TPD pp 165-171: Awkward…

You know what time it is? More Nameless Characters Time!

Today’s nameless one is described as follows:

the silver-haired man who had been here before

That’s seriously it. So I went on a scavenger hunt and came up with this gem from page 134:

Among the jagged rocks on one mountain’s summit, a silver-haired man came out of hiding to watch Rafar quickly shrink into the distance.

Which means the whole Strongman thing from chapter 13 is the same place as this Evil CEO guy. So probably that guy is possessed by the Strongman? Or is the Strongman? Or something? These plot points are so vague and so widely spaced out that I’ve lost track of the  angels vs demons plot.

To be honest, I’m getting really sick of this book. The plot has crawled to a standstill, nothing makes sense, and I’m running out of things to say every week because it’s just more of the same over and over. But I shall persevere!

The silver-man is talking to Tal, informing him that Rafar and the Strongman do business here. There’s a thick cloak of guards and warriors hiding the business from prying eyes.

“And she’s right in the middle of it!”

Apparently the Maidservant is our third hero character? Oh! Hang on. What if Hank is Jesus and Rayford Marshall is the Father and now Susan is the (traditionally female) Holy Ghost, thus making the Holy Trinity of Crimefighting?! And they could get Jesus-powered Proton Packs and you could call them when there’s drugs or arcades in your neighborhood and….

My brain. So much more interesting than this novel.

Tal can barely hold Ashton. Susan has “learned of the suicide”, to which the reply is “I understand she and Patricia were very close”. Knowing I won’t get any more information on this for like a hundred more pages makes me not even care, you know? Susan’s being sent to New York on behalf of her boss, and Tal can get her away during that window.

“Is there prayer cover in New York?”

“You will have it.”

So apparently it doesn’t matter who is praying or being prayed for, just that there’s prayer going on. If I wish for a pony and a million dollars does that add to the ‘prayer cover’?

“To work, then. I have some more prayer to gather in.”

What do angels DO all day when they’re not spying on demons and dancing on the heads of pins? Apparently inspire people to pray, I guess? So much for free will, if angels and demons are constantly influencing the world around us in some grand spiritual battle.

Moving on, back to Marshall and Bernice, they’re driving through “forested countryside”. Marshall grew up Presbyterian. Bernice grew up Episcopalian. I’m so completely not up to date on the differences between those denominations, but my childhood church was Presbyterian so, um, go Team Marshall?

Marshall went to Sunday School. Bernice didn’t.

“I think a kid needs to know something about God.”

“What if God doesn’t exist?”

“See what I mean? You never went to Sunday school!”

I… bwa… huh? Wait, so going to Sunday School makes you automatically impervious to doubt or existential crises or athiesm? Well what the hell happened to me, then?

Awkward transition:

“See what I mean? You never went to Sunday school!”

The Buick came to a crossroads, and a sign indicated the way back to Ashton was to the left. Marshall turned left.

Bernice answered one of Hogan’s questions. “Nope, no parents alive anymore.”


Okay so we learned about their church background, something that I’m sure is a crucial burning question to the minds of the intended audience. Then we find out that, gasp, sometimes the car has to turn to get to its destination. So Marshall turns in the direction he intends to go! What drama, what tension! Then we have an awkward jumpcut to another part of the same conversation. Then the character referred to as Marshall in the previous sentence is now referred to as Hogan. Then…. what a weird friggan question and why do we need to know this and how does it tie into Sunday school and how much time has passed and what is going ON here?!

Oh! Bernice lost a sibling named Patricia! That’s right, that’s what the whole Patricia suicide thing was about! Susan is Bernice’s Dead Little Sister’s best friend or something! Okay! I get it! I understand the plot! Woohoo!

Oh my god this dialogue makes no sense.

“And then I lost my only sibling, Patricia.”

“Is that right! Boy, I’m sorry.”

“It’s a lonely world out there sometimes . . .”

“Yeah, I suppose . . .  and I wonder who there is to meet in Ashton?”

She only looked at him and said, “I’m not hunting, Marshall.”

so….. is everyone in this scene an alien android from outer space who has no connection to human emotions and struggles to understand human social norms or something? Because, seriously, wtf? I feel like I should do a dramatic reading of that conversation or something. Maybe as a bonus post next weekend? Would you guys be interested? Because this is just ridiculous.

And then we’re back on angels. What?

Armoth and Nathan do a little dramatic forshadowing before… killing Marshall’s engine in a tiny little nothing town.

“So this is where it all begins”

Okay are they going to shack up and make an Antichrist baby or something? Seriously wtf.

Bernice goes inside to pee and meets Kevin Weed, the guy Susan’s supposed to elope with or whatever. He and his drunk buddies hit on her. She recognizes him as one of Pat’s friends. He  sends his friends to another table while leering at Bernice. So he’s supposed to be the antichrist baby-daddy then?

Weird thoughts in Bernice’s head:

Weed was bitter. “Talk to her boyfriend, that fat little geezer with all the bucks!”

No, no, that wasn’t really a legitimate hunch that ran through Bernice’s mind. Or was it?

So now Bernice knows what I know. Kevin meanwhile has glassy eyes, is really distracted, says “yeah” and “man” a lot, leers at women…. so he probably has demons, right? Am I picking up on the rules of this world yet?

Anyway so now pieces are clicking into place. I guess.

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5 Responses to TPD pp 165-171: Awkward…

  1. Omskivar says:

    I’ll trade you Nameless Characters for Too Many Named Characters. I swear, Christopher Paolini named every character with a speaking role, every horse, and several random objects just so he wouldn’t have to use nouns.

    I think I’m starting to get confused, because I don’t remember Patricia at all. And is Kevin Weed’s last name supposed to indicate that he’s a stoner as well? Because that’s the first place my mind went.

  2. Skyknight says:

    There does seem to be a conceit in several RTC groups that humans really don’t have all that much self-agency. In fact, the only choice humans are really capable of making, to them, is whether to be influenced by the divine, or by the infernal. That’s it. The decisions one makes besides this are nothing more than echoes of which side they aligned themselves with. Kind of what happens when you think that the world exists, for the most part, FOR THE SAKE OF the struggle between God and Satanel. (A bit older than fundamentalism, one could say; I keep thinking of Anselm of Canterbury’s allusion to an idea that humans were created to replace the number of the fallen angels, that God’s mansions might be full again.)

  3. Jarred H says:

    So much for free will, if angels and demons are constantly influencing the world around us in some grand spiritual battle.

    It occurs to me that this is probably part of the appeal of the Spiritual Warfare movement. If you’re a part of the movement, you’re super special compared to everyone else. Everyone else gets buffeted by all this spiritual warfare stuff going on around them, and they are powerless against it. But not you. You are keenly aware of it and are able to inoculate yourself against it.

    And no, no demons for Kevin. Surprisingly.

  4. Brin says:

    Then we find out that, gasp, sometimes the car has to turn to get to its destination. So Marshall turns in the direction he intends to go! What drama, what tension!

    Yeah, “Turn Left” isn’t an interesting story unless you see the dystopic alternate timeline that arises from turning right and the successful attempts to avert it.

    (I can’t be the only one who thought of Doctor Who.)

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