|I didn't realize until the end that the black parts are Morse Code! Duh!|
I'm instituting a new rating system here at Estella's Revenge that fits nicely with my new vision of skewering literary fiction. It's very simple, ya see...I will rate the books I read "Snuggle" on the positive side or "Skewer" on the negative. I'll get to my rating of C shortly.
It feels like it took for-FRACKIN'-ever to finish C. On the one hand, there's been a good bit of work twirliness going on, but on the other hand, the last 1/4th of the book was an asswhip (specialized literary term). I mentioned all of the protagonist's weird lifestyle "things" last time: incestuous, suicidal sister; wonky bowels; WWI bomb dropping. Since my last check-in, Serge Carrefax spent some time in a Nazi work camp, cavorted with actresses and spiritualists, and had a tryst in an Egyptian tomb. The real asswhippery stems from the fact that Serge gets hooked on heroin during his WWI flying days and the novel gets progressively more jumbled and harder to follow as he becomes more inebriated.
Final thoughts on the book: pretty brilliant in a lot of ways. There are endless interpretations of the title. There are a lot of "c" words and themes one could fashion around them. I stick to my previous interpretation, that for me C is largely about connections. Given all the screwed up happenings in Serge's life, he's looking for connections between his interest in wireless technology and the larger world. He's looking for connections to other humans after his sister kills herself. It can be very difficult to like Serge since he's a pretty aloof, disconnected, dysfunctional guy, but I thought it was fitting. This story would've been a completely different and largely uninteresting novel if Serge weren't a bit of a social underachiever. He wouldn't have done half of the stupid, weird things if he weren't a little damaged.
Pub. Date: September 2010