Deb's Reviews > Big Machine

Big Machine by Victor LaValle
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's review
Feb 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Deb by: Graham

"Sometimes a man retreats so far inward he mistakes isolation for dominion."
-- from this strangely poetic book I've been reading very slowly, an odd thing for a lady who devours books like other folks breathe air.

The prose sets my thoughts adrift in the way a good book should: in "Big Machine," Victor Lavalle's narration speaks to you frequently, and as my soul nods or questions, I think "isn't it curious that my soul is speaking up at all!" then wonder at all the discoveries Lavalle makes me aware of, that my unconscious had already decided but neglected to tell me until he brought such curiously simple-yet-profound topoi to light.

When my mental fancy tangents fade and I finally drift back to Lavalle, he re-engages my interest quickly enough to lull me into trusting that his words are wise (they consistently try to be). Into that teacher-trust, Lavalle continually throws one-line mental paths and you constantly decide: Do I read further or go wandering?

Best read on rainy days or 30 minute bus rides.
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