engine summer

engine summer
i’ve now read two books by john crowley: engine summer and Aegypt. crowley is a favorite of my close friend ryan…he bought me most of crowley’s books as a gift, which was nice, given that they are mostly hard to find or out of print.

crowley’s books are not easy to read (if these two are any example). he makes no effort to provide a cushion for the reader, to help them on their journey through the world he creates. instead, he seems to relish dislocation and opaque prose. i’ve read other authors who do the same (Gene Wolfe and Iain Banks being two notable examples), but crowley seems to have his own gig.

engine summer is a post-apocalyptic tale, one where the future is not exactly bright, but then again, not entirely dark. in fact, for some time in the novel, you’re not even sure it’s the future (an approach that reminded me very much of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun series).

despite the dislocation, he weaves a very compelling tale, one that creates a plausible future told with a somewhat foreign voice from that future. it may take you half way to reach the crest of the first hill of the rollercoaster, but i’d venture that once you reach that point, the rest is downhill, and you reach the end with a sense of exhilaration and happiness.

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