How does it feel for a guy to run naked?

24 Mar

Status – Reading book 3, D Eggers – A heartbreaking work of Staggering Genius

As you may have expected from my previous post, I started book 3 eagerly. After a couple of days, I am already half way through. Which says a lot knowing how tired I can get at the end of the day, trying to catch up with my 2 y old boy all day. Book 3 sure has reached my initial expectations so far.

One of the main reasons the book has caught me so much is the author’s ability to share his main character’s perspective. I am not a writer, but I believe that one of the arduous tasks when you write is to get the reader attached to, and understand well, the characters. What they think. How they feel. Their expectations. Their desires.  And, as a reader, I found the task even harder when the author, like Eggers, chooses to speak using the first person. I remember reading other books written in first person with some “I” here, “I” there, with no feeling of getting into the skin of the character. At all. While I sure do with with Book 3. The book relates to a 20+ year old guy, taking care of his young brother after the death of their parents. I am a 40+ woman. But when I read the book, I feel like I am a 20+ year old guy, taking care of my young brother after the death of our parents. I can feel his frustration. Share his laugh. Endorse his responsibility. When the main character worries to leave his brother with a baby sitter, I worry. When he races hallways in socks with his brother, I can feel the speed, the skids, the loss of balance. I even got an idea of how it must feel for a guy to run naked. If you don’t, read Chap VI. How brilliant. One may say that the author narrates his own story, making it easier to have his main character fully credible. Not sure it is that simple. I don’t think I could write a text on running without a bra, and have guys feel the pain :-)

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