epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Review: Sacculina

Sacculina by Philip Fracassi
This 109 page novella is frankly awful. A man, his innocuous father, his ex-con brother and the ex-con’s adversarial friend head out on an ill-advised fishing trip with an argumentative captain. This tries for real and serious and steel foreboding and stoic brooding on unfulfilled dreams.

But it’s just empty and stupid and lacks emotional intensity and personal urgency. Things get increasingly ludicrous as the boat full of idiots and their emotional thuggery encounter killer barnacles. This was utterly trivial as the idiots have a tepid response to the killer seafood. There is bloodline melodrama, manifest joy in insufferably stupid decisions and this was intensely silly and boring.

This is not a narrative of triumph. It’s all facetiousness and personal pathology. There is no dramatic friction and nothing feels at play or in or at stake. This mind-emptying apocalyptic melodrama strains credulity and is desperately short of tension. The author tries for deadly serious but has no general sense of menace or dark annihilationist vision.

This was all clumsy portentousness and stuff about the power of the past to shape the present. One feels an utter lack of enthusiasm for this shockingly dreadful mess.

Best Line:
“When you were nineteen and still harboured thoughts of a brilliant future.”
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