Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

On the Edge of Reason

On the Edge of Reason - Miroslav Krleža, Zora Depolo A satire or two has come out in recent years that didn't make much sense at all to me, and On the Edge is a better book than other satires I've read recently. This guy has the nerve to say something he's really thinking: he rightly criticizes a man who is bragging about having shot 4 would-be burglars as they fled. So the protagonist started with my sympathy. And everything that happens to him after that is surreal but somewhat plausible, as social commentary. It works.

But the main character is always up and slapping people when they say things he finds ridiculous. This also works as part of the satire -- think of how many violent acts we would commit if we slapped all those saying something stupid and indefensible! But it happened so much that the man became a charicature of himself, no less ridiculous than those around him. So again, it works as a better satire and better social commentary than others I've seen. But it's not much more than that. It doesn't really work to get my ire up or make me want to make changes, since all humans in the story are ridiculous and unrelate-able. It was not an emotional read, but without doubt an interesting one.