Hal Bodner's Reviews > Bay City

Bay City by J.E. Cammon
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May 19, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

When deciding on how many stars to give a book, I try to strike a balance between the quality of the work and my personal taste. I have very few gripes with the craft and skill in WHERE SHADOWS LIE: BAY CITY, it simply wasn't my cup of tea.

The writing is good, bordering on excellent at times. The fundamental idea behind the book, which I think is the quest of three supernatural creatures to find meaning in their lives, is an intriguing one and ripe with possibilities, many of which author J.E. Cammon begins to explore. But the tone of the book is too literary for me, and the style is too esoteric. While I greatly enjoy novels that make me think, I prefer them to force my brain to consider new possibilities or approaches to things or novel ideas, I don't want to have to expend great effort merely to understand what's going on.

I was strongly reminded of the late Paul Monette's work (THE GOLDDIGGERS)which, while brilliant, is very difficult to get through. Cammon shares many of the same qualities. I found myself interested in this book while still not understanding it. Normally, I would take Cammon to task as I believe writing is a form or communication and one of the main tasks of an author is to effectively communicate to his/her readers. Cammon's plot is confusing at best; his characters are too "deep" to be easily read or understood; even his language seems designed to approach in a sort of sideways fashion rather than directly describing its subject.

Yet there is no question that Cammon IS saying something. The theme is an important one, with many levels and one which Cammon has evidently thought about deeply. I just have no idea what it was!

For those of a more literary bent, this book may be just what they're looking for. For those who don't mind "working" to read a novel--and working pretty hard--this book will be a treat. But for those who prefer clear and crisp story-telling, characters one can relate to and a more casual experience, skip this one entirely.
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