Once more unto...the really quite terrible religious novel. Granted, the horror is not quite as bad as what can be found lurking ominously in my sidebar, but still.
We'll see how long it takes before I go scrambling for some ballet. Or maybe the new Morse episode; I haven't watched it yet.
8:39 PM: Uh-oh, a quotation from Revelation. Our novelist is starting to go apocalyptic on us.
8:47 PM: Is a "smart mortuary chapel" anything like a smart classroom, I wonder?
8:47 PM: (Yes, I know what "smart" means here. Just work with me on this, OK?)
8:56 PM: It wouldn't be a controversial novel without a lonnnnnng list of everything wrong with Roman Catholiciszzzzzzzzzz....
Where was I?
8:57 PM: *gulp* Another scary illustration. Is this some sort of undead priest? Seriously, check out the eyes, staring into the poor maiden's soul:
9:01 PM: If only "perversion" meant something more interesting.
Excuse me while I pet this cat, who is trying to break into one of my desk drawers.
9:15 PM: National stereotypes ahoy!
9:17 PM: Apocalypsizing again.
I could do with some bad puns right about now. As it stands, we've just got bad allegorical names ("Poundtext").
9:22 PM: It's the Dialect Chainsaw Massacre, Part XIII.
9:23 PM: Whoo-hoo! Fight! Fight! Fight! This is a bit more action than we generally get in these novels.
9:24 PM: Alas, our novelist is about to become Very Serious, which he carries off about as well as he does humor. Time for a inset conversion narrative.
9:27 PM: Yet more fisticuffs.
9:29 PM: And now yet more national stereotypes, Irish edition.
9:29 PM: I was wishing for puns, wasn't I? Careful what you wish for, etc.
9:34 PM: I appear to have missed some integral plot point, possibly because I was thinking about chocolate.
9:35 PM: BRAIN FEVER! Because of lobster. And Puseyites.
Let this be a lesson to you all: Puseyism and lobster are two tastes that do not go together.
9:39 PM: Ooooh, more clerical plagiarism. Where's Turnitin when you need it?
9:40 PM: Oops, the curate was about to deliver the same sermon as his rector. This reminds me of the time one of my colleagues had two students turn in the same paper.
I think I'm trying to "relate" to this novel. Oh, dear. Excuse me while I look for some convenient ballet.
10:03 PM: Twenty-three minutes of ballet later, I return. I shall stick it out to the bitter end.
That is, if the thought of dark chocolate with sea salt doesn't distract me again.
10:06 PM: James Bond meets anti-Catholic controversial fiction! It's a secret agent from Propaganda! (Agent 666?)
10:08 PM: Apparently, secret agents from Propaganda are quick-change artists, capable of transforming themselves into septuagenarians at a moment's notice. This is the sort of useful information one really looks for from controversial fiction.
Time to pace around the room, pondering the dark and mysterious secrets of the universe. Or, barring that, my academic vocation.
10:17 PM: Not content with dialectizing, the author now tries drunken dialectizing. That is, the character is drunk, not the author.
10:19 PM: There are so many hyphens in this paragraph that it looks like Emily Dickinson wrote it after chugging three Red Bulls.
10:23 PM: THE PUNS THE PUNS MAKE THEM STOP
I'd continue, but the cat has suddenly taken over my office chair.
10:40 PM: The cat is still on the office chair, but we shall make do.
Incidentally, if my readers are unclear on this novel's plot, they may rest assured that that's because it doesn't appear to actually have a plot, anything resembling a plot, a simulacrum of anything resembling a plot, or, indeed, the representation of a simulacrum of anything resembling a plot.
10:44 PM: There's a Mr. Doolittle here. No relationship to the doctor of the same name, I'm sure.
10:45 PM: I SAID STOP WITH THE PUNS ALREADY
The author doesn't seem to be listening to me, despite the all-caps.
10:46 PM: "Nimrod Wildman"?!
10:50 PM: The Dissenters are spouting prooftexts again.
10:51 PM: Wow, the phrase "Popish plot" just appeared.
10:54 PM: I don't know about you, but I find that having an entire box of prooftexts dropped on my foot really hurts.
10:54 PM: But then again, no puns in the last few pages. Perhaps the author has started paying attention to me?
10:56 PM: "So many other parochial incidents have been brought before us that 'St. Dorothy's Home' and its inmates have somewhat been lost sight of." It's always so refreshing when an author owns up to his utter incompetence. If only it happened more often.
10:58 PM: I'm an English professor. I don't do the numbers thing. What is a word problem doing in my controversial novel?
11:02 PM: Ah, the old "I'm dying, so I will now spout theology for several pages" routine.
11:06 PM: The main character...died? Just like that?
To be clear, it's not the main character who was spouting theology.
11:07 PM: And he's buried, with plenty of snark at Puseyites &c. That's...that's it? This is the end? Pfffft. This squib isn't just damp; it's been left to soak outside in a massive rainstorm.
Incidentally, the only novel advertised at the end of the book is this novel, which seems terribly redundant, somehow.