An Unobtrusively Profound Potboiler
Profundity is seldom found in the most obvious places. One famous example is the fictional rivalry between Salieri and Mozart in Peter Shaffer’s play ‘Amadeus’. Salieri, a picture of studied seriousness and sobriety, laments the superior talent of the ‘boastful, smutty, infantile’ Mozart.
As a 2012 Salon article titled ‘National Book Awards: Genre Fiction Dissed Again’ pointed out, genre fiction is literary fiction’s poor relation when it comes to critical acclaim. But accessible works of art often offer as much or more social, historical and psychological insight as those that are ostentatiously highbrow.
The premise of ‘Blindsided’ would not be out of place in a light-hearted romance, but it gradually takes a turn deep into the thriller genre. Narrator Ralph, a cerebral, circumspect Englishman, accompanies his partner Clare to Sardinia on a working holiday. They have been together since she was still a student and he a young lecturer, but now that they’ve reached middle-aged ennui, separation seems imminent.
While renting a car, they encounter the square jawed American Tex, whose folksiness suggests for all the world that there is less to him than meets the eye. By Tex’s side is the puzzling Cass, whose taciturnity leads Clare to speculate that she might be autistic. As it turns out, Cass is multilingual and multi-layered, and not in entirely benign ways. You can read the whole review here.
I am passionate about creative activities like songwriting and prose fiction, and the mechanics behind how a piece succeeds or fails. That is why I like to review other artists’ work. If you have an album, book, or other work you want reviewing, please don’t hesitate to hit me up on mcgeary at gmail dot com