Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sculptor by Gregory Funaro

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."


What else?

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.



Christopher Shearer said...

Yeah, it was everything I don't like about serial killer books.

Querus Abuttu said...

Most of the opinions I've read on this novel are similar to yours. I can't say I share them completely. I definitely agree with you concerning the physics. No matter what kind of pulley/suspension system I imagined, I couldn't make it believable in my head that The Sculptor could do all of those incredible/dextrous feats of strength.

I did a double-take at "part Korean and part German" too. Was there ever an explanation concerning how her parents met? The description seemed as if it was thrown in there like an afterthought.

Most of my issues with the book were structural. I didn't mind the story itself and there were some twisted thoughts woven in there that were fun to peek into. Good on you, making this by the deadline. It's 3AM here on the 20th, and mine was posted a couple of hours late. I'm not exactly sure when I'll get to sleep.

Hope your weekend is a good one. Peace in and stay noodlely.

D.K. Godard said...

You bring up an interesting point about psychological well being. That is something I will have to learn more about. While I like how meticulous he was, in the end that does make it unbelievable as far as our other killers go. So many of them are spur of the moment satisfy the urge. There's no doubt he's sick but I'm interested in learning more about psychology to understand the variances in criminal behavior.

Rhonda JJ said...

Yes, I agree that the villian formerly known as Christian had to be supernatural. He was a genius. He was freakishly strong. He even possibly survived an explosion of his own home made chemicals (which were uber concentrated, because he's so super). That smacks of other worldliness to me.

And it's funny you mention the multicultural attempts. The mixed ethnicity heroine was interesting. Not as interesting as the attempts at an urban dialect, though, in the conversation between the male prostitute and the villian formerly known as Christian.

Great post!

Michelle R. Lane said...

Um, yeah, pretty much everything you said I agree with, and beyond that, the Sculptor's mom? Jesus Christ, icky poo!