Thursday, May 20, 1999

The Ginger Man

by J.P. Donleavy

A great big stream of consciousness slice of life book about the boozing, lazy, nasty, cruel, selfish Sebastian Dangerfield, an American in Dublin who is supposed to be studying law at Trinity but instead drinks all day, chases women and exchanges abuse with his wife.

To be sure, Sebastian is an unpleasant character, but that doesn’t bother me.  I was simply bored by the events of the novel.  I didn’t find it, as all the blurbs promised, an exuberant, witty, wildly comic escapade.  Donleavy’s writing style is good and his language is rich (and the book contains amazingly graphic sex scenes for its time), but I wasn’t interested in what he was writing about.  And, as with The Horse's Mouth, the same nothings seemed to happen again and again: Sebastian avoids creditors.  Sebastian beds women.  Sebastian gets drunk and waxes outrageous and lyrical.  Okay, but must there be so much of it?

two stars

No comments:

Post a Comment