Adam's Reviews > The Mirage

The Mirage by Matt Ruff
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Matt Ruff is responsible for a series of topsy- turvy entertainments that have earned comparisons to Pynchon, Terry Gilliam, Stephenson, and Philip K Dick. This book of course resembles A Man in a High Castle for the war on terror, but also Borges, the TV shows Fringe and Lost, and Bruce Sterling’s many variations on Islamic themed alternative history. Ruff creates a world that is warped mirror on our own, showing what it contains and what made it. This makes it maddingly sad and funny at once. Alternative history is of course a tool to consider real history and the present, and Ruff does this, but he has other tricks up his sleeve. A fantastic twist on the reality of his world soon appears and I won’t give it away. My patience was strained by the end when the fantastic and thriller elements came to a head and Ruff had to provide an exciting conclusion and pull in all the various threads. This happens a lot when I find the plot mechanics dulling my reader buzz. But while I will forget most of the ending action the fizz of ideas, the satire, the funhouse mirror on history won’t fade and neither will the characters both real and imagined perfect in their places in this mirage. Should definitely be a TV show.
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