Friday, October 19, 2012

Why I Hate Closing my Eyes

I wasn’t enamored of The Sculptor, but who was? Let me rant about why the book didn’t work, then I’ll move onto something productive--it’s best to vent instead of hold negativity in. Funaro spends the majority of this tale telling a series of events. At times, I can accept telling, but the impact of the narrative is lost as it tells the most important elements of characterization. Some examples include the attraction and sexual relationship between Cathy and Sam (“...when Markham saw the tears in her eyes, he finally gave over to his heart and kissed her. There, into the evening, they made love....”) and the history behind the Sculptor, which supposed to explain is current bloodlust (“But one thing he could never wrap his mind around was his mother’s love.”)--show use how he gave her his heart, show use that climactic love scene that’s been building through the book, and show us the Sculptors slow mental degradation as the enigma of his mother’s abuse torments him. By the end of all this telling, most characters were forgettable because of this and I lost emotional ties to all of them.

I’m no expert, but I think there were problems with the way the crime was handled. First, since murderers are usually connected to the victims, Cathy should have been treated more as a suspect or target from the start since her name was brought up in the case. I’m not sure they’d divulge confidential information to her as they did. Also, the scene where the local cops find the Sculptor but think he’s part of a news crew seemed problematic. Although it’s probable that errors can happen in the field, if a pair of police were sent to keep watch in the wake of a series of murders, they’d be prepared to handle each trespasser as a suspect. This means they would have called in and reported the van and plates. They’d probably have their weapons drawn or prepared to be drawn, they’d and be prepared to make an arrest due to the danger of the situation. Again, errors can be made, but after reading about how crime scenes are handled, this section seemed too problematic.

Books like The Sculptor encourage me, though, because I believe if I try my very hardest, I can get something as good, if not better (probably better), published someday. There is hope. And whatever its shortcomings, The Sculptor did have strengths worth analyzing. Where a serial killer story should shine--the murder scenes-- The Sculptor does shine. These scenes came to life for me, and the horrific sculptures created from the corpses really got under my skin. But why?

Everyone has there own fears and anxieties, and mine include losing free will. I always have trouble falling asleep--and even when I do, I’m a light sleeper--because I’m paranoid of what might happen while I’m unconscious. When I’m sedated, I’m constantly fighting the drugs. When I got my wisdom teeth removed, I remember waking up two times during the procedure and fighting to keep my eyes open. So, when the victims awaken to find they’ve been mutilated and decorated like a statue, I’m reminded of the reasons I hate closing my eyes at night. To top off the situation, the victims are administered a dose of epinephrine to induce a heart attack. This action demonstrates the complete control the Sculptor is taking over his victims; he’s saying that his victims’ bodies are his to control and reshape as he sees fit. The victims are tortured and degraded in some of the worst ways I can imagine--except the boy, which the narrator states escaped the torture that would have followed at the Sculptors lair.

I can’t even imagine my body being pumped full of formaldehyde, buried six feet under, and having worms crawl in and out of my ears. When I die, I expect my body to be cremated immediately to prevent something so terrifying. I know I won’t be around to care, but I sleep easier now knowing my body is safe from future Sculptors digging up graves for their next masterpieces.

While in Dallas, I had the opportunity to tour an accidental mummies exhibit. Apparently, people who couldn’t offered to buy funeral plots, rented spaces in tombs where their bodies withered and were preserved due to some coincidental, natural occurrence. Now, the bodies have been exhumed, and are being studied by scientist and displayed for the masses. I felt the same way touring those bodies as I did reading the Sculptor. Human body don’t need to be the most sacred of vessels to still deserve respect and dignity. I’m not sure those mummies got their share, and I know the Sculptor didn’t give his victims any, which is what made an otherwise lackluster read a little more interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Great insight into your fears and a primal theme in this book - the loss of free will as you put it. I think the manner and presentation of how the Sculptor killed and displayed his victims was the only saving grace of this story. Otherwise, I had a real hard time believing much of it or enjoying.