Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Am Coming To Live in Your Mouth

Extract from my real-time review of a Glen Hirshberg book HERE.

I Am Coming To Live in Your Mouth

We’ve been coming here a month. I’ve never seen anyone fight like you do.”

An enormously powerful treatment of terminal illness, as Kagome and others care for Joe who has for many years been riding the hoped-for remissions towards an inevitable riddling death: a sense of crossword and other word puzzles or computer games as part of the tumours’ horrendous ’riddling’ of his body, too, perhaps. I don’t want to give the impression however that this story is not an entirely serious nocturne of pain, despite there being, just as one example, a retrocausal form of the ’Constantinople/ It’ joke together with the weaknesses of the carers (Joe’s wife Kagome, mother, cat, Hospice workers who visit and friend Ryan (and his strangely apt connection with playing a”ukulele” and as a useful Scrabble word)) – their weaknesses and strengths. “But why did Americans always focus on the death part? What else did they imagine angels were for?” And the central image of fighting back against cancer is here portrayed as a ghost or role-play character of haunting shuddering strength… we are never sure, and I’m not going to spoil things by trying to make things clearer in this ‘review’. Suffice to say, this is yet another Hirshberg fiction that has affected me deeply. Truly deeply. And Kagome: OK, Game? We’re never sure how far we can go in such circumstances. Or let go. “…then froze as the START NEW GAME? message appeared.” (25 Mar 12 (today being my father’s birthday – who died of MND in 2007 after a long battle): 10.55 am BST, i.e. now no longer GMT)

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