oh, what, is that me and paul tremblay?? it most certainly is!Trudi: haha! saw that title and my first thought was "oh noes, she has officially reached rock bottom with the monster porn!" You have corrupted me. I have been corrupted.
i loved this post so much, i had to use it to start my review. i hope that is okay.
i love that you people thought this was erotica. and i think paul will love it, too.
it is not erotic, though, despite a golden-shower scene. it is hard to say what
it is. this book is two stories stuck together, in a chimera that somehow works.
because at first, i wasn't sure what i was going to think of it. we find ourselves in a future-dystopia, where our hero is living out a sort of contracted indentured servitude on "farm," a tourist-trap theme park where guides wear plush animal costumes and lead tour groups through faux-bucolic settings to gawp at people who have given up their freedom in exchange for a little money to send home, while they toil to produce food for "city", and live animals have had their vocal cords removed, so that animal sounds must be pumped in to delight its visitors. "city" rests on top of a pier, under which all the homeless have been relocated and left for dead, and is a horrorshow of consumerism gone mad, whose inhabitants are aggressively accosted by people wearing television screens showing commercials, and live in fear of being sent under the pier.
this kind of satire of bureaucracy and commercialism usually bores my teats off. i get it, i get the dehumanization and the moral deadening, i get the complacency and the lassitude of people under the strongarm of capitalist greed and genetic meddling, but it rarely transcends its own delight in its own perceived allegorical cleverness to become anything more than just a sad empty shell of a story.
ah, but this one goes a step further. and it shuttles the reader back-and-forth between this lunatic setting and the memories of our hero's life before-farm, and the circumstances that led to his choosing farm in the first place. these parts of the novel are told in very clear-eyed prose, which contrasts nicely with the carnivalesque and absurd farm-and-city chapters.
by the end, when we find ourselves under the pier, the carnival all but drops away, and we are confronted with humanity at its most desperate, and there is such amazingly wonderful pathos, and i couldn't help but feel sympathy for a character who until that point had been under a pretty harsh spotlight.
paul promised:I'll only say it starts off wacky, crazy, and hopefully funny, and gets darker/more serious as you go, until you're a weeping puddle by the end. Or something that like. ;)
and while i have never been a weeping puddle in my life (view spoiler)[ koff The Piper's Son koff Mother, Come Home (hide spoiler)]
, i will say that it does do a good job of providing an emotional counterpoint to what would otherwise have been just a cerebral endeavor.
and while i still hold In the Mean Time
closer to my blackened heart, this book reaffirms my love for paul tremblay and for czp, the only publisher i have ever maintained a crush on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>