Are the Characters Male or Female?
It’s hard to come across a piece of fiction that’s unique, as even if something is rare, say narrated by a dog or something, there’s still plenty of authors who have given it a go. I’ve never come across the concept of Androgynous Murder House Party before, and I’m guessing just by how difficult it would have been to write, that even if others seem to be inspired by this and give it a go, they’ll never be able to keep it up for anything other than a short story. You see with this book, we learn a lot about the narrator and other characters, except the one thing most people once they know form a heap of judgements and assumptions, then use to picture each character in their heads. That thing is, are they male or female? Rigolosi brilliantly has written 275 pages of normal sized font print, and never gives away the main characters genders (although there is a picture of Robin in the about the author page at the end, but even this isn’t conclusive). Meaning you never really know if your assumptions and pictures in you’re head of each one are accurate at all. You’d think being able to do this for a full length novel would be a good enough accomplishment on its own and could carry an average story, but Androgynous Murder House Party isn’t an average story either, it’s actually something else you rarely see these days, a mystery where you the reader actually have the ability to solve which of the characters, who stereotypical mystery wise we are first introduced to a dinner party, albeit a different and more lengthy one that you’d find in say an Agatha Christie novel, any way we need to solve which among them are responsible for a number of crimes including murder. I worked out some of it, but there’s so many surprises and twists that I doubt anyone would have worked out them all, and to me that makes a great mystery!
Robin the narrator is also a brilliant character. Usually the main character especially when they are the narrator needs to be a likeable person for a story to work. Robin certainly isn’t that, he/she is so self absorbed and up themself, seeing the majority of the population as beneath him/her that you instantly don’t like them. Robin isn’t politically correct either, is a bigot, racist, collects products made out of endangered animals (in fact her main motivation for solving the murder of her lover is to find their tortoise shelled hairbrush which he/she always coveted), and thinks the rest of the world should be grateful to be in his/her presence. He/she is so self absorbed when we’re introduced to all the main characters at the beginning we know someone is trying to kill Robin but he/she never notices through a number of humorous to read attempts on Robin’s life. That’s the other great thing about this novel, it’s not only cleverly written and a great mystery, it’s also very funny in parts.
Seriously this is not only a very unique read, it’s also one of the best books you’ll have read in a while.