Lacking Character by Curtis White
Melville House Publishing: 3/13/18
eBook review copy; 208 pages
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.
My review copy was courtesy of Melville House Publishing.