This book poses question after question – mad, peculiar, and often very thought-provoking. Unlikely though it sounds, it’s a work of real charm.
Might I ask you a question? How do you feel when the prose that you are reading suddenly erupts into the interrogative, into a question posed directly to you? Are you irritated? Do you feel challenged, intruded upon, put on the spot, rather as if someone has just pointed a gun at you? Does it break the narrative trance in a way that you find disruptive and off-putting, much as you dislike those plays in which a character breaks the fourth wall and turns to directly address the spectators? Does it feel, that is, like an attempt at an annoying form of audience participation? (And if so then are you, like me, the sort of person who tends to avoid plays where you think this sort of thing might happen?) Or do you have the opposite response – are you pleased and gratified that the author, who up to this point has perhaps been behaving like a self-obsessed monologist, a party guest who just can’t stop talking about himself, has suddenly recognised the existence of persons beside themself and shown a degree of interest in you? Are you, that is to say, flattered to be asked?
Read also: The Interrogative Mood