Jacob's Reviews > Vertical Motion

Vertical Motion by Can Xue
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Oct 14, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010-2011, short-fiction
Read from October 05 to 12, 2011

October 2011

Some possibilities:

1) Can Xue isn't a very good writer, and/or
2) Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping aren't very good translators, and/or
3) poetic and dreamlike magical realism really isn't my thing.

I would explain more, but I could barely finish the collection--so I really don't have the motivation to write a proper review.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Daniel I really hope this subscription doesn't let you down. We need another book like "Zone" that just re-formats your entire brain!


Jacob Well, "The Book of Happenstance" and this one weren't very good, "Guadalajara" was decent (I liked it, but I read a lot of short stories and collections, and it didn't really stand out as great or anything), and I haven't read "My Two Worlds" yet.

The next one is an essay collection, which doesn't really excite me, although I'll read it (and I should try reading more essays anyway). So really, I think it'll all come down to "Thrown Into Nature" later this year. But I should probably look up "Zone" and a few others. Any recommendations?


Daniel Other than "Zone?" Truth is, the only other books that stood out after that are "Guadalajara" and, most especially, "The Guinea Pigs." I know that you were hoping that your subscription would start with the latter. It's well worth picking up.


Jacob You're also reading "The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda," right? How's that coming along?


Daniel Jacob wrote: "You're also reading "The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda," right? How's that coming along?"

Overly-tardy reply to your question: slowly, and ok. Most of the Rodoreda stories are really short and don't offer a lot to hold on to.

I'm finally reading this collection. I like the writing, but I'm not getting into the stories. This worries me: maybe my tastes don't line up with the editors at OL as much as I'd hoped.


Jacob Daniel wrote: "This worries me: maybe my tastes don't line up with the editors at OL as much as I'd hoped. "

Yeah, I've had the same thoughts. Tried reading "My Two Worlds" a week or so ago and gave up after a few pages. It appeared to be a Thinking Novel in which Nothing Happened. Not my thing. Also got "Karaoke Culture" but haven't started it yet. It looks promising though.

And finally found a copy of "The Guinea Pigs," but it may be too late to save my enthusiasm for OLB. My eye has been wandering to other publishers.


Daniel Jacob wrote: "Daniel wrote: "This worries me: maybe my tastes don't line up with the editors at OL as much as I'd hoped. "

Yeah, I've had the same thoughts. Tried reading "My Two Worlds" a week or so ago and g..."


Good call: MTW was pretty rough. I kept telling myself, "Eat your veggies, eat your veggies, eat your veggies--cause they're GOOD for you!" But man, the flavor...

I had enough optimism--or, at least, more that than skepticism--to renew. After reading some of the shorter offerings within, I am looking forward to really diving into that book of essays.

Bravo for "Guinea Pigs!" It's such a weird and wonderful little read.


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