Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Memoirs of a Porcupine

Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou, 150 pages

According to African legend, all people have animal doubles, some good, some bad. This short novel is the confession of an evil animal double, a porcupine who is an accomplice to his human master as he kills an alarming number of people, with less of a reason each time. Finally, the porcupine puts his foot down, unable to take another life.

It's an odd premise, and an odd book. Though separated into sections, the novel has no paragraph breaks or punctuation other than commas. That's right, the whole book is one big run-on sentence. Makes it a bit difficult to get the hang of, which can be problematic in a 150-page book. That said, this stylistic choice by the author certainly conveys the sometimes-rambling, sometimes-frantic confession. Definitely worth the read though.

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