Jayaprakash Satyamurthy's Reviews > How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
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's review
Mar 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: science-fiction, genrebender

Amazing and sometimes a little infuriating, this self-absorbed, often solipsist, frequently overwritten novel is also conceptually brilliant - metaphors nestling within metaphors, and all tellingly deployed - and moving. It's as if a bright emo kid read too much po-mo fiction and somehow managed to sit down and right a great novel anyway. This is the usual novel of a son paying the psychic debts of his father's abdication from paternal duties, but played out with both verve and heart against a setting that uses time travel as a metaphor for storytelling, storytelling as a metaphor for life. That's a lot of conceptual baggage for one novel and to add to it, Yu is also consciously engaging with the SF genre, parlaying its unique ways with language into a lexical space where dense cod-scientific jargon co-exists with loopy, loping sentences rife with parallel metaphors and emotional infodumps. My only reservations are that Yu's meandering way with sentences sometimes gets the better of him and that it sometimes all seems a bit claustral and self-absorbed. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have minded the latter in my 20s.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby I think i've heard of this previously but now I know I want to read it. Look out bookshop here I come.

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy It's definitely worth a read. I don't know what he'll do next, but Yu has the potential to be a real trailblazer.

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