Awesome in that it is unique and unlike most other novels-- perhaps house of leaves shares some echoes.
It is an extremely meta novel, so meta that itAwesome in that it is unique and unlike most other novels-- perhaps house of leaves shares some echoes.
It is an extremely meta novel, so meta that it is meta about its meta-ness, referencing for example the murder of gonzago.
It explores the origins of sci-fi, the origins of genre, and the banal uses, abuses, and world changing improvisations humans put story telling to.
The universe is an impossible one-- a surreal poetic amplification of the fictional narrative that space science fiction movies of the early 20th century depicted. All of the planets of the solar system are inhabited. I love that the Gothic narrative takes place on Pluto, and that the moon (a silver screen to the sun's radiance) is where all the big movie studios and located. It was weird when Neptune was described as leaving radio contact with the earth for uears because it was going behind the sun-- obviously impossible, but then that whole universe is impossible and this dreamlike event is whole something that could happen in a science fiction movie. Even Star Trek movies goof up astronomy royally, like when we saw the planet vulcan in the sky while standing on a planet in another solar system.
The novel is brilliantly poetic, and I would often read it out loud in order to physically hear the lushness of the language.
I loved the last third, and was surprised at how well the mysteries and loose ends were resolved.
What I really liked about this book was the quality of the writing, and the wonderful descriptions detailed world that is a fantasy version of renaissWhat I really liked about this book was the quality of the writing, and the wonderful descriptions detailed world that is a fantasy version of renaissance Venice but also includes a detailed underworld politics. There are descriptions of various class differences, currency, banking, booze, blasphemies, and the training of criminals. It is great inspiration for a person's D&D game, especially if their campaign is already set in an early modern pirate/thief milieu. The tale is fast paced and has a satisfying ending.
But the many of the characters seemed to have a similar voice, and there are contrivances in the plot that I found unbelievable. The alchemy aspect of the magic in the world is interesting and there are some very cool instances of alchemy, such as gentled creatures, but it can at times make the world seem to modern and familiar. And then there are also the bonds mages. There is no paradigm, system or cosmology for their magic, so it ends up just being 'bonds mages can do anything', which detracts from an otherwise detailed, well built world. ...more
There were a number of references to ancient greek poets, myths and culture in this play which, had I groked them, would no doubtBrekekekex koax koax!
There were a number of references to ancient greek poets, myths and culture in this play which, had I groked them, would no doubt have increased my appreciation of it. None the less, it was quite funny, and with an appreciation of P.G. Wodehouse, a person can totally dig Xanthias and Dionysus as Jeeves and Whooster.
One part I especially enjoyed was Hercules's helpful directions into the underworld.
I read this play because an Empusa made an appearance in my Wednesday D&D game, and I was curious as to where this creature appeared in the ancient world.
The Elizabeathan historical references are fun, and I enjoyed the idea of a supposedly dead Christopher Marlowe haunting London, but the action does nThe Elizabeathan historical references are fun, and I enjoyed the idea of a supposedly dead Christopher Marlowe haunting London, but the action does not move forward, and the Marlowe and Shakespeare characters were not convincing. Its unfair, perhaps, but I read this after having read Anthony Burgess's excellent 'A Dead Man in Deptford' which probably biased me as to what a Marlowe should be like. Also, it was difficult to feel that there was much at stake for most of the novel. It was as though in this fantasy novel with devils and fairies and magicians the only effect of the magic that the poets possess is the same as the effect that they have in our world.
None the less, there is a great Marlowe and Shakespeare sex scene, and near the end there are some interesting infernal and fey shenanigans. ...more
This one of the best horror novels I have ever read.
The terrors that it brings to life remind my of a quote I read in the book 'Hamlet in Purgatory'This one of the best horror novels I have ever read.
The terrors that it brings to life remind my of a quote I read in the book 'Hamlet in Purgatory' that itself was in reference to a book about the psychic effects of living under the Third Reich:
“One of the characteristic signs of power, and in particular of illegitimate power, is its ability to provoke nightmares, to generate weird images, to alter the shape of the imagination.”
If you have not read this book, then to say that 'Beloved' explores the horrors of chattel slavery though a transcendent poetic ghost story won't tell you enough, because unless you know way more than I did going into it, you won't guess at the day to day psychic horrors, the endless barrage of tortures and physical terrors, the ceaseless haunting, and the destruction of the world and the self that this book evokes.
Morrison's incredible writing bursts into poetry that can let you see the crazed, dark that the dead dwell in as they rest beneath the earth, as well as the ability of human beings to contradict and, if only briefly, banish terror, as in the following excerpt:
After situating herself on a huge, flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, “Let the children come!” and they ran from the trees toward her. “Let your mothers year you laugh,” she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then “Let the grown men come,” she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. “Let your wives and your children see you dance,” she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. “Cry”, she told them. “For the living and the dead. Just cry.” And without covering their eyes, the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or to go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace that they could have is the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. ...more