John Connolly: The Gates

Warning: This review is more than a little mean. I’ve mentioned Henry Jenkin’s introduction to Interfictions 2 once already. In it he makes an excellent point about genre: when we read genre fiction, we want it to conform somewhat to our expectations of the genre — but we also want it to somewhat confound ourContinue reading “John Connolly: The Gates”

Michael Moorcock: Gloriana

Good God, I hated this book, with an unreasoning, visceral passion. (Had much the same reaction to Nabokov’s Lolita). I made the perhaps-mistake of reading the Moorcock’s afterword first, in which he explains that Andrea Dworkin took him to task for including a graphic rape scene (with a troubling thematic implication) in book she otherwiseContinue reading “Michael Moorcock: Gloriana”

David Addison: The Gargoyle

Like many of the plots of Jonathan Carroll — the novelist whom The Gargoyle most calls to mind — the plot of David Addison’s novel might seem precious or even silly when reduced to 25-words-or-less form: Addiction-prone man, hideously burned in car crash, meets beautiful sculptress who claims to have known him in 14th century,Continue reading “David Addison: The Gargoyle”

Louise Wener: Goodnight Steve McQueen

If Wener’s name seems familiar other than as a novelist, it’s probably because she led the 90’s britpop outfit Sleeper. I’m generally skeptical of songwriter-to-prose-slinger transitions — the skillsets involved have little overlap, it seems to me. But Wener’s songs often had such a strong narrative sense that they were almost short-story like, and myContinue reading “Louise Wener: Goodnight Steve McQueen”

John Harwood: The Ghost Writer

Harwood’s The Ghost Writer is a tour-de-force of the “is it a haint, or ain’t it” style of ghost(?) story, and simultaneously an impressive feat of post-modern multi-level narrative construction. Gerard Freeman keeps finding ghost stories — both whole and as tantalizing fragments — written by a mysterious relative, which the reader gets to absorbContinue reading “John Harwood: The Ghost Writer”