I am insanely far behind in blogging my books for 2012, so without further ado lets turn to the appalling BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood.
This dire book won the Booker, which after this and the THE FINKLER QUESTION, I'm beginning to regard as a mark of shame.
It tells the story of two young women whose father is slowly going bankrupt. The oldest one agrees to marry a rich man to save the family. She lives a terribly constrained life, which she enlivens with an affair. Her sister comes to live with the family and eventually kills herself.
The story is told primarily from the perspective of the older sister, as an old woman in the present. She lives a very dull life, and this is for some reason detailed for us in excruciating detail. If you have any familiarity with the tastes of the Booker committee, you won't be surprised to hear that this is not the only narrative voice. The story is interwoven with a science fiction story (how innovative, I could just puke) and a pretentiously third person account of the affair.
Here's a representative extract, a description of a man in an old photograph:
. . .he's holding up his hand, as if to fend her off in play, or else to protect himself from the camera, from the person who must be there, taking the picture; or else to protect himself from those in the future who might be looking at him, who might be looking at him through this square, lighted window of glazed paper. As if to protect himself from her. As if to proect her.I mean honestly. And to think I used to like this writer. Who was I?