Rook's Reviews > Light

Light by M. John Harrison
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's review
Sep 18, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: speculative-fiction

I normally don't take the time to add specifics to the rating I give a book, but this one necessitates it.
There are things about that frustrated me deeply. For most of the book, the point and the plot were discouragingly unclear. It was difficult to tell what anything had to do with anything, in the most general of senses. There was also a kind of oversexualization of the world setting that seems common nowadays, I think because of the lifting of the Western taboo on sex as a subject. It often seemed that all the characters did in their free time was have sex or masturbate - this is both unrealistic and irritating, and throughout most of the story, the sex-scenes added little to the story.
On the other hand, there are things about this book that were positively masterful. The image of "the Shrander" was truly scary, and most of Harrison's imagery was appropriately wonder-inspiring and grandiose. The hopelessness of the main characters really came through in the prose. Beautiful stuff. And the ending was more conclusive and satisfying than that of any book I've read in years.
I'm giving it a 3-star rating, because it's the cumulative mean of the book's flaws and strengths. There were 1-star moments, and 5-star moments, but in the end, I'm glad to have read this story.
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