My first concern is with the narrator. Page 17 reads, “Little by little we saw how Querelle-already contained in our flesh-was beginning to grow in our soul to feed on what is best in us, above all in our despair of not being in any way inside him, while having him inside ourselves.” The narrator continues on in this dramatic fashion. I suppose I am wondering first off if it's the royal “we” being used. Secondly, I wonder if the narrator will exist later then as a character, or if he already is. Thirdly, I am trying to avoid simply typing “what the hell?” But seriously, what the hell?!? I'm trying to figure out all the relationships because, really, the writing is so personal and in these little asides to the reader, we no longer have that perfect omniscient narrator. The writing just feels strange to me.
I had some confusion with the characters that, upon a second look, I think I'm starting to sort out. In my defense, it does seem all the characters are living multiple lives. Querelle in particular is described almost as two separate beings, Querelle and The Murderer. “No longer was any part of Querelle present within his body. It was empty. Facing Vic, there was no one.” It seems logical that he would disconnect himself from this deed, yet at the same time he seems to really accept what he has done. There doesn't appear to be any shame even knowing he is both himself and the murderer that resides within. In addition, there is Mario who, though a cop, seems to prefer the company of criminals. In fact, I would say every character thus far mentioned has contradicting personalities especially where their sexuality is concerned.
I've read many serial killer manifestos and the like in my youth, and Querelle seems very typical in his detached demeanor. He reminded me a lot of Denis Nilsen (a serial killer in the early 1980's) who, being highly sexually confused, would pick up younger men, engage in sexual activity with them, and then flush their skin down his toilet. While there are some obvious differences, denying one's self can have disastrous effects including depression, isolation, and increased aggression and defensiveness. Yikes!
In summation, this book is highly disturbing and Querelle's not nearly as charming as Dexter.