Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Monkey's Mask

This is the first verse novel I've ever read and it's amazing. I haven't been much of a poetry person, apart from the old faves. I guess that's what I thought poetry is, all rhyming verse, or if not rhyming, tedious at the least, as I always struggle to get the meaning. This could be my fault but really, when I read, I want it to be effortless and floating, not as if I have the fucking writer him or herself strapped to my shoulders, getting impatient with me, pointing out where my dullard brain just isn't getting it.

The Monkey's Mask combines a few things I usually don't like or don't seek out in my readings so it had its work cut out.  I don't tend towards genre (detective story); I find poetry had work (see above) and there's no reason for me to seek out 'lesbian literature' (if that's what it could be called) other than for pure curiosity.

But you know, I couldn't put this book down. I raced through the first half in one night, cosy in bed with my hottie (the rubber one, not the man of flesh and bones) and then finished it the next night (last night). It was incredible. The pace, the voice, the action. The mystery. Her choice of words, the way she was able to deliver the meaning and layers of meaning in so few words. Sometimes I get the feeling of true connectedness with a writer (not in a stalky way, well er maybe) but this was possibly the truest, clearest connection I'd experienced while reading a book. I felt I knew what she was meaning as she wrote it. Weird? Possibly. Does this make me gay or a detective fiction fan or both? I don't care, all I know is I loved this book and it made me want to collect her oeuvre and proceed from beginning to end.

Delightfully wonderfully incredibly pleasantly surprised is probably the best way I can express my reaction to this book.


Melita said...

Not sure if you've read her other verse novels yet, but they are all great. 'What a Piece of Work' and 'Wild Surmise' are my favourites after 'The Monkey's Mask'. If you like her verse novels, I reckon' you would like her poetry, too. She is so gutsy and vital. I was lucky enough to have Dorothy Porter as a teacher, and she was amazing. Not sure if you know that she passed away recently. What a loss. A collection of her love poems has recently been released.

Melbourne Girl said...

Yes, I knew she'd died. I'm kind of connected to someone who was connected to her. I do intend to look up those other verse novels. Did she teach poetry? (I'm guessing she did.)

Monkey's Mask was amazing. I want to read it again.

Did you see the movie?

Melita said...

Yes, I saw the movie. It was ok, but nothing on the book.

Yes, Dorothy taught poetry. Such a bold, funny, talented and generous person.

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Karencxwg said...

Yes, I saw the movie. It was ok, but nothing on the book. Yes, Dorothy taught poetry. Such a bold, funny, talented and generous person.