Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another book

The latest book I finished was Palimpsest, by Catherynne Valente. It is the story of four people who are transported to a dream-city after an impulsive one night stand with a mysterious stranger, and how they each become obsessed with the city and finding their way back to it--permanently. My reaction was mixed. Valente's language is beautiful, and her writing has that half-intriguing, half grotesque quality of fairy tales. She is never a quick read. Her characters are only symbols and the plot never seemed to quite mesh. It was a bit more explicit and graphic than I expected, and the story was too disjointed to read smoothly or draw me in completely. It seemed to both go too far, and not far enough--too far to make the reader comfortable, but not far enough for clear resolution and closure in each of the tales. I wasn't sure I'd finish it and probably won't read it again. I liked her Orphan's Tales books (In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice) better. The stories were also disjointed, but it suited the structure of the books better.

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