Stephen to the rescue
As I don’t have the time, I want to respond very briefly to Michiko Kakutani’s review of The Kindly Ones. This is the most inept, ill-perceiving reviews of the novel I can imagine (though one other runs it close). “Aue is clearly a deranged creature,” she writes “and his madness turns his story into a voyeuristic spectacle”. Well, that is true only to the extent to which one ignores how Aue’s fall between life and death determines the narrative and how we should thereby read it. But, of course, Kakutani speaks from a position of moral and psychological authority. As someone employed by a newspaper that manufactured consent for invasions of sovereign nations with the consequent death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, she has nothing in common with Max Aue. Clearly.
Although he may be making Michiko and Michael’s argument for them—it’d be easier to feel we are all a little Max Aue if Max Aue was a little more like us—he at least has helped bump the book back up my list a bit. And I’m really looking forward to what he has to say when he has some more time.
Maybe I’ll start in on it tonight.