Read The Monkey's Mask by Dorothy Porter Free Online
Book Title: The Monkey's Mask|
The author of the book: Dorothy Porter
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 36.19 MB
Edition: Picador Australia
Date of issue: November 2nd 2000
Read full description of the books The Monkey's Mask:I preferred to read the poetry in this as prose that had been chopped up funny – and that was fairly easy to do as the poetry was so light and insubstantial that it might as well have been prose most of the time. The story to this sounded a bit daft to me – but then, I know nothing about the Australian poetry scene, so perhaps it is a seething mass of bodies screwing one another followed by the occasional murder.
As a murder mystery this was painfully predictable – annoyingly so, in fact. There is a line in Sleuth where Olivier says that murder mysteries are something like the general recreation of noble minds. But to be that there does need to be some sort of challenge to them. To be honest, I prefer there to be less mystery and more character development – if there has to be a choice. If you can get both working, well, that’s great, but I often prefer characters over plot, if you can’t do both. This does neither. The characters are overly thin cut outs and I suspect only ‘work’ because of the gender twisting of the central character. Making Sam Spade a dyke wasn’t enough novelty to keep my interest. Much of the book seemed to be written for the lesbian sex scenes, which, like most other sex in print, is never really as sexy as you might hope. You know:
Her breasts are not my breasts.
Under her dress
towards my hands
Under my hands
towards my breasts
they stop my heart.
they close my eyes.
she’s not my mother
she’s not my friend
Her breasts suck me.
Now, it could be that I am the only person in the world that isn’t seething with sexual passion after reading this gem of erotic poetry, maybe I’m really nothing but a cold fish – but, if that is the case, so be it.
I’ve had a quick look at other reviews and they are virtually without exception gushing about this book. I find that a little strange, but put it down to the fact that many of them even say they were so surprised they could read and understand poetry while also following the murder mystery that the whole experience left them feeling a little chuffed with themselves. I didn’t particularly like the poetry (although I admit I've probably been a bit unfair in my selection above - which is particularly crap) and found the storyline far too predictable. I’m not sure the sex was ever really going to be enough to make up for the other problems with this one, so while others have seen the sex as an added bonus, I’ve seen it as symptomatic of a more general problem.
If I was going to offer some very general advice to writers, and I concede immediately I have no right to offer such advice – it would be that if you don’t have enough story to be getting on with then adding sex probably isn’t going to make things any more interesting. And adding even more sex, as is done here, is probably going to draw attention to the problem, not make it any less obvious.
There’s a film to this one – I’ve never seen it and am unlikely to as I didn’t think there was enough of a story to really carry a film, although, obviously there would be lots of soft-porn lesbian sex scenes, so I guess that might have made it moderately successful. Like I said, the whole thing seemed a bit daft to me.
Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Eminent Australian poet. A rare proponent of the verse novel. Winner of The Age Book of the Year for poetry, and the National Book Council Award, for her verse novel The Monkey's Mask. She was awarded the Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry in 2001. Died of breast cancer, 2008.
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