Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Classically Dull

My Friend, the Murderer by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Classic Fiction

Sigh.  It's not a Sherlock Holmes story and none of Doyle's other works quite measure up to that genius. Certainly, not this one.

Mercifully, though, it's short.

The setting of the story is in an Australian prison.  A doctor at the prison is told that he should go listen to the amazing story of one of the inmates.  The prisoner's name is Maloney and it's questionable if he is crazy or just really paranoid.  Maloney was part of a gang of robbers and privateers who were captured.  In order to make his own sentence lighter, he turned evidence against his mates.  Now, he has no homeland and no friends.  His enemies are all around, both inside the prison and out, both within the law and without, and he has to rely on the police and prison guards to keep him safe. 

Maloney leads a very lonely and miserable existence, but that doesn't make him any kinder or remorseful.  Instead, he is sour and bitter to everyone, blaming others for the situation he now finds himself in.  He repeatedly escapes, only to be recaptured by criminals and then has no choice but to voluntarily go back to prison, the same one he started from.

The narrator is so not interest in anything that is going on, showing no more emotion that a wall.  In that, we were alike with this story.  So miserable all the way through.

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