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I'm bothered

The Case of the Insufferable Slave - Gillian St. Kevern

This is not a review, I don't even know what I think about this story. On the one hand, I loved it; on the other hand, it annoyed me to no end.


I loved the writing, the humor, and Fred's voice. I see him in black and white, and I can't even remember if the author described him or not, because he looks like Bogart in my head. Attitude, cynicism, dry humor, and a soft heart. Fred's a keeper, even if I want to slap him upside the head when he goes all patronizing on Friday.


Friday is a sweetheart and an endearing character, but  his characterization bothered me. I first thought that I felt uncomfortable because 'Day is constantly infantilized, and I argued with myself that it made sense even if it was bothering, because it's a slave universe and that it's on the contrary a good thing that the author could make me feel how disturbing it is. But that's not all that there is to it. 'Day is also feminized, and it is not only emasculating but disturbing to see how close his character is stuck in the '50s. Friday is the frigging useless pretty blond! He's delicate, he can't fight, he's patronized, he's disposed of, he's taken care of, he's useless except for answering the phone, but he's deemed smart 'cause he knows when someone will not take cream in her coffee!



Oh I feel protective of him allright, but I also feel uncomfortable and irritated, and the twists and turns my mind took to lead me to discomfort and annoyance aren't articulate enough to pinpoint. It's all a giant mix of grumbles about infantilization and how feminine characters, slaves and gay characters are portrayed.


So.  I loved it but it bothered me, and it bothered me to be bothered, because it ruined my fun. How do you rate that?