Sunday, August 06, 2006
It's A Satire... Maybe...
Last week I finished reading a small novel by Clifford Chase called Winkie. Winkie is a teddy bear who has come to life and gone out into the world, only to be arrested and and tried for terrorist acts he had nothing to do with.
The book is broken up into three or four sections, but mainly there are two parts to this book. One-- Winkie looking back on his life and how he got to where he is now, and two-- Winkie's present life in prison and in the court room.
The looking-back parts are very strange. For example, there is a poop theme in these parts. I think this was supposed to have something to do with affirmation of life or function as an equalizer, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the looking-back parts were very odd, and yet sometimes dull.
The parts in the present are the good parts. They're outrageous too, but in a far more enjoyable way. These parts are the absurd, satirical parts. Everything from Winkie's sad, mentally deficient cell mate to the wild time-traveling (one can only assume) witnesses from famous trials gone by (for example, the Scopes Trial). I read most of the last third with my mouth hanging open in shocked awe.
Overall, Winkie is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. I believe it was intended to be a commentary on our times, and it does make that point. However, that point is somewhat diluted.
Should you read Winkie? If you think it sounds at all interesting then yes. I'd love to be able to talk about with someone else who's read it.