Sunday, February 24, 2008

My problem with Jeff Vandermeer's City of Saints and Madmen.

I'd probably be OK with if I woke up in Ambergris (note to self: re-read The Strange Case of X until it really scares the crap out of you). Very cool town, has some interesting indigenous creatures, lots of cats, it's own culture, religion, history. . . beautiful city. I wonder if I could rent a condo there for a few weeks in the autumn?

I kept wondering why I was looking for reasons not to read City of Saints and Madmen. Was there something wrong with stories? No, they were incredible. Unlikeable characters? No, not that either (well, Janice can get a bit annoying, but that's just the way she is). Where the stories beautiful, scary, soul-wrenching, pity-inducing nail-biters? Why, yes, they were! So why was I looking for any excuse not to finish this book, instead of taking it with me everything, and being late to work because I was too busy reading it?

Reading City of Saints and Madmen is like being dumped in the Louvre and told you've got 6 hours to see everything. So hop to it! Wouldn't you just sit there, staring at wall, completely overwhelmed, with no idea where to start? Sure, you could just start somewhere, but it wouldn't matter, because you could either study one or two pieces of art with the attention they deserve, or rush through the museum, and not actually get to see the details of anything. That's what getting this book from the library is like. It's not due till next weekend, but I still feel like no matter how many hours I spend with it, I'll still be rushing though it.

Yup, time to just plunk down the cash for it. Damn you Jeff Vandermeer! Does your wife know you do this kind of thing to unsuspecting readers??

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