One good thing about reading a book written in first person POV, it gives me access to the protagonist mind. It excites me. He lets me see and feel his emotions over things that he’ll going to do next. I could feel him through his words. I could feel I was there right beside him. I could feel everything.
Rogue Male was my second quest in my pursuit to read something ‘classic’ and outside of my comfort zone. The first attempt was the The Collected Short Stories of Lydia Davis which I don’t think I could finish immediately. This was a task I imposed lately upon myself to widen my reading experience.
Our male protagonist was a wealthy aristocrat Englishman and well traveled. He was unnamed the entire book but every where he went every one knew him. He was named Rogue Male, a sobriquet given to him by the law enforcement and those who wanted to kill him. Eventually, he was captured and tortured.
He was accused of stalking and plotting to assassinate Hitler and they believed he was employed by his government to do the job. They believed he was on a solo mission and were shaken that a man like him could undertake such impossible quest. He vehemently denied their accusations against him but no one believed him. After he was brutally tortured, they took him over the cliff and left him there alone. He considered death as his escape; a cure for his pain. He should be happy of this but couldn’t feel it. He moved slowly out of the marsh where he dropped and looked for a place dark enough to hide his body, get some sleep and gather his strength.
He knew it would not be long before Hitler’s minions would be back to look for his body and make his death appear an accident. Now, the hunter is being hunted. He needed to survive.
He went back to his mother country because he thought he would be safe there. But he was wrong. Hitler’s minions are still after him.
He devised a plan. His present condition had forced him to live like an animal and think like one. Hiding under the ground in a small space isn’t one would wish to live forever. He knew his hunter will soon discover his hiding place.
The events that followed made me antsy and edgy. The throbbing of my heartbeat was up notched enough to make me deaf. Oblivious of the loud whizzing of my decrepit old electric fan near at the corner of my bed didn’t distract me from tearing my eyes off of the page.
Reading Rogue Male was a big surprise for me. I was like watching a James Bond movie only in a paper back version. I pictured Sean Connery as the Rogue Male here.
A great deal of the story was spent on how he built his underground hole and how would he live there without attracting attention to himself. Which I find too detailed, too long and made me a little sleepy. But I understand the author. It was really needed so that as a reader I would know how one could live like an outlaw. How would it feel like being hunted by both the law enforcement and the hired killer. One wanted him locked up in jail. The other one wanted him dead.
The part how he outsmarted Quive-Smith made me fist into the air and shouted ‘Yes!’
How did he survive Quive-Smith? What drove him to go on a solo mission to plot and kill the worst leader of all time? I’m not going to write it here. I suggest you read Rouge Male.