December 08, 2005

Talking To Yourself

At first I was put off by the second-person narrative style of Chris Lynch's Freewill. It took me several pages to get accustomed to it, after which its purpose became clearer. Will, the protagonist, seems to have a voice in his head—his conscience, the little devil or angel on his shoulder, or some other internal speaker—and that's who is doing the talking. The "you" isn't you or me, it's Will himself.

Once that became apparent, I got drawn into this brief, fast-moving story. Like the narration, the plot--the backstory--the main character himself--are all a bit mysterious. Clues come in flashes; the story and the character's thoughts are both fragmented, as befits somebody suffering post-traumatic stress. I wasn't even sure what the story was until I finished. (This confusion was one of the major sticking points in the reviews I read on Amazon.) However, if you don't mind constant enigma, it's a decent read--a bit disturbing, a bit surreal. Though it doesn't explore things in quite the depth that I feel the story deserves, there are some surprisingly poignant moments here, and it has a hint of the thriller about it. Mysterious deaths in the town—what does Will know? What won't he let himself know? What does the rather obvious symbolism of his name have to do with all of this? Read it and find out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, I read this book about a year ago, but I didn't post on it because I couldn't put together what about it was so disconcerting. I'm still not yet sure I liked it! Or disliked it?