Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Blind Date : Jerzy Kosinski

Blind Date
By Jerzy Kosinski

When I was a kid, I went to a library book sale and picked up a couple of books from Frank Garrett's Killsquad series.  They focused on a group of military outlaws (kind of like the A-Team) except with passages of violence that tried to max out on the 80's action awesomeness extreme.  I still remember one sentence that went something like: He grabbed the guy's balls and crushed them into a fine powder, enjoying hearing him scream like a little girl.

I bring this up, not because Kosinski writes that hilariously awfully.  Kosinski actually has quite a succinct writing style and the novel is structured as a sequence of very very short episodes, which makes it  very easy to read.   However, the actual content comes across as awfully adolescent, in that Kosinski seems to want to cover a check-list of sexual taboo subjects:

  • Incest - The protagonist has a sexual relationship with his mother on page 9! 
  • Rape - As a young teen, the protagonist befriends a rapist and goes on, himself, to use his friend's techniques to rape a fellow summer camp girl he's been eyeing.
  • Racial stereotype of Asian submissiveness - A friend and the protagonist trick an Asian woman escorted a group of Asian politicos into being their sex slave for a few days
  • Prostitutes/Transexual - The protagonist gets into a relationship with a prostitute, only to find out the prostitute just an operation to remove his/her 'tumor'
On top of that, the protagonist is a sort of James Bond-like political crusader.  He creates and plants a bomb to kill a Prime Minister that tortures political scholars.  He sends a message / gets revenge on the powers that spied on and killed his world-class Olympian fencer friend, by tying up one of their members and sticking a sword up his butt.  Oh and he manages to be in the network with this very rich, powerful people.  

This also reminds me of Frey's Million Little Pieces, in that it made me wonder whether Kosinski was projecting all of the things he, himself, wanted to do onto this character. 

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