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Preview — Desolation Road by Ian McDonald
Read Excerpt* *Different edition
It all began 30 years ago on Mars, with a greenperson. But by the time it all finished, the town of Desolation Road had experienced every conceivable abnormality from Adam Black's Wonderful Travelling Chataqua and Educational Stravaganza (complete with its very own captive angel) to the Astounding Tatterdemalion Air Bazaar. Its inha...more
I was reminded, while reading _Desolation Road_, of two authors in particular: John Crowley and Gene Wolfe. This is not to say that I think Ian McDonald was in any way aping them or merely writing some kind of amalgamated pastiche, but there were elements to his tale that made both author’s names spring to mind. I think the first one was Wolfe, largely because of the way in which McDonald made the magical seem almost commonplace (or was it that the commonplace was made to seem magic ...more
A pesar de que, sin haberla leído, pueda pensarse que es una novela de ciencia ficción, pues tiene todos los elementos típicos, la mejor manera de enfrentarse a esta novela es estar preparados para encontrar algo más parecido a Cien años de soledad, algo más místico que científico, de ...more
When I first started reading this book, I thought, "Oh, how delightful."
McDonald has succeeded in taking the Wild West and transplanting it onto Mars. This leads to charming tales about strangers with strange pasts blowing into town, in this case a little, tiny town called Desolation Road that isn't really supposed to exist. We are introduced to interesting character after interesting character, and see how they get along with each other, and it is wonderful.
This is the story of Desolation Road, a ramshackle, hodgepodge little town of misfits that, over the course of its decades-long existence, would grow to be the home of scandals, time travelers, a religious movement, terror cells, labor disputes, a baby in a jar, and an all-out war which would, briefly, turn the accidental colony into the most important place on Mars.
Despite its sci-fi setting, Desolation Road fits more in the magical realism genre with its colorful setting and dreamli ...more
Contando como base una olvidada estación de radio meteorológica y los restos aprovechables de una vieja misión de ROTECH, en Camino Desolación terminan varando una serie de personajes ...more
Como no tengo mucho tiempo, destacaría los personajes por encima de todo. Hay que leer la novela para entender de que estoy hablando si os digo que cuanto menos son curiosos.
La prosa de McDonald también es de muchos quilates y la trama aunque algo surrealista en ciertos momentos, esta repleta de frescura y origi ...more
It tells the story of a place through the lives of several of its inhabitants. Some of them are unforgettable, and all are special in their own way. In a way, it presents H ...more
Regular readers know that in the last year, I've ended up becoming a huge salivating fanboy of science-fiction author Ian McDonald, and that I have no problem with people knowing this; that's part of what being a book lover is all about, after all, is finding certain writers that we can go all nutso ...more
I'm a big fan of Ian McDonald since reading the brilliant The Dervish House, and this, his first novel, has many of the hallmarks of his future talent. There's the stellar prose, of course; often brilliant, sometimes good enough that you want to put down the book to applaud. There's this sense of worldliness: his futuristic Mars is ...more
The book has much in common with Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" in that the book centers on a group of families in a geographically isolated village and spans the village's founding ...more
Lo que nos cuenta. El Doctor Alimantando, tras un extraño encuentro que le prepara para ello y otro que termina proporcionándole los materiales necesarios, crea un asentamiento en una zona montañosa aislada y con cavernas del Gran Desierto de Marte, en su Cuarto de Esfera Noroccidental, al que llamará Camino Desolación (aunque pensó en llamarlo Camino Destino antes de abusar del vino de vainas de guisantes) ...more
Già dal primo approccio si capisce la ricercatezza stilistica e l'enorme fantasia di idee e situazioni di questo autore britannico classe 1960.
Per apprezzare a fondo questo libro ci vuole, secondo me, un minimo bagaglio di letture fantascientifiche o comunque una mente aperta e pronta a tutto ciò che è fantastico, pronta ad accettare tutto e il contrario di tutto senza barriere e preconcetti.
Premesso questo, il romanzo risulterà godibi ...more
Not rated because I abandoned it halfway through. If I were to rate it, a two star read at best.
I'm very disappointed. I recently read Ian McDonald's novel The Dervish House and thought I'd found a new author to recommend to all my friends. But this one? It purports to be science fiction, but it's really just a bunch of magical hoo-hah: impossible and unreal. McDonald's writing is friendly and engaging, as are almost all of this characters, good and bad alike, but the story has no ...more
First off, I love Ian McDonald. Some of his books are among my all-time favorites. I love his mix of surrealism, poetry, and stream of consciousness with concise descr ...more
I have no idea if that's what actually happened but its a good enough explanation as any.
McDonald's first published novel and the first novel of his that I've read, which is strange since he's fairly prolific ...more
Marvelous how all human strife and conflict was a symbolic enactment of loftier struggles between the Powers Cosmic so that every moment of the present was merely a fragment of the past repeating itself over and over again.
Destination Road, Desperation Road, Desecration Road... Desolation Road. Through a series of unlikely accidents, Dr. Alimantando (and what an effort it must have been for Ian McDonald to type that name over and over, in the days before search-and-replace!) has const ...more
The cast of characters is enormous and each character is unique and vibrantly drawn. At turns hilarious, alarming, and sad, Ian McDonald's first published novel is a bit hard to get a grip on and impossible to label or pigeonhole. The plot moves incredibly ...more
it has quite a large cast, but characters are introduced with a chapter apiece (for the most part), and the on-ramp is gradual both in terms of introducing the characters and introducing the world.
the writing throughout is sharp, witty, and pitch-perfect, tending toward some pretty biting satire. being satirical, you probably won't walk away feeling like you got to know a person inside & out, but that's ok.
and the names! the n ...more
After reading Cory Doctorow's review/plug for this book not too long ago on BoingBoing, I was really intrigued. Mostly because he generally suggests great books, but also because I thought that it'd be outside of my comfort zone, so it would be a good exercise in trying something new.
However, it just didn't jive with me. There were ...more
It's been described as Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Mars, but I've never read any Marquez (which I should remedy, I know), so I'd have to describe it as a much more compelling and unusual Martian Chronicles, a mismatch of folktale and character study, a novel approach to nearly every classic trope of pulp science ficti ...more
The characterization and thematic development are especially outstanding 'for a sci-fi book' as well as in general. If his name was 'Borges', he'd be read in literature departments instead of just winning award in the SF ghetto.
There's no hyperbole in the entire history of hyperboles that can adequately capture how much I appreciated ...more