Ran Prieur's Reviews > The Jokers

The Jokers by Albert Cossery
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it was amazing

Normally I don't like fiction that sends a message, but Cossery's message is radical, beautiful, and surprising: Human society is an unredeemable monstrosity that feeds, and is fed by, the dishonesty, lifelessness, insecurity, and blind obsessions of individual humans. Mostly only children and crazy people can see through it, but if sane adults can manage to see through it, they become powerful and dangerous.

Cossery despises the system, and also despises both reformers and violent revolutionaries. By taking the system seriously, they give it power, and the authorities secretly love being angrily opposed. The better move is to make the system look ridiculous. The heroes of this book conspire to bring down a corrupt governor by putting up posters that praise him so strongly and absurdly that it becomes a scandal.

It is impossible to imagine, without reading Cossery, how someone's attitude can be at the same time so cynical and so full of life. This might be his most overtly political novel. It's not as happy as A Splendid Conspiracy, but it has more great lines.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 3, 2014 – Shelved
April 3, 2014 – Finished Reading

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