I really tried to make it through Réhel's Tatouine. As I mentioned a week or so ago, this is definitely an interesting narrative voice, though coming from a character I would completely avoid in real life. I'm not of the mind that "disabled" characters need to be paragons or flawless, but this guy had no ambition in life (other than moving to Tatouine where he could be away from everyone) and apparently he decides to try to live out this fairly stupid fantasy in Algeria, as it was Lucas's inspiration for Tataouine. Setting aside that he has basically no life skills (not sure I've read of such an incompetent person since some of the feckless artistic types that I hated so much in Barbara Comyns's work), doesn't speak the language* and needs intensive medical assistance for his cystic fibrosis, what could possibly go wrong? Anyway, the guy just stumbles through a fairly meaningless existence in Montreal, making one bad decision after another.** It's like the literary equivalent of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, but without the star power of David Cross behind it. Nonetheless, some people like watching slow-moving train wrecks, but I do not. I couldn't even get through one episode of Todd Margaret (and I have also largely given up on Ricky Gervais who sort of specializes in this sort of dire comedy), and I am now bailing on Tatouine about halfway through.
I still have reasonably high hopes for the other books from QC Fiction, but maybe I will temper my praise a bit, given this disappointing first outing.
I am also not entirely sure if I will stick to the Canadian book review challenge. If I do, I imagine I will mostly be reviewing poetry, given how many books I have from Brick Books still to read. Given that I didn't finish this book, it would not be fair to consider this a formal review, though clearly I would not be recommending it to anyone...
* Granted he should be able to find a moderate number of Algerians who speak French, due to its colonial past, but if his intention really is to move out to the hinterlands of Algeria, then he will mostly be encountering nomads who speak Berber or more occasionally Arabic.
** Not that I am that likely to ever finish my own novel about a somewhat hapless character in Toronto, but I think I will have to give him a bit more motivation and inner spark, even if he is often a bit over his head, just to avoid coming up with someone who the readers tire of so quickly.