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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The Obligatory Book Review of the Day(tm) 
25th-Dec-2005 05:38 pm
Rose
*sing-song* Oh ariss_tenoh~? Sending holiday cards by registered mail = massive headaches with the post office for yours truly. They wouldn't deliver it, then sat on it without telling me for over a week and a half, and when I finally went to pick it up, "Give me the name of the sender." "Err...Ariss...? I don't know which name she used...(--;;;;;;" *post office worker glowers ominously at me* "No can do. Come back with photo ID." (When, meanwhile, I've picked up hundreds of dollars worth of books from Japan from this self-same post office without a photo ID.) So now I'm an evil post office fraud person. Argh! (But thanks very much anyway for the card. ^_~ )

This is my second time typing the review up. I mistakenly deleted without saving the first time. Double argh!!!! >_<

O'Neill, Jamie. Disturbance. 1989. London: Scribner, 2003.
Summary: Nilus Moore is really and truly disturbed...only for awhile you think that it's everything around him that's going crazy, and he's the only one holding it together. But, fact of the matter is, he's got imaginary friends, his father's body is rotting away in the bedroom, he's got his pregnant cousin under lock and key, and he's got everyone fooled, even his uncle who's trying to evict him.
Comments: Well, this novel was a seriously gothic read that struck me as more American than Irish, despite the nationality of the author and the Irish setting. Think "The Yellow Wallpaper." Claustrophobia and madness. At least this wasn't the prose equivalent of At Swim, Two Boys, no obscure, modernist posings here. Indeed, the language itself was deceptively-simple; the subtlety and confusion lay in the gradual revelation of Nilus's own madness--he's a very "disturbed" boy. The theme of "disturbance" reverbrates throughout the novel on multiple levels, from matt-black puzzle that Nilus likes to partially dismember every day, to his refusal to recognize that he is not a child but rather a teenager on the cusp of adulthood (there's a fascinating masturbation scene partway through the novel with Nilus's imaginary friends looking on), to the changes in Nilus's own life that he's trying to avoid, to the social/economic/political disturbances that echo through the lives of all the characters and are constantly alluded to. In some ways, the novel reminded me of Jim Grimsley's Winter Birds; both are about the life and more importantly interior life of a boy who you just KNOW is going to grow up to be different, somehow. Unlike Danny, however, I suspect that Nilus may never find a fulfilling, normal life. It maybe be that he is too far gone into his schizophrenia. In any case, the novel is skillfully crafted but, for whatever reason, strikes me as falling just short of true mastery. Nonetheless, I'm definitely going to look into O'Neill's other novel Kilbrack, now, and see how that one is.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st printing
Rating: 7/10 - A finely-crafted novel that's perfect for a time when you need something dark and, well, disturbing. Highly recommended.
Comments 
25th-Dec-2005 11:01 pm (UTC)
Huh, mine has 'registered' stamped on it, but it was just dropped off in the mailbox! ^_^;
26th-Dec-2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Give your mail person/post office a wrist slap. Registered means that it must be signed for in person by the person it's addressed to (and if they don't believe it's you, obviously, they demand photo ID). :P
26th-Dec-2005 01:49 am (UTC)
happy holidays!
26th-Dec-2005 03:00 am (UTC)
You too!

And may your days be merry and bright... ^_~
26th-Dec-2005 03:18 am (UTC)
and may the light for all your book readings be bright. ^_^
26th-Dec-2005 03:26 am (UTC)
*giggles* I wish! I read by one lone 75 watt bulb in my room. ^_~
26th-Dec-2005 03:38 am (UTC)
*Casts a Light spell
26th-Dec-2005 03:55 am (UTC)
Better make it "Continual Light"... XD
26th-Dec-2005 04:02 am (UTC)
*Does so and gains more MP
26th-Dec-2005 04:03 am (UTC)
EXPENDS more, you mean! ^_~

(Though you do possibly need a bit more magical expertise to do a continual light spell...)
26th-Dec-2005 04:21 am (UTC)
oh poo!
26th-Dec-2005 08:37 am (UTC)
*laughs* Shouldn't you instead be taking this opportunity to beat yourself over the chest and declare yourself "Mighty Wizard(tm)"? ^_~
1st-Jan-2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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