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elijahkinchspector

Uncertain, Fugitive, Half-fabulous

Stories about people. People who must ponder the implications of their laser gun swords.

Currently reading

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond
Bill Campbell, Edward Austin Hall
Deathstalker War (Owen Deathstalker, Vol. 3)
Simon R. Green
Jews Without Money
Michael Gold
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
And the voices wailed Fire, fire, run, run, like a tragic nursery rhyme, a dozen voices, high, low, like children dying in a forest, alone, alone.
p. 171

If The Martian Chronicles wasn't a collection of short stories and vignettes, I think I'd put it in my running for The Great American Novel. For as much as a phrase like "The Great American Novel" means fuck-all of anything. Still, I'm happy for the serendipity that caused me to read this right after The Great Gatsby, because I found the two quite complimentary in a lot of ways. Particularly in that whole "arresting images and haunting tone" thing (also the "book I tried to read when I was younger but didn't manage" thing).

When I was 9 or 10 I decided to try reading The Martian Chronicles. After all, it had "Chronicles" right there in its name! Surely it would be sweeping and adventurous, perhaps Star Wars-esque. It looked unbearably long to me, but I managed to soldier through what felt like an awful lot of challenging prose before I eventually gave up.

When I finally read all 181 pages of the book this year, I was able to pinpoint exactly where it was that I'd given up so long ago. It was page 11. I wasn't much of a reader as a kid. But even then, to one who saw 181 pages as unending and saw a book as purely a way to get a story told, there was something that struck me about those eleven pages that I'd never experienced through pure words on a page before.

Mood.

Haunting, melancholy, magical, sad, airy, and oppressive mood.

[You will find the phrase "Flannery O'Connor with rockets" in the rest of my review, which is here.]