Nancy Werlin’s Impossible is a blast of female sexual psychology in 200-proof form.
The central idea is that an elf knight has cursed a line of women. The novel’s curse is based on the folk song Scarborough Fair (apparently another title of the song is The Elfin Knight). In the story, the curse is actually the origin of that song. The curse began centuries ago with a human woman, Fenella Scarborough, because she rejected a marriage proposal from the elf.
The curse is this: Each woman in the line is raped by the elf when she is seventeen. She becomes pregnant with a daughter and must accomplish three seemingly impossible tasks, set forth in the elf’s curse, before the daughter is born. Thus, e.g., “Tell her to find me an acre of land, between the salt water and the sea strand.” Etc. If the mother fails, she will go insane and the curse will be passed on to her daughter. If the mother completes the three tasks before her daughter is born, the curse is broken forever.
No woman has ever managed to do this, as of the novel’s opening, so the curse is still in force.
By the way, this means that the elf dude is the father of all these chicks. Then he rapes them when they’re seventeen. Eeeeeewwww! Why why why would you do that? In fact he possesses a human male and magically accomplishes the rape that way, so he’s not actually related genetically to the girls, but still!
Before I get out the red pill hammer and start bashing away, a couple of positive notes:
One bit of perceptiveness in all this is that Werlin has grasped the fact that Scarborough Fair is not a love song. In the Author’s Note at the back of the book, she says she adored Simon and Garfunkel’s version as a girl: “I had then found the song beautiful and sad and oh-so-romantic. I was big believer in romance and true love, and, of course, in having a good cry over same.” (LOL, “having a good cry.” Women!)
But Werlin heard the song again when she was older: “But thinking about the ballad’s lyrics as an adult–and focusing fully on the words themselves, rather than the gorgeous melody and harmony… I found myself puzzled and then a little horrified. The man, singing, demands one impossible task after another from the woman… It’s a pretty cruel song, I thought. There’s no way that the woman can prove herself to that man. He’s already made up his mind. I listened some more, and then suddenly I thought: He hates her.”
Quite. I always wondered about that myself. The melody to Scarborough Fair is beautiful, but the lyrics ain’t nice. Kind of like The Police’s Every Breath You Take, which seems nice until you actually listen to the lyrics and realize the song’s narrator is a totally obsessed stalker. You’re like, “Whoa, calm down, dude! Smoke a jay or something.”
The other positive, or semi-positive, comment I have about this is that the basic conceit is pretty good. Oh, what a better author could have done with this! The problem is that apart from the estrogen-drenched delusionality I’ll take on below, Werlin is not that good a writer. Among other things, her characterization tends to the artificial.
1) SPOILER WARNING, as always.
2) When I reproduce quotes from the novel I will elide some words for brevity. To avoid visual clutter, I won’t use ellipses (…) to indicate elisions.
3) This novel has quite a blend of things women want and things they think they want but actually don’t. For this reason, we cannot take it (or any female-written text about anything related to sex) at face value. We must say “No, that’s horseshit, women don’t really want that” about some of the novel’s aspects and “Yes, this is a woman revealing what women actually want” about other aspects. Isn’t this inconsistent? What’s the difference? Simple: Reality itself. Reality itself is what we actually heed, because reality is what we’re interested in. We do not use a woman-authored text to figure out what women want (God, no). Rather, we use it to illustrate things we already know about women from observing reality. E.g., we know women love to have beta orbiters; they deliberately collect them. That comes from reality. But a beta orbiter who helps you deal with a pregnancy from being proxy-raped by a magical elf knight, well, that particular example comes from the veering mind of Nancy Werlin. It is, in other words, a particular illustration of a common female psychological feature.
Speaking of elf rapes, let’s get into the story.
This novel is a particularly extreme, and therefore particularly clear, illustration of the Alpha fucks, Beta bucks female reproductive strategy. The main character, Lucy, is fucked – raped, actually – by the evil magical fairy knight. Note: Evil, high status, powerful: Almost an archetype of the dominant bad boy. It’s also stated that he is irresistibly attractive to women. (Literally irresistible. Like, he goes into a hospital that isn’t hiring and asks for a job, and the chick who works in HR is overcome with lust and she basically says, “We don’t have any openings, but I’ll create one for you.”) Then Zach, the hapless beta who has a pathetic crush on the main character, pledges to support the child that is the result of that alpha rape, no strings attached.
Plus, the main character is cursed, which creates wonderful – and unique! – drama.
