As soon as I began to read this book I knew that I’d like it – the writing is sharp and flows well. McKuen has us hooked from the start relating his cycling experiences, his war years as a sniper and subsequent involvement in overseas aid and espionage. And all this in 158 pages. The anti novel subtext idea is a great one but I was sometimes confused about which narrative voice I was listening to (but then I like a challenge!).
McKuen has him locked on now, has taken all the time he has needed. He's there in his cross hairs, the patch of white, bare nape, vulnerable as a shelled snail. McKuen feels the surge of omnipotence. He holds the knife to the life-thread. He starts to sport, mentally tossing a coin.
Fractionally adjusts his aim.
Rips off the arm, like a spider's leg, setting off the secondary shock of the German's gun as the arm jerks and tears.
McKuen watches him roll and huddle behind the chains, watches his other arm slither across to finger the rifle butt, dragging it back, can hear his excruciation.
He starts to pack his things and withdraw.