A Letter From Falconer Prison
Falconer is an unusual novel.
It’s funny. It’s disturbing. It’s contemplative. It’s like a mix of Catch 22, Deliverance, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. To break that down a little further, it has the humor of Catch 22, the graphic, nasty stuff of Deliverance, and the “captivity” elements of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
And I love the humor. One of my favorite surprises in a novel is unexpected humor.
This passage from Falconer is a letter that the protagonist, Farragut, is writing to his girlfriend from prison:
“You are not the most beautiful woman I have ever known, but four of the great beauties I have known died by their own hand and while this does not mean that all great beauties I have known have killed themselves, four is a number to consider. I may be trying to explain the fact that while your beauty is not great, it is very practical. You have no nostalgia. I think nostalgia a primary female characteristic and you have it not at all. You have a marked lack of sentimental profoundness, but you have a brightness, a quality of light, that I have never seen equaled….Your physical coordination in athletics can be very depressing. You have to throw me a tennis game and you can even beat me at horseshoes…”
That’s dry humor, very reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s style in Catch 22.
Problem with this novel is, though, that you’ll go from a paragraph like that to, a few pages later, reading a graphic, detailed prison sex scene or a feline genocide. Did I just say “feline genocide?” Yes I did.
I feel like I need a mental flush after reading parts of this novel. Onward I go, though.
Any thoughts on that excerpt?