The Seducer by Jan Kjærstad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book defies description.
Or rather, I will fail at describing it. That being said, I will willfully fail at describing this piece of new-classic Norwegian literature by calling it an extremely funny sexcapade of a magical penis. Yes, a magical penis. You've probably heard about it. They're usually attached to a Gary Stu.
AND YET, Jonas, our magical stud, is also a WIZARD at everything because he naturally gets the full sweeping talents automatically from every woman he manages to seduce.
It would be absolutely absurd and atrocious if it wasn't so eye-rollingly funny. And the novel doesn't even have the FEEL of a humorous piece. It reads somewhat dire and emotional because we keep bouncing around an epic framework of his wife's murder and ALL THE MEMORIES of his entire life as vignettes couched within ALL the most minor details that eventually make up an epically cool building of a single character that I admit I grew to love.
Just not because he's so stultifyingly brilliant at anything he puts his hand to.
Indeed, the whole structure of the novel is all kinds of brilliant for real. An endless tirade of moments from his life that doesn't apparently have anything to do with the dire scene in question but EVENTUALLY becomes super-important. Multiply these by a bazillion and you've got yourself a prism of a character as seen by so many instants and the effect is FREAKING AMBITIOUS.
All the props. I'm really amazed.
Of course, I was VERY often annoyed as hell about Gary and the magical penis. But oh well, right? The annoyance almost always transformed into me muttering, "Ohhhh, pllleeeeaaaaseeeee..." and enough eye-rolls to make my eyes pop out like I just came out of a Warner Brother's cartoon.
BUT it worked. Strangely enough, it worked.
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