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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars an unnecessary unreadable sequel, September 7, 2008
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This review is from: Now Voyagers: Some Divisions of the Saga of Mawrdew Czgowchwz, Oltrano, Authenticated by Persons Represented Therein, Book One: The Night Sea Journey (Bk. 1) (Paperback)
I loved the original novel, so I was thrilled to learn there was a sequel. But, alas, I was terribly disappointed by it. For starters, it is unreadable. It wants to out-Joyce Ulysses with too many long passages of thick macaronic drivel. The characters tend to be pretentious snobs who try to quote movies, books, operas, and plays like a roomful of drunk Albee characters determined to be the most obnoxious jerks at the cocktail party. "I know more about the Arts than you do, and I'm now going to spend page-after-page proving it." And the frequent quotes...Latin, French, German! Plus we have characters who speak in long paragraphs that are rendered to reflect their thick accents (an Indian swami, the Irish blokes, the Southern black queen).

True, there are brief flashes of delightful bile: the Callas insults, a description of an "Aida" wig-pulling incident, the Zinka and Ponselle worship. I just wish the multiple narrators (and there are too many letters and cablegrams) had spent more time talking about opera follies and less time about Irish history or diseased sex in the Baths.

What the novel needed most was someone to proofread it. The typos are numerous. Spellcheck can't catch "though" for "thought" or "stared" for "started" or the "it's/its" difficulties. And a proofreading opera queen might have caught the name Meneguzzer spelled here as Menneguzzer.

The most interesting passages are the ones that take place in a dark room of the Everard Baths, as three queens quote, bicker, and criticize anyone and everything. (Okay, so they are the gay Norns of the Gotterdammerung that is New York's opera scene.) There are lots of vicious comments about opera singers and the 1950s literary scene. But these passages are interlarded among long passages about Mawrdew's voyage from New York to Ireland, where she will film a movie about an Irish political heroine, who might have been her mother.

There are too many characters that are not individualized, too many long passages in foreign languages, too many reproduced letters, too many spelling errors, and too many pages that can be skipped in their entirety.
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