Eddie Watkins's Reviews > Steps Going Down

Steps Going Down by John T. McIntyre
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Jul 12, 2012

bookshelves: to-read, dropped

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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion I'm following your lead on this; hope to hear it's solid. Edgar Huntly is on the way.


message 2: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins Thanks for spurring me to finally pull this off the top shelf and read it. 40 pages in it is indeed solid - impressive cast of characters, intimate consciousness of society's lower tiers, nice dark and decaying atmospheres, good writing, good dialogue - though I still have 460 pages to go...

You can still get first editions for $10 on abe.


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion First 40 pages sound good enough for me! Keep us updated.


message 4: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins 114 pages in and it's still holding up. Not much of a plot, just a device that allows the protagonist to encounter as many marginal characters as possible, and those characters are vividly and even deeply delineated.


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion More characterization, more literary, but less atmosphere than Goodis? (if that's a fair comparison)


message 6: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins Not exactly "literary", but probably better written than a lot of Goodis. The characters are deeper, or at least more developed, and feel like they were drawn from his circle of friends and acquaintances; but, yes, much less Philly atmosphere than Goodis, fewer descriptions of the streets and alleys. Most of it takes place in rooms of one kind or another, so in a way could be anywhere. Still it's pretty good. Reads like a noirish mystery, but the plot line's feeble and so not much suspense. Some disappointment, some enjoyment.


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion Three chapters in with Edgar Huntly. Archaic-styled prose similar to Poe, but wordier and more cumbersome.
A gothic feel has slowly developed. Reminds me something of Frankenstein.


message 8: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins That's pretty much what I expected it to be like... Too bad it often takes so many unnecessary words (often wooden) to create that gothic atmosphere I so often crave.

I think I'll pause on Steps Going Down for a spell. I felt the need for some concision and some artful style it just wasn't providing. I do look forward to revisiting his characters very soon though.


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion Can't go wrong with that avatar!

Really started to warm to Mr. Brockden Brown today. I don't think I'll ever find him delivering the tightness and succinctness of a Poe story, nor the sustained narrative drive and silky wording to match his atmospheric and intellectual visions like Hawthorne, but in his own roundabout way I find he can produce some fireworks! Of course, I am predisposed to his sensibilities and servings.


message 10: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins Meatyard forever! I looked through my one Meatyard book after the show. It's divided into different sections that each focus on a particular line of pursuit of his. There are hardly any mask photographs, but there's a very big section of "Romances" which are very much like many of the photos in the show, just without masks or dolls. Great stuff.

Good to hear you're warming to Brockden Brown. Is the book set in Philly?


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion Oh yeah, a masterful vision! Poignant, powerful, wonderfully composed, symbolic, fabulous bridge between the ancients and modernity. Maybe it's time to change my facebook avatar. Do we know where more of his work is permanently collected/exhibited? I noticed a lot of the photos we saw were brought from Chicago and San Francisco, I believe.

The book is set outside Philadelphia....woods, caves, countryside. Referred to as Norwalk and Inglefield, but I don't think those are actual places.


message 12: by Eddie (new) - added it

Eddie Watkins I think I remember hearing that one of the caves featured in the book is the famous cave in Wissahickon Park, the cave of Kelpius, that has connections with the Rosicrucians. I knew a guy who spent New Years Eve inside the cave alone.


Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion Actually I've never been to that cave. I had it on my radar for the longest of time, although I hear it's a bit disappointing considering how exotic it sounds.
Currently my narrator is in a cave, but it's far grander than what I understand the cave of Kelpius to be.

And just realized Inglefield is a person, not a place....not sure if that is a sign of my reading or Brockden Brown's writing.


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