It must be a question of perspective. For me, it's as if I am standing outside a window looking in, and as I read, it is from the perspective of a mother of sons. Certain pieces linger -- Geryon's observation of stones at the beginning of the story- Carson has a unique ability to capture through mere glimpses the honesty and beauty of a child's understanding of his relationship to the world around him, trust in his brother because that's how the world should work in the mind of a 5 year old child; Geryon and his mother enjoying their Tuesday night routine- Geryon's mother's appreciation and validation of his sculpture autobiography; and perhaps what still pulls at my heart is what Carson was able to convey in the baby-sitting chapter- Geryon's retreat when his mother leaves and his springing to life with her return.
As I read the novel, I had to force myself not to judge, but to observe; it was easier the second time through. Still, my heart aches for Geryon, and his vulnerability. Carson beautifully captures Geryon's plight "outside and inside." My chest still tightens as I recall Geryon's struggle as he is left to fend for himself, first by his brother's apathy, then by his brother's violence, the cruelty of love lost, and finally the cost of his freedom.
"Who can a monster blame for being red?"
My heart aches for Geryon as he searches for meaning and an understanding of the distance between himself and the ones he loves, and his place in time and space.
Alice Munro captured the sentiment best: "this book is amazing -- I haven't discovered any writing in years so marvelously disturbing."
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: JONATHAN CAPE & BH - TRADE; 1 edition (15 August 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0224059734
- ISBN-13: 978-0224059732
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)