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Days Between Stations

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  575 ratings  ·  39 reviews

In a world of cataclysm and unraveled time, a young woman's face, a misbegotten childhood in a Parisian brothel, and the fragment of a lost movie masterpiece are the only clues in a man's search for his past. Steve Erickson's Days Between Stations is the stunning, now classic dream-spec of our precarious age -- by turns beautiful and obsessed, haunted and hallucinated, in

Paperback, 249 pages
Published 1988 by Futura (first published 1985)
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Apr 13, 2012 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: station to station
Recommended to Mariel by: shine
He paid his money and bought a ticket, and went into the theater and sat, alone in his row, waiting for the lights to fall and the screen to flicker for him, and he knew that it was this moment he had avoided- that if this moment were to mean nothing to him, he would have felt more utterly lost than ever, he would have felt isolated in a way the preceding days could not even imply. So it was a moment of wild exhilaration for him when, as the film began, he felt great excitement and passion. But ...more
Erickson's first novel set the stage for the themes, scapes, and styles that would recur throughout his later books, and showed him already firmly in control of his own particularly effective and evocative surreal strokes layered upon a textual canvas. Within a world in which the elements themselves are affected by the emotional turmoil of the principal characters, in which select colour schemes interpose themselves across time and space upon both nature and the products of man's labour, Erickso ...more
Erickson is one of those polarizing authors whom I seem to love while other people are driven away. It's hard to deny the surreal, dreamlike quality of his stories; in fact, the best way for me to describe this book is to say that "it was like reading a dream". The world slowly disintegrates about the main characters. Cities fall inexplicably into ruin. Herds of white buffalo foretell vague portents. Time falls out of joint and a young couple falls apart.

I originally picked up this novel after n
Mark Desrosiers
"You got Pynchon in my sci fi!"

"You got sci fi in my Pynchon!"

"I hate Pynchon!"

"Go to hell! This is delicious!"

"I don't know, pretty bland and incoherent to me."

"Well, do you want the rest of my big ol' bucket o' Pynchon? I gots some rainbow gravity, some Mason-Dixon..."


"OK then just give our accident two stars."

"Yeah that's what I just did, Steve-O."

Ryan Chapman
Dec 16, 2014 Ryan Chapman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ryan by: Vicki Lame
The Believer says that Erickson's a master of defamiliarizing us from our worlds; how this differs from say, science fiction or fantasy is that Erickson purposefully creates a fully realistic world like our own, just slightly askew. This is a risk inasmuch as it was for the Latin American Magic Realists (who I could never get into): what is your dividing line between reality and fantasy? If your characters exist in a world recognizable to any reader, then any diversion from this will reassert th ...more
Discovering Steve Erickson's writing has been one of the great surprises of this year. I first read "Zeroville" which is his most recent work and what may be positioning him for a larger audience... Probably his most accessible. This is his first... strikingly similar in many ways. Different in many others. Reading both one gets the sense that Erickson feels the larger body of his work is all interconnected. Characters and scenes drift from novel to novel just as they do across centuries and oce ...more
For this review, I had to lift my self-imposed ban on amazing. Neither a dictionary nor a thesaurus yielded any other word with just the right nuances to describe this novel. So, here it is: Steve Erickson's Days Between Stations is amazing.

He invents strange and wonderful characters. He plots with ingenuity and originality. He writes phrases in vivid, provocative, dreamlike, even hallucinatory prose. His juxtaposes words and sentences in unexpected ways.

