Laura Wallace's Reviews > Half Life

Half Life by Shelley Jackson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 11, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-lit, scifi-fantasy-speculative, bookclub
Read in March, 2008

This book was a lot of fun, but like a lot of sci-fi-esque novels that use a wacky trope to explore pertinent Social Issues (which is almost all sci-fi-esque novels), it fell short for me. I loved the idea of the Atonement (the US bombing itself to atone for dropping the big ones on Japan) and the way conjoined twins could function as a symbol of all kinds of minority identities). I'm into exploring the whole otherness=monstrosity thing, and she did a lot of funny stuff with it on the surface, but it just didn't gel for me. Plus the characters and plot also felt spotty and half-realized. I loved Nora's first-person narrative voice, and the "scrapbook" sections. I felt Jackson reaching--this is an incredibly ambitious novel, and that's hard to pull off. I enjoyed Half Life, but I wanted to love it.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Half Life.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.