Jim Razinha's Reviews > The Dream of Perpetual Motion

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
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Oct 07, 11

Read from September 26 to October 07, 2011

Oh, dear. How to describe? First, a bit of explanation...I am a mostly non-practicing admirer of steam punk. By that, I mean I don't go to conventions, dress up in costumes (though I reserve that right - I have been known to dress up for the major holidays, like St. pats) or blog as a character. I am attracted to the visual part of steam punk, and have a set of brass goggles my family gave me. I took apart a Nerf pistol and had a lot of fun punking it. But reading about it?I wasn't sure.

And I'm still not. I read it and then went in search of what others thought of it. Mixed reviews, but the ones that didn't jibe were gushing. Whatever. Dexter Palmer wrote a convoluted string of dark and strange, mentioning some things about mechanical men and airships which I'm guessing defines steam punk. Imagine the final sequence in Kubrick Space Odyssey in which time twists, insert some twisted imagination (Palmer is a bit ill, or at least can think ill.) Darken it.

This book offered me none of the wonderful imagination of the steam punk subculture. I admit that gas masks and some parts are not my cup of tea, but the artifacts, weapons and machines are fantastic trips of fancy and creativeness. Not so, this Dream. That's not to say it isn't creative or imaginative, but it's also not fun. I gathered from one review that Thomas Pynchon might be a better choice, so adding to my list...

How to describe? Bizarre.
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