Blake Crouch: Recursion

There was a lot I really liked about this novel and a few things I really didn’t. I avoided reading anything about it beforehand, but I’m guessing it’s dogged by comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s films (both “Memento” and “Inception,” particularly) and maybe to Kaufman/Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and really, if this is somehow not already under option, someone should jump on that.

My reaction is very like my reaction to Nolan’s work: wow, a lot of really cool idea, but dang, the story is very action-movie-ish (lots of guns). A version of a thing I fundamentally don’t like that is executed so well (and in many respects thoughtfully) that I’m pulled in despite myself. I read the whole book in less than two days.

I was willing to digest some big lumps of exposition, and some aspects that initially made me struggle with suspension of disbelief were eventually satisfactorily explained. My biggest problem with the book is structural, quite near the denouement: there’s a point where the reader gains an insight that the characters almost have. The story takes the foot of the gas there for me from a narrative standpoint, but from a plot mechanics perspective there are a bunch of things to ratchet up the stakes that cumulatively felt a bit mechanical. The metaphorical equivalent, maybe, of how a car’s ignition never catches the first time in movies when something is after you. Pulled me out of the book for a bit (although it pulled me back before the wrap-up).

[And, not a spoiler, but a gratuitous reference to T***p, or anyway one of his buildings, really made me wince. Not an explicitly political book. Has one definitively POC character with dialogue, no significant queer rep, and would just barely squeak by the Bechdel test if filmed as written. So.]

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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