David's Reviews > Lord Dickens's Declaration

Lord Dickens's Declaration by Lawrence Santoro
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's review
Oct 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, steampunk, science-fiction, ebook, novella, time-travel, alternate-history, victorian, 19th-century, england

This novella was a bit of a hard slog, not because it was badly written, but because it was written with such brilliantly baroque language, suitable for the constantly-shifting timeline. It's a Victorian steampunk time travel story, and you only figure out what's going on gradually by paying close attention to the terms and names and language used.

Four stars, because while it's inspired and clever and I can only admire the author's ingenuity in creating an alternate history on every page, it never quite comes to a point, and the dense idiosyncratic descriptions and the opacity of the dialog obscures the story itself. I could handle reading a novella, but I don't think I'd want to read a full-length novel full of this kind of prose.

I read this as the limited-edition ebook sold as a benefit for Spider Robinson and his wife. I understand it is also available as a free podcast from the author, and I may listen to it some time, as hearing it read may be an entirely different experience.
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