Inexcusable by Chris Lynch is an interesting book. Normally I don’t like books where I don’t like the main character. It is hard to keep reading if I want to metaphorically slap the protaganist upside the head.  And I definitely wanted to slap Keir.  Keir is a self-proclaimed “good guy”: he must be because he gets along with his father, his sisters, and those at school.  Except his nickname is “killer” after laying a viscious hit on an opponent who is left crippled, and he does little to prevent the use of that nickname.  And he participates in hazing the soccer team, and destroying the town statue.  He drinks too much, takes no responsibility for his actions, and probably isn’t seeing what is really true about his family.  None of this really adds up.   It might explain how despite his denials he rapes Gigi, the girl he proclaims to love.

There is a lot to say about this book: the school culture that excuses his behavior, the alcoholic father that he drinks with, the unreliabilty of Keir as a narrator…. but mostly I got to thinking about how in most books there is a clear cut definition of good/bad and how life is often more murky.  It is murky in Keir’s mind.  I think books from the aggressor’s point of view come the closest to establishing a murkiness.  In Tenderness for example I found myself rooting for the serial killer, which is a little disturbing. (Fabulous book by the way.)  I go back and forth on Keir being sociopathic or just a jerk but I never rooted for him – ever.

So despite being annoyed by Keir I liked the book.  I am not usually a Chris Lynch fan but this one was great.


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