Monday, October 21, 2013

Spreadeagle: A Novel by Kevin Killian

Spreadeagle: A Novel by Kevin Killian
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I got to 65% of the book, and I think I’m done.
I heard of this book when it was nominated for a LAMBDA Literary award, although the awards people themselves don’t speak well of the book:
“…the initial bulk of the story feels disjointed, making it difficult to follow the plot, and hard to initially become invested in the fate of the protagonists. If you’re able to make it through to Part II, however, you’ll be rewarded with an engrossing and compelling examination of a small-town gay man’s descent into obsession, addiction, and crime that comes close to making you forget about the fractured nature of the preceding chapters.”

So I made it to Part II, holding out hope as the review suggests. Part one was indeed difficult to follow, fractured, and in bad need of a re-write. This was made worse by the ebook version I purchased for the Kindle from the publisher which didn't have divisions or page breaks between sections so it all ran together and one character would switch to the next without any notification. Also poorly formatted in lots of parts, don't know why no one could be bothered to fix this.

I get to part two and I read:
“Maybe the genius who invented cellophane came to it by accident, just started seeing through everything one hundred per cent because he (or she) was in love with someone who would turn out to be all wrong for them.”

This didn’t seem to make any sense to me. I also started reading of a subplot to defraud people out of money by making them HIV positive, and thought to myself “What the hell am I reading?” Like John Irving’s In One Person, I’m reading it, kind of going along and not liking it or disliking it, and then something happens you really dislike and I go “What the hell am I reading???” and stop.
I liked the fact that everyone thought the author in part one was Armistead Maupin. Other than that, I had real trouble figuring out who was who and why I should care.

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