What is truly amazing is his presentation
My ex-boyfriend recommended this to me and apparently I'm still taking his book recommendations. I love literary novels that take place in off-kilter worlds--here, strange climatic events such as sandstorms and shrinking seas provide the background--but I don't love when the characters themselves stop acting/reacting like real people. On almost every page a thought or image made me go, "Umm, sorry, but I don't buy that he/she's thinking that at all right now." Yes, these thoughts and images were ...more
Krok Zero
The segments about film are fascinating for anyone interested in cinema, but a better source of Erickson's movie thoughts is his recent novel Zeroville. I do kinda like what Erickson does here with the dystopian background, which is that he keeps it in the background. Kinda like in Children of Men, how the camera is constantly moving and showing us glimpses of frightening destruction, but it's never really the point of the foreground action. But frankly most of this book stinks, especially the r ...more
Lenny Wick
Having only ever read The Sea Came In At Midnight and detect a fluid, yet discursive narrative style that I’m eager to see whether it casts across his writing in general. The books were written fourteen years apart (published, rather, 1985 vs. 1999) and the narrative digressions are breezier with the earlier book. There’s an amazing concatenation of character strands that fascinated me in The Sea Came In At Midnight (as much as it didn’t quite satisfy as a whole) that suggests a more mature writ ...more
Douglas Carlsen
I was at an ABA convention many years ago. Authors were situated at one end of the hall and there were long lines leading to many of them. One author was sitting with only a few people waiting to talk with him and get signatures. It was Steve Erickson. For some reason I decided to join that small line, where I picked up copies of his first two books. After reading them, I was a fan.

This first, in what I believe to be his Faulknerian novels, begins an exploration of themes and characters that rec
Ryan wrote: "There is a high level of purposeful vagueness throughout, as if this world contained only descriptions, never answers." Exactly. It was very frustrating, as I flew through the first 100 pages, only to realize this book was going nowhere. Which would be fine if it was at least entertaining, but it wasn't even this; just terribly contrived and horribly conceived.
When you're reading a book like this, you start looking at strangers on the street as if they harbor a secret that they need you to uncover. More so than usual.
Felix Zilich
Полтора года назад дал себе слово, что никогда больше не стану читать Стива Эриксона. И вот сегодня, спустя все это время, я уже полчаса зависаю возле его новой прочитанной книги и думал о том, какого же черта мне приспичило нарушать данное себе обещание. Пока аргумент нашелся только один. Просто на обложке русского издания романа “Дни между станциями” изображен Натан Филион, и я чисто из фэнских соображений не смог пройти в магазине мимо его портрета.

“Дни между станциями” – дебютная книга писат
The Guardian called Days Between Stations one of the best literary debuts ever. Maybe even more telling, Thomas Pynchon put his personal stamp of approval on the book before it was published in 1985. This is a hard book to describe—amnesia and fragmented masterpieces all play a significant role in the dreamy futuristic plot. But trust us on this: you will not be left wanting after powering through this out-of-the-gate masterpiece.
I don't know about this one. For the first few pages I thought the language was far too ornate and overwrought, but I seem to have got used to it by the end. Overall I liked it, I think, though the extreme weather confused me (Is it now? Is it the future? How can Paris be freezing but it's so hot in Italy?)
Mar 27, 2008 Oriana marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Oriana by: Michael
Ok, that was just weird. I was going through my backlog of friend requests when I stumbled upon my new booknerd friend Michael's very awesome review of this book. So yes he is now my friend, and then I went to read more about the book itself. And the weird thing is how when you look at people's books sorted by review, it doesn't show the author of the book, right? So I didn't realize until a few more clicks that this is written by the same guy who wrote Zeroville, which I am reading right now an ...more
There's a lot of beauty in this book, and several moments of just utter awe. The story is wild, the structure is fearless, the setting is formidably understated, and the sentences are complex and surprising. That said, almost the entire book is very much under control, and Erickson manages to always show that he knows what he's doing (perhaps the last bit before the end wanders a bit).

