Oscar's Reviews > Pym

Pym by Mat Johnson
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Feb 09, 14

Read in January, 2014

Mat Johnson's Pym tells the story of a frustrated (and recently unemployed) African American studies academic. As an academic, he focuses on how the concept of "Blackness" has been presented in early American texts, and as such, he has developed a keen interest with Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym." As fortune or misfortune would have it, the academic's research begins to unravel a secret history that implies that Poe's tale might in fact have been based on reality.

Johnson's novel works well as fascinating take on Poe's tale that explore the creepiness and implications that can arise if such events, lands, and creatures, did in fact exist. Along a story of adventure, danger, and fear, Johnson throws along tons of well executed satire that address race relations, literature, academics, and the need to make one's mark in the world.
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01/13 marked as: read

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