Monday, March 2, 2009

The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred

That really is the title. This is the kind of book that will appeal to people who like stories about freakish deaf mute dwarf creatures, that read minds and have Sasquatch-like back hair. Intrigued? How could you not be. The language of the novel is lucid and regularly breaks the rules, the narrator (the POV is 3rd person limited, kind of) often allows himself omniscience a consequence of the title characters telepathic abilities. Weird, quirky, bizarre all things I look for in a novel and I wasn't disappointed. I hope they translate more of Carl-Johan Vallgren's work into English.

There was a point in the book where my suspension-of-disbelief underwent a trial of faith. Essentially the most beautiful woman in the world is attracted to our hero Hercules, who it must be said is not only not attractive, but probably one of the most repulsive creatures I've had described to me in recent memory (the above details of his unfortunate visage are only half the story). Now I can accept mind-reading midget monstrosities, hey they could happen, somewhere; but said creatures hooking up with hotties? Ridiculous. He must have used some kind of mind-trick. Anyway just as I was getting down on Mr. Barefoot (he descends into utter evil assholery at a few points), some of his decisions were hard to stomach, but strike me down there's a point in the book where he experiences a visionary redemptive moment. I was floored, nothing in reading had ever quite moved me in the way that reading this did. So, well done Hercules, well done Vallgren, you've earned my unreserved praise, consider yourselves awesome.

No comments: