A sad and sorry tale

15th September 2006 at 01:00
A new novel on date rape fails to live up to its hype

Inexcusable

By Chris Lynch

Bloomsbury pound;6.99

Chris Lynch's third novel comes trailing clouds of critical glory from its publication in the United States, where it was shortlisted for a major award, and highly praised for its handling of a controversial subject: date rape. But it's a disappointment, and it doesn't live up to the hype.

The central character is Keir, a teenager going through the motions in the last few months before graduating from high school. He lives with his widower dad, his beloved older sisters having flown the nest for college.

His main interests are football (of the American type), and Gigi, a girl he's deeply attracted to, but who is, alas, going steady with another guy.

We're told at the beginning that the date rape has occurred and the bulk of the book is made up of Keir's first-person narration of what led him to it.

We soon realise he's a classic unreliable narrator, too, but it's never clear whether he has deliberately done wrong without understanding the effects of his actions, or his intentions have been misunderstood.

And that's the problem. Lynch has written the beginning of a thought-provoking story, not a whole one. We're left wondering what happens next, with no resolution and no real examination of the moral issues.

Inexcusable is a good title, but Unfinished would be a better one.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now