(Planet Me)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To call this Kafkaesque is to insult Kafka. If the purpose of a novel is to tell a story worth telling, it must also be somewhat improbable. And after all, a novel based on your everyday life would be quite dull and very long. "I scratched my chin absentmindedly again, as the screen ticked over to say the 7:37 was now due at 7:44. I checked my Blackberry and listened to the podcast."

What an improbable set of events this book tells ; a naked man, with a case of rare and absolute amnesia, waking in a mass grave, during a religious war? Four unlikely events in one. You may as well say he woke up a giant mansized cockroach with a liking for Amish Death Metal.

Whilst undoubtedly written with a conviction, and an Author's Message, and no small skill in language and phrase, Jew is perhaps aiming for an audience that is small, and niche. And what can be said on the matter that Primo Levi did not? A small amount. That is the measure of a man's worth.

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