15 July 2010

The Numbers Of The Kindly Ones

Just started reading this, just a few pages in and already something has struck me: the scale of it is sending obsessional shivers through me, causing me to focus on the very things the book begins with; numbers. There's almost 1000 pages. 1000 pages. 1000 pages.

I've been away from books since the World Cup, more or less. Read a few bits and bobs: short books. Books that didn't require this attention to... I'm not sure what.

The narrator ploughs through the numbers of the dead; mistaking, realigning, conjoining and the book per se lends itself to these details. The form is the content, at least for a moment. I found myself reading by reduction: I've read 10 pages, that means if i do that if I do the same 100 times, I'll be at the end. I've read 20 pages, if i do the same just 50 times, I'll be at the end.

The numbers are acting like they're in some kind of Ligotti meta-narrative - that short story about writing a short story in amongst the creeping horror. There's definitely something in the numbers. Just a glimpse.

Hope I'm not going mental.

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