Friday, September 28, 2007

The Little Man from Archangel - post II

I'm not feeling too well so although I have read some Chekhov this is all I can manage to punch into the keyboard tonight.

This book is brilliantly written charting the swift move from community regular to an outcast viewed by everyone with suspicion. Jonas is a catalogue of insecurities that all start to come out under the pressure of suspicion and Gina’s disappearance, which is probably innocently with another man, raises all of the problems that he had brushed under the carpet.

Bullet points between pages 56 – 120

* Jonas keeps the lies up telling everyone that his wife has gone to Bourges but it becomes increasingly difficult particularly after her brother almost accuses him of doing her harm and makes it clear he doesn’t believe him

* A wall of suspicion starts to build and although Jonas tries to remain the same the people in the market square he meets everyday start to treat him differently and make him feel even more uncomfortable

* It is an irony that the man from Archangel, a Russian Jew who chose to stay in the market after his parents went back to Russia to try and find his sisters, who he has not seen for years, should suddenly be made to feel so alien

* Things step up a gear with the police detective popping into the shop and asking him where Gina is and this time Jonas tells the truth but the policeman cannot seem to understand why he would not be jealous of an adulterous wife and you sense he is looking for a motive for murder

* The wall of silence continues until Jonas is invited into the police station to see the superintendent and there the extent of the malicious gossip about him becomes clear with a missing person’s report having been filed and suggestions Jonas decapitated his wife and then dumped her in the canal

* The worst disclosure during the interview, which involves Jonas revealing his wife has gone off with millions of francs worth of precious stamps, is when the superintendent informs him that Gina had said she was scared of him – something the mild mannered bookseller just cannot comprehend

More tomorrow…

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