Monday, April 03, 2006


It is a good thing that I didn't realize that Chris Lynch was the author of Freewill before reading Inexcusable, as the former is in an inconclusive race with Planet Janet to be the WORST teen book ever, or at least most hated in propria persona. Had I remembered this, it is entirely likely that I never would have read this NBA finalist. Which would have been sad. Not because I liked Inexcusable, as it isn't a book a normal person would exactly like. Rather, it is an interesting exercise. Take the inexcusable crime of rape and tell the story of the unreliable perpetrator of the crime. See it through his eyes and POV.

This is the first author in my immediate memory who uses the unreliable narrator as more than just a gimmick - more than just a device to conceal information from the reader. Lynch's Keir (can I say how much this name annoys me? especially since his sisters were named Mary and Fran) is himself completely unable to see facts that he doesn't want to see. It is not that the author is misleading us; Keir denies reality in favor of rose glasses and thus creates a dangerous perception - since Keir is misleading himself, he cannot help but mislead us. Although he is a very troubled young man, one still can not find much empathy for him, as he has become the worst kind of bully - he really has no idea what he is doing. He believes that he is a "good guy" and that if certain actions would not be done by a good guy, then he couldn't possibly be guilty. A fatal step in logic. It was not a fun read. But it was intriguing and it was nice to get back to Teen Reads after such a long, uncharacteristic absence.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post -- I am intrigued and now want to read it, although I know it's not going to be, like you said, a "fun" read...I skimmed it, and I remember thinking that this guy is a complete jerk for denying what he did. Hmm, I guess if I read it in it's entirety, I may get a different picture of his character.

Anonymous said...

The thing that fascinates me about Chris Lynch is that his writing is either sublime to the point that I need to lie down and have my tummy rubbed, or it's so awful that I have to get up and immediately throw the book away--not set it aside, but literally throw it away. "Slot Machine" and the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy were exquisite . . . . the He-Man Woman-Haters club sucked beyond compare. This book takes a concept he has played with before and really expands upon it, leaving him somewhere in the middle of his writing spectrum. I guess I'm saying I can appreciate what he's doing, but I didn't actually think it was a terribly good book. Cory