Book Review: “The God’s Eye View” by Barry Eisler

As noted in my reviews of “The Detachment“, “The Khmer Kill“, and “All The Devils“, I read four books by Barry Eisler this summer, and “The God’s Eye View” was the last of these. It also introduced me to a new character, Manus, who, based on the diagram I shared in the post for “The Detachment” looks like could become a new regular. If so, I’d be delighted, as Manus is my new favourite character by Eisler.

I don’t know whether it was just the timing of when I read the book, or the features of Manus’s personality, but whatever the reason, it worked perfectly for me. One of the things to be aware of in relation to Manus is that he is deaf. Given the action hero-like abilities of most of Eisler’s characters – although all of them carry with them a mix of traumatic pasts that undoubtedly impact them mentally – it is great to see that there is someone who would be more widely identified as ‘disabled’ (a term that I personally don’t like as the issue isn’t that they have a disability, but more often than not that society puts barriers in place that disable them in some way). That authors need to include those with disabilities is something that I have written about before (see Discussing Disabilities – The Responsibility of Authors and Academics). As I was reading “The God’s Eye View” I was particularly thinking about these issues having recently finished the excellent “Blind Spot” by Maud Rowell, with whom I was also communicating as she travelled around Japan (see https://www.instagram.com/where.birds.wont.go/).

As usual with my reviews, I’m not going to go over the storyline itself in details (as this can be found in the blurb about the book), but rather pick up on a few lines that caught my attention.

As for her doubts . . . well, didn’t everyone have doubts they simply learned to keep to themselves?

I can relate to this one so much – although I’ve started expressing some of my doubts more (either to people or in my blog posts) – most of the time, I feel like I build a wall around myself and try to keep doubts and thoughts hidden.

He knew Delgado hated him, though he didn’t know why. He didn’t know why anyone ever hated him. People just sometimes did. The hate didn’t bother him.

Another thing that I can relate to – apart from the last part. The hate (or dislike, to use a tamer word) is something that bothers me a lot. I hate conflict, so if someone is angry with me, or I think they dislike or hate me, it can really get to me and impact my mental health. In a strange flip-side, however, I generally don’t think that people like me and that doesn’t bother me – a neutral position which allows for conversations, spending time with someone, or working with them if its a professional relationship, without conflict is perfectly fine with me. I guess this is one reason why I tend to find Japanese society works well for me, as does Swedish, as I have recently started to realise.

It was strange, the way he wanted to tell her things.

I really like this aspect of the discussion of Manus’s character. He’s clearly strong in so many ways and is someone who largely looks after himself. But for some reason he finds that he wants to open up and talk to this person he meets, but can’t understand why this person has this impact on him. As someone that is generally reserved about expressing their personal thoughts (or what some would see as ‘secrets’), this is something I can relate to.

There were other lines that stuck out for me to, but I’m not including those as it may give too much away about the plot of the book or, even, about me.

Overall, although I had a slight issue with part of how the story came to a conclusion, “The God’s Eye View” was absolutely brilliant – possibly my favourite Eisler books of all, and has certainly introduced me to my favourite Eisler character.

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