Chapter 11: The main character, Lucy, is dating a dude named Gray. (Yeah, “Gray.” Why does he have to have such an annoying name?) One of the first clues we get that there’s going to be a certain amount of female delusionality in this book:
Gray had his cheek right up against her neck. He was kissing her there. So warm, his lips. Warm like his hands. Softer than she would have thought. And she could tell he was just as uncertain, just as inexperienced, and just as hopeful as she was. Which was perfect.
NO!!! This is not what females want! God, the delusionality power of women to convince themselves that they want something they don’t. Women want a man who is experienced. At the tender age of seventeen, a girl might not be expecting a guy to have a double-digit notch count, but she definitely wants him to be self-confident, not “uncertain.” Inexperience is never a positive to a girl. Once the chick and dude hit a certain age— say late high school, college— it’s always at least a mild negative to the female, even if it’s not a huge deal to her.
End of Ch 13, p. 75: Lucy’s date, the annoyingly-named Gray, has been possessed by the elf, who is using Gray’s body to rape her.
[Lucy] fought, as hard as she could. That, also, had been a terrifying shock, because if anyone had asked her ahead of time about her own strength, she would have had confidence in it… And, too, she would have said that Gray wasn’t strong. He was a skinny band geek, for crying out loud. She would have thought that of course she could fight Gray Spencer, any day, and win.
So she was dating a guy whose ass she thinks she could kick. Uh, no. Females don’t do this. See, this is what we red-pillers mean by female delusionality. When she was writing this, Werlin might have thought, “Here’s something that’s totally plausible, that a human female – a young female of breeding age, no less – would do: Date a young man who she thinks she could beat in a fight.” NO, Werlin. Bad Werlin! No alpha rape for you! Neither you, nor any other woman, would be attracted to a guy whose ass you think you could kick. Not a good move, Nancy, if you want your characters to seem like actual humans. This is an extreme example of the artificial characterization I mentioned above.
Ch 26: Zach offers to help Lucy and be all supportive n shit. She says, Thanks, and if you don’t, then you can F off. His response is, “I totally deserved that,” which is completely fucking ridiculous. This whole scene is just chicks thinking that they want a wussy, which they don’t. Or maybe they do want a beta male who’s a wussy, because it makes the beta easier to control. They don’t want sexy-man who’s a wussy, though. Wussies aren’t sexy to women; even blue-pilled dudes know that.
The relevant passage:
Finally he spoke. “I”m just so angry for you, Luce. I know you’ll be okay. You and the baby. With my head I know that. But I’m still mad. It’s all going to be so much harder for you than it ought to be.”
“That’s why I need you for my friend.”
“I am your friend,” Zach said.
Lucy interrupted, suddenly fierce. “But let me say this. If you can’t be the friend I need now, if it makes you too uneasy or sad or angry or whatever it is, then you can go. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I’ll find better friends than you. I mean it, Zach.”
Jeez, what an asshole. Wuss-boy’s response:
“I deserved what you said to me just now.” NO HE FUCKING DIDN’T! “I know I did. I’m glad you said it. I needed to hear it.”
What a spineless, wimpy, self-abasing wuss! What the fuck is wrong with this guy?
Anyway, what we have here is the female craving for pointless drama, combined with grrrrrrl power fantasy – “I’m a total bad-ass, with a side order of tough guy!” – combined with their weird thing that they want a guy who will spinelessly kiss their butts (they don’t). Ugh.
I’m seriously annoyed that he doesn’t take a knife and stab her in the fucking eye.
Actually, that would have been really cool dramatically, because no reader would have been expecting it.
Moving on to Ch 29. Lucy and Beta Orbiter Extraordinaire are reading the diary that Lucy’s mother wrote before the curse hit and she went bonkers. When they’re done:
He sneaked a look at Lucy, who was also finished reading. She said quietly, “I’m going to read it again now. But I want to read it at my own pace and not have to wait for you. Okay?”
“All right,” Zach said. And then: “But you want me here, right?”
“Yes.” It was only a whisper, but it was clear.
“I won’t go far,” Zach said. “Just over here.” After a moment he added, “Here are my balls in a basket, since I’m not using them.”
I may have made up that last part about the basket. But seriously, dude, what are you, her servant? Get a spine, and a sack.
All purpose beta orbiter, will do whatever you tell him, no questions asked! Cheap! Note: Heavily used.
At the end of Ch 31 Zach, Lucy, and Lucy’s foster parents (remember, her Mom’s insane) are sitting around the dinner table. When everyone else is distracted, we get this eye-roll-inducing declaration:
Zach turned to Lucy and whispered:
“There’s something else you need to know. I’m not just your friend. I am completely in love with you.”
