The Intuitionist – pg1-135

At this point I’m still trying to get a feel for this book.

After some clear grammar errors and a bit of political soap boxing it seems to be composing itself in the standard detective/conspiracy model of Chinatown and the like.

In dialog, mistakes like “more wiser” may not be mistakes at all, but rather characterization. But in descriptions in a third-person piece that isn’t otherwise written colloquially it just feels like amateurishness.

I’m generally a fan of choppy broken sentences that create a flow without worrying about always having subjects and predicates. Whitehead is playing that game. It works most of the time, but could have been used more sparingly for greater effect.

The strangest thing is that this book is written in the present tense. This gives it a screenplay feel. (If you haven’t read screenplays then this may not mean much to you.) It’s odd at first, but one becomes used to it. He’s using it to set the main story apart from flashbacks, which are in past tense.

The constant reminders of how special the heroine is for being black, and female, and an intuitionist are getting muddy. Those would all be fine attributes if they didn’t each compete for being her greatest challenge. I’d rather see one of them as the main obstacle. But I feel that the author is letting his need to make a political point upstage his narrative. Unfortunately that only ever weakens one’s point.

But I’m still early in the book, so there’s a lot that could be done with it.

All the genre archetypes are falling into place. I’m interested to see what Whitehead does to repurpose them and make this story fresh in more than it’s setting.

2 Responses to “The Intuitionist – pg1-135”

Leave a Reply