This week I had the dubious pleasure of reading Busy Monsters by William Giraldi. This was a story about a man whose fiance takes off with the captain of a vessel determined to find the Kraken of mythos. First, he decides to try and stop her from leaving and shoots up the boat. After he gets out of prison, he learns that she has actually managed to find one of the beasts and capture it, so he decides he needs to out do her and catch a Sasquatch. And his guide is promptly eaten by the man-ape. (He thinks. He ran away from the horrible noises and back to civilization.) And this is just the first 1/16 of the book. Needless to say things keep going downhill from there for the poor man.
The style of this novel is what I find most interesting. This is a first person narrative that is rather unique. Each chapter is actually an installment of his column in a magazine wherein he is memoir-izing his life as it happens. This lends itself to an incredible amount of self-referential and meta-writing opportunities which was fun and quirky. His column was widely read enough that when he met new people, they often critiqued his writing.
And what a unique style of writing it was. The language was very high art for such surreal and hyper-realistic hijinks. Unlike Zazen, which I reviewed last week, the absurdly high language of this novel worked well. If the material had been presented in language more synonymous with the material, it would have been…predictable. But the juxtaposition of the entirety of the thesaurus along with the absurd actions of the main character, well, that was just delightful.