trained hard to win the honor.
[....]
I do not know if Nicholas remembered what he read to me in laughter, or if he knew, through all the years that he could see himself posed against it, framed in mirrors in this room, that the wall of skulls behind him was where the winners' heads were laid."

While Nicholas comes across as a vain person, very much concerned with his looks and always wanting attention, he is silently humanized: is capable of empathy (the dog incident, the whispering to babies and animals), he definitely cares about his brother, in a slightly distorted kind of way he even limits the gifts he receives from his lovers(I wouldn't accept something that I couldn't buy myself). In my view the interesting aspect is that we see this portrait from his brother point of view. A view distorted by jealousy; the negative aspects being enhanced by it or maybe just imagined, misinterpreted: "when Nicholas came, he was their miracle"; "Mine apparently was not"; "but that her younger son, the little one, was more brilliant"; he mention how Nicholas had beautiful hands, his hair had volume, he was a good looking child/man while there was a weak resemblance between them etc. I believe he was probably slightly obsessed with Nicholas, just like his face was reflected everywhere by the mirrors and the lacquer! And while Nicholas might have been indeed a vain, hollow person, his brother wants us to hate him, hate him with a vengeance just as he did.
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Quotes Catalina Liked

“If I see one more Virgin Mary, I'm going to get knocked up”
Christopher Coe, I Look Divine


Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 8, 2015 – Shelved
August 8, 2015 – Finished Reading

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