This was a page-turner in the sense that I wanted to keep reading and see what Erickson would come up with next,
Tim Ackerly
Moving. Surreal. Brilliant. One of the finest novels I've ever read.
My first exposure to Erickson (I promptly sought out his other books after reading it). Still my favorite, although I haven't yet read Arc d'X or Our Ecstatic Days. I came to Erickson based on the presumption that he was going to be "Pynchonesque". Really, he isn't at all, except if you count the way Pynchon can just drop your notions of reality right out from under you, and I guess that was what hooked me here. That, and the fact that this book contains some of THE most haunting images I've eve ...more
Read this in a remaindered hardcover ages ago when the equally strange and appealing Rubicon Beach came out. Found this one more accessible, but that was likely because I was not such a swift reader. Also recall that he repeats several lines verbatim between the two books, but to what end? Who knows? I couldn't be bothered to think much on it back in 1985. Man, that was always the case.

(Yet another book added to my shelves due to Liz Byer's having picked it up recently.)
Thomas Pynchon on DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS (1986):

Daring, haunting, sensual...Steve Erickson has that rare and luminous gift for reporting back from the nocturnal side of reality, along with an engagingly romantic attitude and the fierce imaginative energy of a born storyteller. It is good news when any of these qualities appear in a writer--to find them all together in a first novelist is reason to break out the champagne and hors-d'oeuvres.

Dec 04, 2008 Taylor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Murakami
Recommended to Taylor by: Liane
Shelves: american-fiction
I can't really explain why I liked this book so much. Other reviewers have said that reading Erickson's work is like reading a dream which I suppose is a pretty accurate assessment. One of my favorite authors is Harukui Murakami and the experience of reading Erickson was very similar to that of reading Murakami (although I think this novel is much darker than any or Murakami's novels). Anyway, I will definitely be reading more...
Jami Dwyer
This book was fine. As others have said, lovely imagery, unrealistic characters.

In addition to the imagery, I get a feeling that Erickson's obscurity might be what some of his evangelists like about him. Luckily for the obscurity fans, then, their five star ratings will always be tempered by the folks like me who were sucker enough to believe them, and this book, obscurity intact, will not rocket to Goodreads fame and glory.
Jamie Grefe
I have never read anything quite like this and will be soon reading as much Erickson as I can get my hands on. What can I say? Strange and fascinating story, compelling and mysterious characters, swirling through sandstorms, floods, gritty and crowded clubs, Venice, Los Angeles, Kansas and Wyndeaux...trains, bicycles, a silent film, a boat and a bottle with two eyeballs floating inside... I stand in awe of this book.
This is the sort of book where, around chapter two you start thinking to yourself, "I bet a midget is going to turn up in here at some point." I don't think a midget ever actually shows but D. W. Griffith does make an appearance. It took me a while to get into the somwhat dense style of the prose, but in the end I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. For fans of the films of Guy Maddin.
Like his other novels, this progresses with some kind of dream logic. This is not Magic Realism, it is Magic Surrealism. Just sit there with your jaw dropping while you go from Point A to Point B, without totally knowing, how you got there. You will not totally care how you got there, beucase you enjoyed the wild ride. Strange but wonderful voyages.
Sean O'Neil
Dreamscapes or reality? Like Terry Gilliam's movie "Brazil," this novel blurs the line between those two things. Is it post-apocalyptic America, or just the fevered imaginings of an American? Read it for yourself and decide. Be prepared to feel off-balance much of the time.
If, like me, you think that the words "magical" and "surreal" are tossed around far too often, then this is the book to read to prove to yourself that such adjectives do sometimes deserve a place on a jacket blurb. A tour-de-force. Absolutely unmissable.
I'm only half way through this book but it is such a relief to find a book in which i can find so much enjoyment reading! It has been far too long and i am immensely thankful to Erickson for this amazing piece of literature!
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Stuttered as a child, a motif which often appears in his writing.

Began writing stories at age seven. Began publishing as a teen. Wrote first novel at seventeen.

Studied film and journalism at UCLA.

Received Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007.

More about Steve Erickson...
Zeroville The Sea Came in at Midnight Tours of the Black Clock These Dreams of You Arc d'X

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