The boundaries of this world are forever shifting - from day to night, joy to sorrow, love to hate, and from life itself to death; and who can say at what moment we may suddenly cross over the border, from one state of existence to another, like heat applied to some flammable substance? I have been given my own ever-changing margins, across which I move, continually and hungrily, like a migrating animal. Now civilized, now untamed; now responsive to decency and human concern, now viciously attuned to the darkest of desires.That is a pretty fair description of our narrator's state of mind, and our's if Cox is getting his way with us. His game is creating a delicious puzzle of read. Take this paragraph immediately following the manuscript by said writer/enemy/friend and future victim:
A touching account, is it not? And I am naturally sensible of the encomia that he has seen fit to bestow on me. We were friends for a time: I acknowledge it. But he come the litterateur too much - seeing significance where none existed, making much of nothing, dramatizing the mundane: the usual faults of the professional scribbler. This is memory scrubbed and dressed up for public consumption. Worse, he exaggerates our intimacy, and his claims on the matter of our respective intellectual characters are also false, for I was the careful scholar, he the gifted dabbler.
This playful little game is the aspect of the book that reminds me of Donna Tartt, that and the fact that it is keeping me up nights. This is the first book I have read in a while which creates in me that need to read just one more page, and then just the next chapter, and then next. I am nearly 200 pages in now, and more than 100 of them I read last night. The night before an exam on synaptic modulation by second messengers. What was I thinking?