The spoiler: Disappearing off the face of the earth by David Cohen part two

I had a friend in Geneva who went from close to cutting me off when she read my review of The Sea, The Sea, The Sea (repeated to taste) by Iris Murdoch. She was a Murdoch fan. She was deeply hurt by a review which made fun of her idol. Although at the time I thought she was an idiot, the fact is that books we love hold a place in our heart which overtake rationality. I love this book, and it pains me to think that there are people out there who don’t get it.

When I wrote my review of this a few days ago, I was reluctant to give anything away that would cause one to know too much of the book prior to reading it. However, I can see that this has led to not enough information in some respects. So, this is the spoiler and the upgrade, since I gave this four stars at the time, whilst wishing I could give it five.

More than one nimwit has read this book thinking that they ‘got’ the twist early on and that therefore this book has failed. But this book is not meant to have a twist. The point of the book is that it is about a person with schizophrenia. He doesn’t know that – but can he know it? Can the part of him that we are barracking for, the part telling the story, understand what is happening and therefore do something about it?

Much as the book may be comic, it has this disarmingly sad fundament. We are hoping the best for a serial killer, who is so ordinary he could be anybody. The author has produced a dysfuntional serial killer we can all love and relate to in no different a way from relating to the family in The Castle.

It is possible that only Australians will get that. We are particularly tolerant and have a sense of humour which permits this book to be what it is. But I encourage non-Australians to read it and attempt to enter the spirit of the exercise. If, however, you are wanting a book that has a clever twist that you don’t get until the very end – or at all – then this book is not for you.


3 thoughts on “The spoiler: Disappearing off the face of the earth by David Cohen part two

  1. I love murdoch most of the time, but I don’t expect everyone else to be fangirl with me.

    I love Absolom, Alsolom of Faulkner; but you might find it a contrived piece of shite. So what. Be honest & true with your analyses and I am happy. Obversely, for much of the smelly vox populi, I am not someone that acquires friends for they can’t deal with this.

    I’m not interested in a clone of myself, but rather folks that can express their opinions in a meaningful way.

    • A refreshing point of view, Peter. Nonetheless, I find it much easier to call out my friends for being offended (even to an extreme) than to deal with people rejecting books I like. That’s despite a lifetime of practice of this happening to me since I rarely read books that are in favour.

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