Ben Loory's Reviews > Some of Your Blood

Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
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Apr 20, 2011

really liked it

theodore sturgeon has always fascinated me, although i've never really liked any of his books. i love his short story "the man who lost the sea," but the longer stuff always kind of bored me. it always gave me the sense that he'd rather be writing short but felt he had to pad the thing out so he could make some money off it. which, hey, is probably true. and i can't really say that i blame him.

anyway, this book didn't feel that way at all, which is strange because it is transparently padded. it's the story of a (perhaps) psychotic man told through an exchange of letters between army psychiatrists, discussing the case files, some of which are written by the subject in question as the "my life story" part of the exam. it's only 140 pages long and much of that is comprised of salutations, closing remarks, and editor's interjections. there's an experimental feel to the novel, a patchwork-cubist kind of aspect, but sturgeon keeps everything moving relentlessly forward and as a result it's a page-turner... an epistolary freudian mystery-suspense novel about a guy named bela who, maybe a spoiler, drinks blood. it's also a love story on multiple levels. i've really never read anything like it. (i mean, there's a Child of God thing happening, and also a jim thompson-esque feel... but it's way beyond either of them in terms of surprises, both in subject matter, plotting, and emotional scope. i mean, this is one disturbing book (it's routinely listed as one of the best horror novels ever written, despite the fact that it's not a horror novel) but somehow you come out of it feeling strangely good and hopeful about the human race.)

some facts i like about theodore sturgeon:

1) he changed his name to theodore to match his nickname ted (his actual name was edward).
2) he wrote the first (though unproduced) star trek episode to ever mention the prime directive.
3) he's the guy who said "90% of everything is crap." (hemingway said "the first draft of anything is shit.")
4) he's the guy vonnegut modeled kilgore trout after.
5) he was a relative of ralph waldo emerson.
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04/22 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Thomas Baughman Sturgeon was probably one of America's finest short story writers.

message 2: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Loory he's certainly a personal favorite. even if the story "the man who lost the sea" consisted merely of the title, it would still probably be one of my favorites... some day i will work through the umpteen-volume collected stories... do you have a favorite story by him?

Thomas Baughman Yes, The Golden helix. I also like The Ultimate Egoist a lot.

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