Michael Bafford's Reviews > Passagen

Passagen by Simon Stålenhag
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read February 10, 2018 to February 20, 2018.

** spoiler alert ** Previously I've enjoyed "Tales from the Loop" which I also found at the local library. And while I thought that book to be quite confusing, this was a more straightforward tale. Here is a road movie through a post-apocalyptic noir landscape. Some of the story seemed - to me - unreasonably dark. We meet too few good people, too much misery and loss, and hate.

Michelle is a teenager so her feelings are naturally more volcanic. Most of the time she manages to stay focused on the journey; travelling together with the "Kid Kosmo" drone her younger brother sent to lead her to him. It takes a while to get into the story. Is Skip a robot - which Michelle calls him - or a person in an armoured suit? I mean he sleeps at times and is sad at times. As a drone, though, this is understandable. And all of this, Skip and Michelle's sad history and present trials travelling through northern California are almost entirely prose, and in a way a backdrop to a landscape peopled by huge machines. Other people are also often only background, often lost in the virtual reality world of their "remote helmets" - birdlike contraptions, reminiscent of some of the masks of plague doctors or weird bird-figures in Bosch's paintings. The real landscape is also haunting in it's beauty, from the desert to the mountains to the coast. Often the air is misty or dusty, often overcast, sometimes raining but also occasionally breath-takingly clear and bright.

As the story winds down the art takes over until the final chapter is wordless.
I can recommend this to anyone who wants to tickle their fantasy. Another way to read the book would be to "read" only the pictures, first. I did not, which I regret, a bit. That would have really jolted my imagination.
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Reading Progress

February 10, 2018 – Started Reading
February 10, 2018 – Started Reading
February 10, 2018 – Shelved
February 10, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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