Ben Bush's Reviews > Pricksongs and Descants

Pricksongs and Descants by Robert Coover
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's review
Mar 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: you-might-like-this, short-stories
read count: 1

This was pretty great. It was the first Coover I'd read and I figured I'd start with the short stories in order to hopefully see the kind of widest range of experimentation. "The Magic Poker" was the story that to me was jaw-dropping but which uses a similar technique to "Babysitter" (which was adapted into an Alicia Silverstone movie.) Both stories have an interesting way of showing a wide range of possible outcomes almost simultaneously. Coover has a kind of interest in these non-linnear games that seemed related to his work in electronic literature and his Universal Baseball Assoc. book, which was a kind of proto-fantasy baseball thing. I also like Quenby, Ola, Swede and Carl quite a bit. Also, a lot of it is pretty sexy although it makes me feel a little dirty to say it. What I think works less well in here is some of the adaptations of fairy tales, which at the time was probably fairly innovative but now just feels played out, including in Coover's own work he seems to have flogged it like a dead horse. I enjoyed the sections read with undivided attention and a cup of coffee much more than those I tried to read on the bus.
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03/24 marked as: read

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