Kylin Larsson's Reviews > Trash, Sex, Magic

Trash, Sex, Magic by Jennifer Stevenson
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Oct 01, 10

bookshelves: novels
Read in October, 2010

** spoiler alert ** A stretch of land outside of Chicago is lush and fertile. Fecund. Why? Because something about it requires a man to sacrifice himself (somewhat unwillingly) to turn into a tree, a Tree of Life, as it were. The women who live near him/it are filled with a vivacious sexual energy. Why? Because they are lovers with the tree.

In some ways, this story really works. The feeling of the earth being alive comes across quite well, though the imagery is highly repetitious. The repetition goes along nicely with the magical feel of the story, but it's also boring.

I'm a big fan of suspending belief in the ordinary for the sake of story. I really, really am. But the absurd unbelievability of so many things in the story (too many to list except why did that guy literally turn into a snake?) made me sigh and want to stop reading the book.

I like the idea of this story more than the novel itself. I think it would have worked better as a short story, with its power contained instead of sprawled and weaker than intended.
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