Highly recommend. Felt like Le Guin. I loved everything about this--to the point that I don't even know how to say it except thrusting it into your reading hands. It's just wonderful. I'm going to buy it and make a yearly re-read along with The Dispossessed.
I'm never not reading, but somehow there's still more to read. I want to break free of Goodreads, so here I am.
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I found this to be powerful, but emotionally manipulative. The only thing missing is a dog. It's very short, but if you know that ahead of time, you'll be good. I did not, so I was very startled when it ended. (that's on me)
This had a lot of potential, but I found the main character to be incredibly dull and awful despite being in a strange and exciting plot. I also hated the idea that she glazed over her family's toxicity to somehow just "get over it" without doing any emotional work. And she was really mean to her boyfriend for no reason I could discern. Like, you can be bisexual and not hate men. I thought maybe there'd be a masterful turn to fix all of that with her personality, but nope. At the 80% mark I skimmed to the end and found myself disappointed that I'd waited until 80% to do that.
This reads very much the way I assume it was written. Fueled, shall we say? It's full of misogyny (pudenda, anyone?) and racism. You can probably skip it, but don't think watching the movie is a substitute as they are nothing alike in plot or characters, imo.
If you've been avoiding Joyce because of Ulysses, this book feels like a warm-up both for the reader and the author. There are beautiful phrases buried inside intriguing vignettes. Yes, the political and social commentary is there (and opaque for those of us without knowledge of the time period and history), but the stories are enjoyable independent of those allusions. (Except for Two Gallants. I felt like that one went right over my head, but I also noted the excessive walking similar to Ulysses.) I found a lot of pain in these stories, but I was also struck by the deep sense of community and family. Most of these "stories" don't have an ending as we think of story structure, but are open to interpretation and thought. Reminded me a bit of all those lessons in high school about the Lady and the Tiger by Stockton.
I really loved this, except for the monster of a cliffhanger ending. I think knowing that ahead of time would have helped. As it was, I felt a bit cheated. Loved the romance, one of the best sex scenes I've read in a while. The villain is a little cartoonish for my tastes, but the rest worked for me.
I loved the unique science-fantasy concept explored in this book. I liked the characters. I liked the (eventual) plot. What drove me batty was the rimming--can I say that here?--of the pacing. Each chapter read like there was going to be a pay-off, a release of fury or emotions, and then nada. Nope. Over and over and over for 400 pages. It made me want to tear my hair out. What's that musical thing that sounds like it's increasing constantly without ever reaching climax? Yeah, that. It kinda ruined the end for me, honestly, because by then I just didn't care and wanted it to be over.