Grrr, that’s not how you do it. Wait until you’re alone together at least. The proper way to make a declaration is to be like Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind and propose that the girl become your concubine. Watching Scarlett squawk like a wet hen in response to that is worth the price of the book. Or, in modern times, you lean in really close… so close your lips are almost touching hers… and you say, softly… “You have the nicest ass of any chick I’ve ever boinked.” Then she says, “Oh honey, do you really mean it?” And you say, “Well, top ten. Top twenty, absolute minimum.” Then she says, “Oh, that’s so sweet!” and fellates you.
Start of Ch 32, wuss boy is thinking about the object of his pathetic affections. He thinks:
I just realized this, just today, just when you told me off. I loved you for that.
What the fuck?
I’d be happy forever if you’d only smile at me—although, come to think of it, I wish you’d kiss me.
Well, make a move, wuss-bag!
You make me laugh; you make me cry.
I might cry from the pain if this book gets any more ridiculous. It’s worse writing up these notes, because I have to linger on the text to write it down, whereas when you’re just reading it you just note the page number for later and quickly move on.
Anyway, the author decided the foregoing wasn’t outrageous enough, so his thoughts continue:
Nothing matters but you. Nothing matters but you.
Nothing matters but you.
Gah! Get a grip, dude! This guy needs some self-respect. Also, he seriously needs to shag a couple of chicas to get over his one-itis. And he really needs to hear the “Your girl is not your mission” speech.
The book has one funny line: When Zach, Lucy, and Lucy’s foster parents start to suspect that the curse is real, they begin thinking of ways to defeat it. At one point the implausibility of the whole thing suddenly hits Zach and he thinks, “We formed the Fellowship of the Ring when we all should have just gone on medication.” I laughed. That’s the only funny bit in the book, though.
Ch 34: Zach decides that instead of going back to college, he’ll defer for a semester, stick around, and help Lucy out. Now if this chick is really in danger of losing her sanity – that is, if Zach really believes the curse is real – then, well, maybe. I really don’t think he should do this, though, since he’s not banging her. It seems like a pretty draconian step. Can’t you just offer thoughts on how to defeat the curse by email from your campus? Whatevs. Seems pretty damn beta orbiter to me.
Ch 38: The most disgusting beta orbiter marriage proposal I’ve ever read. Lame-o boy gets down on his knees to propose – for fuck’s sake! – and waits there, minute after minute, while the beeeeyotch makes up her mind. Ugh! God! This is the woman’s conscious-level desire for a supplicating wuss on full blast. He’s sitting there on his knee, just waiting for her to say something. You have to understand how long this takes: It starts on page 221 and she doesn’t answer him until page 229! It starts in Ch 38 and bleeds over into Ch 39. Yeah, for 8 pages and two chapters she’s just sitting there ruminating about her answer. God!
Arright, put yer disgust shields on full and get ready. Here we go:
Later on, Zach acknowledged to himself that at this critical moment, the moment before he fell on his knees [Aaaaaigh! The pain!] and proposed marriage to Lucy – meaning every word – his mind was filled with one single, powerful thought, and it was this:
If this chick doesn’t do anal on our wedding night, I’m gonna divorce her.
No, sorry, that’s me again. Blah blah, Zach thinks:
I’m going to change my whole life plan right here, right now. For Lucy. And I know for a fact that it’s not the smartest move I could make for myself. But with everything in me, I believe that it’s right for her.
Aaargh! Are you begging for the sweet release of death yet? Grok this: We’re still on the first page of this bullshit!
The passage is a woman’s roar of female triumph at the notion of a man totally fucking himself over, in exchange for nothing at all, for her convenience. Ugh. The author must have realized, in a moment of sanity, that this is too much – or maybe an editor at her publishing house caught it and made her qualify it a bit. Let’s back up a little and continue:
I believe that it’s right for her—no. No. No.
Yeah, so the author tries to walk it back a little. Not nearly enough, though.
Steady, steady. Yeah, I know; it’s not pretty. Let’s skip to the second page of this monstrosity:
Zach was on his knees.
“Luce. Lucy. Lucinda Scarborough. Marry me. Please. [“Please.” Jesus! Unless you’re Mike Myers in that one comedy and you’re playing it for laughs, you don’t say “please” when you’re proposing marriage.] I want you, and I want to be your daughter’s father.”
AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIGHHHHHH!!!!!!! The pain!!!!! There he is, offering to cuck himself for this chick’s convenience! Aaaaaaagh!!! Make it stop! The elf gets to have the sex, while Zach is offering to do all the work of raising the kid! Gah! And this scene is written by a woman, remember. This is it, the alpha fucks, beta bucks reproductive strategy, laid out right before your naked, horrified eyes. A BLAST of female id; plain, naked, and unashamed.
Hey, Game deniers: NOW do you get that the red pill community has something to say about female sexual and reproductive behavior?
