Apr 08, 12
Read from March 02 to April 08, 2012
The year of odd circus stories continues. John Irving, how have you escaped the list?
Honestly, I almost gave up on "Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti" a hundred pages in; it took a good third of the book before I could pick up any discernible plot. (There isn't much of one, once detected.) This tale of mechanically reconstructed circus performers in a dystopian, war-torn future lurches from chapter to chapter like a wind-up monkey on its last rusty legs. The POV flips from character to character, sometimes first-person, sometimes not, and it took me a while to find my footing.
There's sadness oiling the gears here that ultimately delivers more poignancy than the more popular, more evocative "Night Circus." But it shares that book's problem of robotic characters that have little more heart than, well, robots. Interesting at times, but not for most readers, I'd suspect.