The Monk that couldn’t make up its mind about what it wanted to be about
I liked this book in the beginning, as it seemed to be developing a critical focus on the psychological effects that the sexually supressed lifestyle of the monastery has had on the title character of the book, while yet it was unclear in which
direction the story would take this angle, and I was very interested to go on.
But then the ceaseless piling up of plot lines that the book is actually about began. It was a restless narration that didn‘t allow itself to dwell long on any single plot line that had been introduced, but instead brushes them off one after the other and put them in the background of something else that would soon enough be treated in the same way. It felt unsatisfying to read, even if parts of the story were quite good and gripping. Somewhere in the midst of the book there is a ghost story, and at the point when it‘s introduced the book seems finally to be settling on a direction. Until the plot line of the ghost has been tied up and thrown away for the story to go on rolling down a hill, collecting more plot lines as it goes.
Now, to be fair, there are a couple of storylines that remain as the constants throughout the book, but it gradually became impossible for me to care about them with all the other plot elements that are crammed into the narration. In the very last pages of the book a couple of new plot lines are introduced, and one of them is actually meant to somehow tie together some of the things that have gone on in the story. It may possibly be appealing to some readers, but for me it was so far away from the aspect of the story that got me invested in it in the first place that it merely served to finalize the disappointment of the book. Having said that it still feels like everything in the book could have worked on its own if the work around it had been more focused.
In conclusion I just want to add my standard disclaimer that I don‘t like giving low grades to books, and I certainly don‘t care for how the ratings here are piled together, as if accumulatively they have some greater meaning. I just rate books basing on how well they work for me and I am not trying to reflect any universal appraisal of them.