Notes of a Crocodile Book Review with spoilers
Written by Qiu Miaojin
Translated from the Chinese by Bonnie Huie
updated and revised after I looked at my notes on Good Reads May 19, 2019
Notes of a Crocodile is a book translation from Chinese. It would have been better with a character guide included at the beginning. I could not figure out from the Chinese names which characters were male or female. I read a long passages thinking the narrator was speaking to woman only to find out, when the chapter was almost over, it was a male. This is not so farfetched, when I was thinking it was a book about Lesbians. I had a vague idea the book was about a woman who kills herself over a break up with her girlfriend. That is what the author’s life was about. Her name was Qiu Miaojin.
I was not in on the joke that the Crocodile is a lesbian person, until I read the analyses online. I skipped the chapters about the Crocodile, as I did not find them cute or interesting. This was likely my downfall. They are actually the best parts of the book if one knows how to approach them.
The author kills herself due to depression and a failed relationship and not due to oppression or repression. But, over all this is not a bad book to read if one gets it free from the library. The book is short and easy to read, quickly. I give it three stars.
I also I have included it with my collection of works by authors who have killed themselves. Before the author died she wrote another book, Last Words from Montmartre, that she left behind for publication after her death. I did not read this book, as I could not get it free, but the Kindle preview explains the whole issue.
The next book in the collection of books by authors who killed themselves was picked by random chance when I clicked on larger list on Wikipedia People who committed suicide. This book is called It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. This book was considered to be a good book for young adult fiction, but I don’t see anything that speaks to youth. In fact, I did not like this book very much. It is not a classic book about troubled youth such as It’s Like This, Cat. The author later kills himself by jumping or falling off a roof, which may have been an accident and not a suicide.
In comparing this book with the David Foster Wallace story “The Depressed Person” I feel Ned Vizzini would also have been helped by Ketamine. How many people talented or untalented will have to kill themselves before Ketamine become legal to use for depression? The author of A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole also killed himself. I have reviewed this book in a separate entry on my blog.
So many writers have commited suicide that a list is available on Wikipedia Writers who committed suicide
Why have so many writers committed suicide? What percentage of writers compared to non writers have committed suicide? It does not count if the writer is already old or close to death. I am talking about writers who commit suicide who are still in their prime writing years. They deprive the world of stories they may have written in the future.