The Representative by Thomas H. Cullen is a completely unique approach to writing a book, often with less that two sentences per page with many spaces and blank pages between, with an empty black cover. The writing follows a prose-like form, and speaks of a father and daughter, Mariel and Croyan and their relationship, which is enveloping the latter’s current three-Trokan crisis.
This book employs a writing technique that the author insists is “precise”, but it will be up to the reader to both decipher the need for this layout and the actual meaning behind the style of writing. One can guess the writing is intending to demonstrate the completely alien and clinical world in which these characters live, and how communication and language is used in a spinning cacophony dictated by the environment they inhabit, in much the same way books like A Clockwork Orange or parts of Cloud Atlas invent their own linguistic universe. Nothing is explained; words contain their own meaning as mere touchstones, and readers must describe the universe and much of the plot for themselves.
The Representative is either madness, vast pretentiousness or genius; any way round it is intriguing due to the layout, and the work will appeal to poetry and prose fans as well as anyone who likes a literary challenge, the author chanelling experimental works such as “JR” and “House of Leaves”.