That was a lot of work!
Needed doing though. I'd forgotten the book even existed. Maybe it didn't.
But it does now.
If you read the thing, and you have my admiration if you did, you may comment here, as you wish.
It's a book, it's a book. what a interesting book.
What stands out about the writing is its uhh, authenticity. It took a while to realise, it seems flowery, but it isn't, it seems excessive but it isn't. It's strange to read a fiction* that is so 'real'. Many authors write in cool snazzy lines, fist pumps and explosions all round, but this is simpler and generously more complex. No pretense, just honesty.
*May not be fiction.
The book lopes along with a quality that I couldn't quite pinpoint til the end of it; mystery. It is by turns poignant, exciting and emotional, but above all it conveys a appreciation for the mysterious. It is different from regular fiction, it is communicating something else. Much of the story seems to parallel what Crow has told of his past and so it seems that the book may be a retelling of his experience in the Sonoran desert, a metaphor maybe a analogy, or maybe it really happened, I don't know and I don't think it matters. There is more going on in the story than what the story appears to be about. The effect more important than the cause.
I finished reading it and thought 'hmm thats it?', and then a day later thoughts started bubbling up, joining the dots, interconnectedness became apparent, symbolism etc. It was kind of like reading the Tao Te Ching, at first it doesn't really seem like much at all, but it grows.
I enjoyed reading the Merlin Factor, and intend to read it again at some point, maybe after formatting it for my kindle :-)
- [+] Spoiler
Correlation, Jacques dies in France in the same way Johnny dies in England, shot through the chest.
Symbolism, when Johnny dies he breathes flames out through his mouth, breath meditation?
Symbolism, Johnny insists Jacques' dory is abandoned to the ocean. Abandons the vessel/flesh, detachment.
Animal totem, whales. Jacques on recognizing a specific whale; "I can never tell the things apart." :-)
Michael pulls parasites from the whales eye, gaining insight/vision.
Marion and bondage fetish. Very sweetly written, I have no experience/understanding with this sort of thing but the way it was written cuts through all that. It's in the book for a reason, probably some variation of the themes explored with Marion could be applied to every mans psychosexual development. At first it was strange but it becomes, uhh, I'm not sure what, something more.
The last chapter was very moving, the love between Johnny and Daphne seems so very authentic, had me thinking about my girlfriend, almost made me cry.
Danger Dan would be in his seventies when he's captain of the passenger liner at the end of the novel. Why are women still attracted to him and having sex with him?
Character naming: are David and Michael different people? Are Marie and Daphne different people?