Friday, August 26, 2011
Matthew "Monk" Lewis turns it up to 11
The Monk is a novel that glories in all the most horrendous conventions of the Gothic—there is rape, murder, ghosts, incest, torture, kinky sex with a demon, contracts with Lucifer (written in blood no less)—but it also makes fun of these common tropes. In addition to hilarious horrors, there are prolonged rants against the hypocrisy of the Catholic church coupled with glaring factual errors with regards to said Church. Lewis aimed to entertain and by no means to instruct, and he succeeded.
I didn't take notes on this novel while I was reading it. As with several of the books mentioned in my previous post, The Monk was integral to my getting through the first week of Life After Caffeine. I needed a romp that wouldn't ask me to think too much and Lewis delivered; it couldn't have been a more perfect choice. And having carried this book around unread for approximately 10 years, it's also been a remarkable relief to realize that sometimes the right time for a book really is full a decade in the making. (FYI: It's almost 2 weeks since my last coffee; I think I'm almost okay now. Maybe.)
Gah, what a boring review. I wouldn't post this if I thought I could do better later. The fact is, for the next little while I'm going to be busier than usual and I'm not sure how much time I'll have for blogging; I'm certainly not going to be reading less, if I can help it! I will try to stay on top of things, by at least indicating when I've read a book. But spending a few hours on each post, and doing several posts per Victorian novel...not sure I can engage that deeply for the next little while.
Next up: a likely very short and unsatisfying review of Anthony Trollope's Autobiography!