Andrey (azangru) wrote,

When disputing the historicity of the gospels, Richard Carrier pointed out that the disciples, as depicted in the gospels, are fantastically, almost clinically unretentive. They witness Jesus perform a miracle, but that doesn’t in any way adjust their expectations or their surprise by the next time he does it.

It occurred to me, while listening to The Unicorn Project, that its main characters are very much like that. They navigate a preternaturally inefficient organization, but learn nothing from their previous encounters and are as genuinely surprised by each newly witnessed inefficiency as they have been by the previous one.

It also occurred to me how traditional literary criticism expected leading characters in a novel to undergo some kind of development. In The Unicorn Project, the transformation happens to the organization, but the characters remain the same puppets they were in the beginning of the story. Except towards the end some of them smile more than they did in the beginning.

Curiously, reviewers on Amazon give it a very solid near-five-star rating, and it also got on Wall Street Journal’s bestsellers list (not sure whether it’s a compliment).

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