As I read it I foolishly searched for reason, purpose or even just an understandable plot-line but it appears to be written with none. The genre also appeared to be a poor attempt at Australian historical fiction mixed with an appalling Lord of The Rings like element that was added with no explanation.
After the wreck, the commander, Francisco Pelsaert, took the long boat and sailed for help, leaving a junior officer, Jeronimus Cornelisz, in command.
Most fictional accounts of the wreck concentrate on the violence and cruelty of the crew, under Cornelisz, towards the marooned passengers. Over men, women and children were killed before Pelsaert returned to rescue them.
Most of the murderers were executed, but Pelsaert allowed two, a young boy, Jan Pelgrom, and another man, Wouter Loos, to be marooned on mainland Australia. The lack of a single authorial voice allows doubt, and the details of both timelines Strange objects described, contradicted, reaffirmed and questioned again, leaving many possibilities for the reader to choose among.
Tzvetan Todorov, in The Fantastic: Strange objects Structural Approach to a Literary Genrehas defined the fantastic as: In a world which is indeed our world, the one we know….
The person who experiences the event must opt for one of two possible solutions: But if an author maintains the uncertainy; if readers are left to decide for themselves the truth of the situation, the novel belongs in the category of the fantastic.
The uncertainty is magnified by the fact that Messenger is an unreliable narrator. What is unclear is how unreliable. Loos, the other main narrator through his journal may also be unreliable — not through any mental incapacity, but through hunger, exhaustion and a profound cultural dislocation as he interacts with a group of local Aboriginal people.
Both of these narrators recount seemingly magical experiences associated with the ring, which belongs to Pelgrom in and which Messenger finds and claims for his own in But are these experiences real, imagined, or part of an untold history for which we have no current evidence?
There are three ways to approach it: So it is possible to accept all the readings, and this is what makes Strange Objects a challenging and engrossing book; each reader will come to their own conclusions about what has actually happened, and some rare readers will be prepared to enjoy the novel without coming to a conclusion.
Strange Objects is constructed through parallels, with identical themes being explored in both time frames via matched characters. Messenger and Pelgrom are the most obvious pair: We do not discover what happened to either of them after their disappearances; after they commit murder, they disappear from their respective narratives, Pelgrom immediately, Messenger within days.
Crew uses Messenger to give us insights into Pelgrom — the parallels between them are close enough that we may assume that what is true of one is true of the other.
In his first journal entry, where he describes the school camp on which he found the cannibal pot, he slips away to the cave where he finds the pot. Messenger and Pelgrom both have foils; a good, solid, strong male with a conscience and compassion for others.
For Pelgrom, it is Loos, the writer of the 17th century journal who is marooned with him. There are other parallels: Ela is the only active female presence in the book and has no female parallel. There are two others: Rather, it reflects a truth: Along with isolation, racism is a constant presence in the story.
Messenger is casually, thoughtlessly racist, less from personal conviciton, one gathers, than from an unexamined acceptance of the local culture.
Pelgrom is terrified of the local tribe, believing them to be cannibals a belief, the notes from various historians remind us, which was widespread at the time and may yet linger.
Loos, while more thoughtful and open-minded than Pelgrom, is still a man of his time and is completely unequipped to deal with the radically different social structure of an indigenous tribe.
We distrust him; but we are given no way to decide how much of what he says is false. Loos, on the other hand, is a narrator we instinctively trust. But his circumstances make him unreliable.
He does not understand local culture. By the end of the story he is hungry, dehydrated, frightened, probably dying and possibly delusional. In the end, Crew seems to say, this is what history is:There are a lot of weird things in the ocean, really weird things.
Whether they belong there or not, the sheer volume of strange discoveries that have been recovered from the sea is mind-boggling, and it grows day by day. The 10 Weirdest Objects in the Universe; The 10 Weirdest Objects in the Universe. By Sarah Scoles | Monday, June 01, In a place as big as the universe, there's bound to be some weird stuff.
You might also like. Happy Birthday, Hubble: The Telescope's Most Underrated Images. Beautiful Maps of Space Throughout the Ages.
Strange Objects is indeed a strange novel that portrays mystical occurrences that may or may not have happened, not so long ago. It is a book of varying feelings brought by the suspense, intrigue, danger and extremes of the story. Strange objects with unusual shapes orbiting around the sun – Whistleblower Jeff Apr 17, at pm Space agencies have tried to give explanations for many of these strange images but many of them still remain unsolved.
There are a lot of weird things in the ocean, really weird things. Whether they belong there or not, the sheer volume of strange discoveries that have been recovered from the sea is mind-boggling, and it grows day by day.
A Strange Object is an independent press based in Austin, Texas, dedicated to publishing surprising, heartbreaking fiction alongside thoughtful ephemera. We're talking about fiction that haunts and inspires us—big work that engulfs, that takes risks, that bucks form, that builds warm dwellings in dark places.