No, this is not a spoiler mostly due to the trick the author did, having the last chapter, 40, at the beginning of the novel. I firstly didn’t realize that and was almost thinking that chapter was the memoirs of some other character other than Maine, or maybe that of the same author, North. I was really convinced of that also since in that first/last chapter, the narrative voice is sexually “fluid”… meaning that his sexuality is not black and white, he is not gay or straight, but he is mostly navigating life (and sex) without frontier, and if a man wants to kiss him, the narrative voice will simple close the eyes and accept the kiss. Three or four chapters after I realized it was the same Maine on that first chapter (yes, I was a little slow), but the impression of being sexually “fluid” remained: Maine is in love (love is probably a too simple word to summarize what he feels for Sadie, but it’s the nearest in meaning) with Sadie, who is in a relationship with Guy, and so basically Maine shares Sadie with Guy, or maybe Sadie shares Maine with Guy.
Anyway this is not really a story centered on Maine’s relationship with Sadie or Guy; it’s more Maine’s journey through life, through the wound as the title suggests, and it’s really a painful journey (painful for Maine not for the reader). It’s a chronological recording of working days and weekends and how many drugs Maine has to take to allow him to go through all of them. Maine is not satisfied with his family, his job, his relationship… but this dissatisfaction is not something that is displayed with rage or rebellion, since Maine’s emotions are dumbed by all the drugs he is taking. Right today someone commented on the bio I posted of a gay celebrity of the past, Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, who committed suicide on November 5, 1923, at 43 years old by cocaine and champagne; the comment was more or less, he had everything and wasted all of it. My reply was he was probably affected by the very common “mal du vivre”, an illness that usually falls upon the most sensitive souls. Maine Hudson is exactly the most likely man to be affected by such illness, I think that, deprived by the drugs, his soul would be too raw, exposed to the unforgiving world.
Now, don't assume that Maine is a poor soul, victim of everyone around him; Maine can be acid as vitriol, his interchange with friends and lovers are often based on how much you can attack someone else, some stranger who crosses their street (the fat girl in the swimming pool, the poor guy who chooses the wrong shirt...), but in a way, he is neither so lethal since mostly their victims are not aware of being the object of such attack. Again, I think this is a way for Maine to shelter himself, or maybe, noticing the flaws of someone else he will be able to ignore his owns.
Amazon: Exit Through the Wound
Amazon Kindle: Exit Through the Wound
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Glasshouse Books (September 8, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott