The SPL’s copy of Child is not unmarred. Penciled boldly above “He anesthetized himself with activity” (page 21, Chapter 1) someone has written “How most people get through ordinary/every day life.” Amongst the lines of Mr. Profundity himself, the marker-upper’s penciling comes off trite and pale. Note to the marker-upper: you shouldn’t be penciling your remarks in a book only on loan to you. And you shouldn’t be trying to outshine Ian. Let him be the master. Stick to being the awed pupil.
Let’s delve into some of Child’s points of commonality with other of Ian’s works: 1. Our protagonist’s (Stephen Lewis’s) soon-to-be-estranged wife Julie is a classical violinist in a quartet with three other classicists. The violinist spouse occurs in Black Dogs and if memory serves, Saturday. 2. Irony. Stephen’s novels have been rescued from being favorably reviewed (read: obscurity). Charles Darke1 at Gott2 Publishing House packaged up Stephen’s Lemonade for the YA market. Stephen is now a millionaire and practically a household name.
1 I think maybe Mr. Darke will represent a dark force, maybe be Child’s “fallen angel.”
2 German for God. Child’s good force? If there is a “God” in Child, it seems to be the hand’s off variety. Jesus doesn’t seem to care much about making friends in Child.