(No, of course not. That group lives for denial of reality. Deny it all you want, punk-wads. It’s still true. And ya know how you’re always saying that we should listen to what women say they want? (LOL, as if.) Well, there it is, kids!)
So after making him wait a little, and repeat it, she eventually gets around to saying that she will graciously allow him the privilege of helping her deal with the mess that’s her life.
Keep that in mind as we move on to Ch 43. Lucy is talking with her friend Sarah. Sarah says,
“…you’re having trouble being the one who takes, instead of the one who gives.”
WHAT THE FUCK? There is nothing to justify this statement in the novel. Lucy is not a “giver.” She’s just a girl in a bad situation who lets everyone else help her deal with it. She’s totally a taker. This is the ideology of taking; it’s BS that says, “It’s okay for you to take from others with no guilt.” This is what a parasite would try to convince herself of as she contemplates her orbiter’s sad situation.
“Lucy, you have to learn to accept.”
Gah! That’s all she ever does! Sarah then recounts a false narrative about how Lucy helped Sarah deal with jerk boyfriend. In fact, that’s not what happened. What happened (back in an early chapter) is that Lucy told Sarah she was being an idiot about her boyfriend and Sarah ignored her and clung to her jerky boy. (More red-pill truth there, note.) Lucy didn’t do anything except say some words, like, “You shouldn’t let him treat you that way.” Yeah, what a heroic effort.
And Lucy’s sole interaction with her own mother thus far has been to avoid her, on the grounds that crazy Mom will be a social embarrassment to her. She’s such a giver!
“So now, you get to receive. From everybody in your life. It’s all right. It’s more than all right.”
In plain English: “You don’t owe anybody anything, and you have every right to just sit back and receive all the effort, time, money, and other sacrifices which they lavish upon you.”
You’re such a giver! Falser words were never spoken.
“Zach is changing his whole life, his whole future, for me and the baby.”
“Yes,” said Sarah. “He’s giving. Your job is to accept.”
“But I have nothing to give back!” Lucy found she was wailing. “He gives everything and gets nothing!”
Another roar of female triumph at the merciless exploitation of a hapless beta male. Yes, this is a roar of triumph. It’s not a wail of guilt. How do I know? Simple: If the author felt bad about this situation, she could have simply changed it. Have Lucy bake Zach some cookies, for fuck’s sake. Or whatever. But noooooope. She gives nothing.
However, a ray of sunshine enters when Sarah tells Lucy to at least spread her legs for Zach, so that’s nice. At least the guy finally gets some booty out of all this. Not until after they’re married, though, FFS.
The snippet has more unintentional red pill truth, by the way. Here’s Sarah:
“I’m more experienced than you are. We can thank the hateful Jeff for that.”
Jeff is the jerky boyfriend that Lucy was advising Sarah to ditch earlier in the book. Did Sarah ditch him? No! She fucked him! LOL, red-pill truth leaks out.
End of Ch 46 – start of Ch 47: At least Zach finally gets to shag Lucy, though she’s many months pregnant by this point. Note: Women don’t look any better or worse, facially, when they’re pregnant. But obviously their bodies aren’t exactly svelte.
Ch 48: Zach had known before the marriage that Lucy’s pregnancy had somehow increased his love for her.
Oh barf. Cuck.
Maybe his father had even been correct when he said that Zach was suffering from a hero complex.
Yeah, in the red pill community we call that Captain Save-a-Ho. Don’t be a Captain Save-a-Ho. (I know Lucy wasn’t trying to get raped, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not Zach’s child.)
Well, I’m finally done with my red-pill comments on this thing. Man, that was exhausting. There is one more red pill aspect to this book, regarding the ending. I’ll reveal the ending below the next spoiler warning, for anyone who’s curious.
SPOILERZ BEYOND THIS POINT, BITCHEZ.
Lucy and Zach accomplish all three “impossible” tasks before her baby is born (just barely). Thus the curse is broken. The alpha bad boy elf receives absolutely no punishment whatsoever for his evil ways. His curse just ends and he walks away. Disgusting. But that’s Werlin’s female psychology at work. She just couldn’t bring herself – or maybe it didn’t even occur to her – to punish an alpha bad boy.
Dark corner of female psychology here, seriously. This being has raped who knows how many women over the centuries. It’s also revealed that after they die they go live with him as his prisoners and get raped more – for centuries! – until the curse is finally broken and they’re freed. And his punishment for all this? Nothing.
I’ve mentioned before that a game-related blog (In Mala Fide, I think) once referred to “the world-shaking amorality of the gina tingle.” Here it is, from the horse’s mouth.
Index page for my Red Pill in Fiction posts: