A novel which relates the story of 'G', a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of the 20th century.
This work is different as we begin learning about, "The Protagonist" long before he has been born, and it is quite later on that he is finally referred to as, "G". The only time he actually takes his Father's name is when it is in the form of a falsified passport, which in the context of the story is as it should be. G has an extraordinarily eventful life, however it is devoid of a traditional Family. It is this method of his being raised that leads him to become a veritable predator of woman. But it is not just G who describes what he has planned and what he experiences, but also the women he pursues. However the Author that sets the stage for the events between G and his female friends offers another layer of insight.
The Author's voice is present and at times the dominant presence in the narrative. This book reminded me at times of Mr. Berger's works of non-fiction when he takes the senses that we use without thought and explains their workings so they become fascinating. He makes them this way not by explaining how they perform their tasks, but how they collect and interpret information well in excess of what we are consciously aware of.
I thought G personified an individual who was focused on one basic drive of all animals while being oblivious to what was really going on around him.Read more ›
The 'protagonist' is uninteresting; he's not even all that attractive. Yet, Berger isn't all that interested in why G. would be attractive for so many women. Here there are no heroes and no victims. In sex there is the encounter of two: 'who' they are isn't reducible to status and power; rather, it is the activity of anticipation, the clamouring, the lust, the mutual surrender, and the tenderness of fleeting moments.
Such moments are told against the backdrop of an astute historical understanding of the role of the sexes. Berger obliterates our preconceptions of sex-roles, our unconscious historical memories, by focusing on the mutual nature of passion.
We learn not from his actions but from the authors descriptions and eloquent prose - that there is magic in life, that our experiences count for everything.