Progress: Into Chapt. 10 - 49-103.
My primary impression thus far is, even though the book is good, the story's a tad gloomier than it needs to be. Yes yes, we're dealing with a man grieving over his son who's in a coma, but we've also got the comic book element, so we are delving into the absurd. Because of that, I wish there were more humor present, as there was in the first chapter. Even gallows humor would be welcome.
I know in the "modern literary novel" that all must be shite, the world a jaundiced version of its formal wonderful self before we came down from the trees and screwed it all up, everyone is damaged and suspect, so maybe that's the goal here. It certainly feels that way thus far.
Another thing that made me hoist an eyebrow is in the comic book, the sailors who were ferrying the freaks to refuge throw them overboard about a mile away from shore (which in itself is not that big of a deal), but when they fight back, the sailors move to rape the hermaphrodite. "The Limbo" comics, TV cartoons, and collecting cards are aimed at the youth market, say 9 to 14 year-olds. Gang-raping a hermaphrodite would seem to be a bit rough for that particular demographic.
I'm still impressed with the way O'Connell sketches characters. They come to life in my mind wholly formed within a few short sentences. That's a gift.