Saturday, September 29, 2007

An ambivalent review

I read The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel. I bought it because I gave my mother The Life of Pi by Yann Martel for her birthday and she enjoyed it.

The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios is a selection of three short stories and a novella. They are emotive, interesting and interestingly told. I almost entirely recommend them.

There is one word that makes my recommendation hesitant. One word that sticks in my mind and caused me to rant at the book. In a story told in the first person Yann Martel writes:
"But Paul wasn't gay. He had never told me so outright, but I knew him well enough and I had never sensed the least ambivalence."
Ambivalence! I felt outraged. Ambivalence implies that the person is unable to make a choice or is torn between two conflicting desires. What makes this fictional young man think that gay people are any more ambivalent than anyone else?