Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wild Life, Molly Gloss

Sara, You said you wanted to see the whole thing just as I found it, so it's unmessed with, except I'm the one who rubberbanded it with cardboard. The notebook, when I found it, was tied together with rotting string inside a rotting manila folder and lying in a bottom drawer, along with tax returns and receipts dating back to the sixties, in one of my dad's five (five!) highboy dressers. 

I was interested in the premise of this book; very much so. Charlotte Bridger Drummond, a cigar-smoking, trouser-wearing writer living in Washington state, writes popular adventure stories, though she despises the genre and prefers Jules Verne. Then, when a little girl gets lost in the forest, Charlotte sets out to join the search and rescue her. Now this is where the book shifts. Thus far, it seems like a historical fiction through and through, but suddenly it turns into a mystery/fantasy. For Charlotte meets an elusive band of mountain giants, similar to the Sasquatch.

I liked the character of Charlotte very much; she was a feminist and quite enjoyable. But the writing was so frustrating at times. Gloss would go on and on, a single sentence lasting nearly a page. Sometimes that can be quite effective, but not in this case. An example: "If I'm about to follow what is happening in the world, and what's being said about this writer or that book, and the details not only of the book industry but of biology and archaeology, chemistry and medicine, the latest debates over the conceptions of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and arguments to do with socialism, feminism, evolution, eugenics, insanity, disease, not to mention what it was exactly that Jules Verne said to his family before he died, and if I'm to go on living three thousand miles from the centers of science and politics and publishing, it always will be necessary to rely on a barrowload of subscriptions to publications of all sorts, and books through the mails." (pg. 24.) Jeez, my fingers are falling off just from typing it. And so on, followed by another incredibly long sentence. And yet sometimes, I quite liked the writing style. So overall, an okay book, with a sporadic writing style.

Read Wild Life:

  • if you like historical fiction
  • if you like fantasy-ish, mystery-ish stories
  • if you like stories that change genres
  • if you are interested in the myth of Sasquatch
  • if you like strong, likable heroines
255 pages.

Okay book, but it left me wanting more!

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