Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Experiment: The Resurrectionist by Jack O'Connell

I'm going to try an experiment. I blindly picked up The Resurrectionist from the new releases rack at the library. I've not read anything by this author, and I have assiduously avoided reading anything about it on Amazon or elsewhere. Here's the deal: I'm going to put my impressions and such in upcoming posts as I'm reading the book (as opposed to a short review after I'm done, like I usually do). I have no idea if this will lead to decent posts; I have no specific goal. Let's just see what happens, eh?

Here we go:

Progress: Chapt. 1 & 2 pages into Chapt. 2 - pp. 18.

Hated the first paragraph. I'm one of those readers who think the first paragraph should grab you in some way ... by the (proverbial) balls, by the nose, by the frontal lobes, by the limbic system - just get a grip. The reader should not finish that crucial clutch of sentences thinking, "wha?" as I did. Only later does the character's reading a comic book become important - his son was a comic book fan. Still, it would have been better to place it later.

However, then we're off like a shot. Very good. The characters are realized beautifully so far.

The premise is our hero has a son in a coma, and he's taking a job as a pharmacist in a hospital that specializes in coma patients, though the job is beneath his abilities and training. His wife is dead, too, but we don't know why or how yet.

We are taken on a tour of the facility by a fantastic character, the head of Human Resources of all things, who knows the facility intimately because she took a job there for the very same reason; her husband was in a coma for 20 years. The descriptions of the patients evokes the setting very well. Some look like they're sleeping, others are curled into nightmarish gaunt fetal fractals.

The tour guide inadvertently gives the father the bad news that his son probably dreams, which is horrific to him; he has been assured before that boy does not, most likely for his own piece of mind.

Our hero even has a Raskalnikov shoebox of an apt. on site so he can be directly below his son.

Nice nice.

Then chapter 2 is the start of a comic book story. Oy. My guess is we are in the dreams of the boy in the coma. That might be interesting. We'll see. It had better the boy's dreams not be a clever artistic device.

To be continued...

No comments: