Jacquelynn's Reviews > Palimpsest

Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
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's review
Jun 14, 11

Intriguing idea and beautiful prose that borders poetry. Also fascinating concept. However, I don't get much mileage from Palimpsest-there's just not much re-readability in it.

Valente's style of writing is dreamlike, floating on its own wing of metaphors and elaborate description. This is enhanced by (or exacerbated by, depending on the style of writing you enjoy) the presentation of scenes, which cuts in and out of each character's life, rather than coherently connecting them until later. By the end, the novel has simply drifted away, and there's nothing in it that compels you to pick up the book again. As a first read, I would give it four stars, but...can I give something that rating when I can't enjoy the book more than once?

Borrow it, don't buy it. However, be sure to listen to the music inspired by it: Quartered: Songs of Palimpsest by SJ Tucker. For better or worse, the music draws me into Palimpsest more than the book ever did. Those songs receive regular attendance from me. Alas, the same can't be said for the book.
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