Dianah's Reviews > Smoke City

Smoke City by Keith Rosson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: local, arc, literature, autographed, favorites, quotes, pnba-2018

If someone told you to braid together three disparate story lines (let's say, the reincarnated soul of Joan of Arc's executioner, a washed-up alcoholic artist, and a sudden rash of ghost appearances), could you do it? Could you do it without sounding like an idiot? Keith Rosson can -- magnificently.

Rosson's characters are so layered and so well defined, they absolutely hum with realism, even when they're talking to ghosts, or remembering the lives they've lived since 1375.

Joan of Arc's executioner, Geoffroy/Marvin, has been caught in a curse since the day he lit the fire under Joan and saw her soul escape in the form of a dove. He's reborn again and again, with full memory of his previous lives, and knowing that he'll die before his 57th birthday.

Mike Vale lit the art world on fire at the tender age of 19, producing work that was both critically acclaimed, and sold for millions. Since then he's spent two decades drunk and penniless.

Everywhere, seemingly, ghosts are appearing. They suddenly manifest: everyone sees them, they stay for a few minutes, and then disappear. Who are they? Why are they here? What does it mean?

Rosson tackles the big life questions in this book; picking apart themes of purpose, redemption, suffering, forgiveness, addiction, passion, talent, guilt, the unknowable nature of life and death, the ways in which we help each other and the ways in which we hinder, the joy of living and the anticipation of death, and the absolute necessity of an examined life.

Rosson's talent is staggering, his craft is meticulous, and his story is one of the quirkiest, but most heartfelt I have ever read. He will clench your heart, and by it drag you through his landscape of both horror and bliss. You'll be so utterly grateful for it.
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Reading Progress

September 29, 2017 – Shelved
September 29, 2017 – Shelved as: wishlist
September 29, 2017 – Shelved as: local
November 5, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 5, 2017 – Shelved as: arc
November 5, 2017 – Shelved as: literature
November 16, 2017 – Started Reading
November 17, 2017 –
page 133
43.04%
November 17, 2017 –
page 146
47.25% "This book -- oh, good lord!"
November 18, 2017 – Shelved as: autographed
November 18, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
November 18, 2017 – Shelved as: quotes
November 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
April 2, 2018 – Shelved as: pnba-2018

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