After quite enjoying chapters 1 and 2 I got a bit bored as Hurtle got older and the narrative shifted from second to third person.
I still like the way things are described in the book but I found myself re-reading some bits now knowing what the heck was going on. I lost the plot in chapter’s 3 and 4 as he travelled through Europe then completely disconnected from the Courtneys. I need to reread to understand it better but am hesitant to subject myself to it.
By the end of chapter 4 Hurtle is well and truly grown up and I’m not really sure how old he is. Old enough to have been a painter for long enough to gain some recognition and enough money to indulge in some things.
Hurtle seems quite self-obsessed. All the same he has people that love him, Nance and the art dealer, even though he is quite distant from them both physically and emotionally.
And chapter 5, it took me a while to figure out who was masturbating was it Hurtle or the grocer? That came out of left field.
I am taking a bit of a break to read some more Australiana in ‘Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life’ by Maureen McCarthy and will reopen The Vivisector very soon. I needed a small break but am looking forward to new chapters opening in his life.
As much as I am enjoying reading this novel, I agree that the first chapters were more enjoyable than the later ones. It also annoys the hell out of me that Hurtle’s age is never stated. He seems ancient in places… but I’m not sure he’s any older than 40 by the time you get to Chapter 6?