Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lacking Character

Lacking Character by Curtis White
Melville House Publishing: 3/13/18
eBook review copy; 208 pages
paperback ISBN-13: 978161219678

Lacking Character by Curtis White is a witty, puzzling, digressive, meandering fairy tale of sorts, set in N(ormal), Ill.

The queen of spells dispatches Percy, a masked courier to deliver a message to the marquis of N. The marquis spends much of his time playing Halo an inadvertently kills all of Percy's companions.  The request was for the marquis to care for Percy, an "animated doll" created by the queen. Percy lacks character, but has the skills to survive, which is good, because the marquis doesn't assist Percy. Marquis is  more concerned with grandson Jake either finding a job or money.  Percy ends up working for/with Fanni, Jake's promiscuous wife, performing "ritual abasement" in exchange for housing.

This philosophical novel is a mish-mash of narrators, styles, and low comedy. I really tried to engage with the novel and go with the flow of the presented novel, and managed to appreciate parts of it, but the totality of this one eluded me. There were several messages that could be parsed out of the divergent trails the prose traipses through, and the effort was worth some of these, but not all of them. Additionally sometimes I did always find the comedic episodes all that humorous. In the end Lacking Character is a so-so novel for me. Not bad, but not for me.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Melville House Publishing.

No comments: