David's Reviews > Was

Was by Geoff Ryman
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's review
Jul 15, 2010

bookshelves: liminalfiction, gayreadinggroup
Read from July 15 to 30, 2010

This book was an imaginative telling of three concurrent stories: the life of Dorothy Gael before and after she went to Oz, the life of Judy Garland surrounding the time she played Dorothy, and the end of AIDS victim Jonathan's life. It was about feeling the distress of disturbed lives and the narratives layer on each other very poetically drawing connections through each character's pain and images from Oz. Ryman's weaving together of Dorothy's story with Jonthan's was seamless with the couple chapters about Garland as sort of an aside. It became a bit heavy handed with grief and felt frustrating because each character uses a futile escapist strategy through Oz or the past to cope with their grief and rough circumstances. But the layered narrative and the vivid imagery made this quite captivating.
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