Monday, October 02, 2017

Reader's Diary #1677- Jaume Cabré, translated by Liz Castro: Pandora

Jaume Cabré's "Pandora" tells of a gutless man who finds himself hiring a hit man to off his wife. However, when a different, more acceptable solution presents itself and he no longer requires this extreme measure to be rid of her, he is unable to call it off.

It's a great example of a story where the protagonist is not likeable but it doesn't much matter to one's enjoyment of the story. In fact, it just might help. In any case, despite the out of the ordinary situation, Cabré's descriptive inner monologue for this character sells the idea and even makes it relatable just as long as you've been in any situation that, through poor choices of your own, has spun out of control.


Buried In Print said...

Gah, this idea of it even mattering that a narrator be likeable. It seems like it has grown in prominence even as we as people have become less likeable. :) [tries to be likeable while being cranky]

John Mutford said...

I think it matters if the writer seems to intend the character is likeable but fails at getting that across. I've read a few was the character is meant to be quirky and funny, for instance, but just comes across as annoying.

But I see your point- likeability is far too emphasized in book reviews.