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.