Curtis White's long-awaited return to fiction reminds us that the founder of one of American literature's most vibrant and innovative movements is still the King of "transcendental buffoonery."
The story begins when a masked man appears in the night at the door of the Marquis, proclaiming a matter of life and death: "I stand falsely accused of an atrocity!"
Except he's not, really; he's just trying to get the attention of the Marquis (a video game-playing burnout) to help him enroll in some community college vocational classes. And so the exchange gets badly botched, and our masked man is soon lost in a maddening America, encountering its absurdities at every turn, and cursing his cruel fate.
In a time with the crisis du jour, White asks us to remember what it's like to laughto be a little silly evenin order to reclaim what used to be fundamental to us: the strength to create our own worlds.
|Publisher:||Melville House Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Curtis White is a founder of The Fiction Collective 2. His latest book are We, Robots and The Science Delusion. His novels include Memories of My Father Watching TV and Monstrous Possibility. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lacking Character by Curtis White is a witty, puzzling, digressive, meandering fairy tale of sorts, set in N(ormal), Ill. The queen of spells dispatches Percy, a masked courier to deliver a message to the marquis of N. The marquis spends much of his time playing Halo an inadvertently kills all of Percy's companions. The request was for the marquis to care for Percy, an "animated doll" created by the queen. Percy lacks character, but has the skills to survive, which is good, because the marquis doesn't assist Percy. Marquis is more concerned with grandson Jake either finding a job or money. Percy ends up working for/with Fanni, Jake's promiscuous wife, performing "ritual abasement" in exchange for housing. This philosophical novel is a mish-mash of narrators, styles, and low comedy. I really tried to engage with the novel and go with the flow of the presented novel, and managed to appreciate parts of it, but the totality of this one eluded me. There were several messages that could be parsed out of the divergent trails the prose traipses through, and the effort was worth some of these, but not all of them. Additionally sometimes I did always find the comedic episodes all that humorous. In the end Lacking Character is a so-so novel for me. Not bad, but not for me. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Melville House Publishing.