I'm writing this one in adverse conditions.
Normally I write my assigned reading reviews waaaaaaay in advance, right after I read the book. I like to get things finished early and come back as discussions occur between my classmates and I find ideas worth stealing. I read The Sculptor months ago and couldn't quite get my mind around it. I knew it had a lot of problems and there were a lot of sour notes, but I couldn't quite a handhold into the discussion.
I haven't really dug into my classmate's opinions on this one, but I gather from the murmurings that this wasn't a popular read. I can't wait to get into their opinions but for now I have to grind out my own. This blog post is due by the end of today and I'm on a train to Albany in three hours. Bad, bad Joe.
Anyway, here's my hook: The Sculptor isn't really a psycho.
It's impossible to do what The Sculptor does if he was actually psychologically disabled.
Dude was organized, efficient, and he had no internal monologue that contradicted with reality. He was sane. He was evil, but he was sane.
He was supernatural. No one can move a 1000 pound murder tableau surreptitiously in the dark, I don't give a shit how big their lats are.
He was kinda like a fan-fic psycho. He had a token ka-raaaaazy back story but he was also obscenely rich and had a gigantic workspace and everything he needed for his kookadook murder parties. And he had perfect "sculpting" technique and medical knowledge and art knowledge and....yeah.
Professor Boss Man said something that stuck with me. This dude is a Batman villain. That's cool. I like Batman, but I recognize that "comic book reality" doesn't really cross over into our own. A character like The Sculptor would make a great Miller-era puzzle for the Dark Knight to solve. He doesn't work in a book attempting to ape the "real world."
Markham reads less like an FBI agent and more like what a sensitive artist would THINK that a smart FBI agent would be like. Also, his love affair with Cathy Hildebrant would have gotten his ass deservedly fired AND feels like it belongs in one of those corny romance novels where time traveling vikings join the Navy SEALS and fall in love with a woman in the Navy WEALS.
Look it up. It's totally a thing.
Oh, and Cathy Hildebrant. Man, she was kind of an asshole, wasn't she? I mean, dude, it sounds like your husband really was trying make amends and you were merciless towards him. Also, for an art historian, you sound a lot like a male was writing you and changed your character from an angry teamster at the last moment. It didn't help that your husband was the great squandered opportunity of the novel. The author could have said something interesting about marriage and fidelity and forgiveness. It really, really seemed like the dude was trying and the writer undercut it by making him a cad when we got into his point of view.
Also, as a side note. Half Korean, half German? Haaaaawwt. May certain exes of mine never read this post.
Anyway, I did like all the art stuff. I didn't know anything about the art of Michelangelo and he made that shit come alive. Lot of troubles around the edges, though.
Anyway, I'm out.
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