Paul Lyons's Reviews > Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

liked it
Read from August 27 to September 04, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I first tried read this in 2007, after I read Matt Ruff's "Bad Monkeys"...then gave up. I tried again sometime later, and again I gave up. I think I just had a hard time getting into the story. Yet last week, when I picked up the book for the first time in years, I committed myself to finishing "Set This House In Order"...and I'm glad I did.

Matt Ruff is a very imaginative writer, who isn't afraid to take risks with his work. To read a Matt Ruff novel, one must be willing to go on a perilous journey, fraught with confusion, dangerous twists and turns, and shocking revaluations. In "Set This House In Order," Ruff has an ace up his sleeve that I've never seen, nor heard of being done before. I am still not entirely sure if Ruff went to far...perhaps crossing a line that never should be crossed. It makes one ask the question "Can an author do that?" Well, with "Set This House In Order,"all bets are off.

It still took me a bit to get into the story of two people in a small Washington town, each with a vicious form of multiple-personality disorder. Yet once you get over the hump of getting to know all of the characters, the story settles in to an even-keeled pace that I enjoyed, yet never loved.

That said, I commend Matt Ruff for creating a challenging work that more or less pays off in the end. There are some aspects of the story that I still don't quite understand...yet overall I enjoyed the read. Only took me five years, yet it was worth it.

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