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Yarn Paperback – December 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Jon Armstrong is a speculative fiction writer. His first novel, Grey, was published in 2007 and was short-listed for the Philip K Dick Award. That same year, Jon was also nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New SF Writer.
Top Customer Reviews
However, I got a grip on myself, finished reading the story, and enjoyed the amazing storytelling. I will say I personally spent the most time marveling over the machines Jon invented, trying to imagine how they worked.
The detailing in Yarn will blow you away. Forget what you think you know and let Jon lead you into his universe.
You can listen to Jon's first book, Grey, at Podiobooks.com for an introduction to his storytelling ability. Check out his podcast, If You're Just Joining Us, for the interview where Jon talked to the cover artist. It was great.
It was the cover-art of this book that *really* grabbed me. I kept going back to where it was displayed at a FOGcon dealer table, and in the end decided to judge the book by its cover.
The world-building was brilliant. I loved the Japanese cast to the whole thing, and using Fashion as the guiding principle of society was intriguing and unique. The descriptions were wonderfully evocative.
There was some kind of mismatch between the plot and the place and pace. I felt the story wanted to be about the plot, but it kept getting overwhelmed by the world-building. The use of language, though inventive and apt, still required more effort than I wanted to make... there was perhaps a little too much of it? Like a brocade that's so densely figured that it detracts from all the other characteristics of the fabric. The continuing talk about the fabrics didn't feel "insider" so much as "swallowed a textile encyclopedia." It was difficult to get involved enough to care; I remained a distant spectator, even though I liked the protagonist.
That said, it also feels like one of those books where once you've understood the world, it's easier going. So I may well decide to read the sequel some time, and may enjoy it more.
This book was *very* visual. I can see movie rights in its future. And maybe a graphic novel if there isn't one already.
Like in most good stories it involves a woman. In this case an ex-lover who is on the run from the authorities when she comes to Tane late one night. "Where have you been? What happened? What are you wearing?" are his first questions because that is the kind of man he is. She tells him she is dying and asks him of a favor. She wants him to make her a garment of the illegal psychedelic Xi yarn to ease her last hours. He accepts before she disappears again and the rest of the book tells the story of how he goes about tracking down and acquiring the yarn to fulfill her last wish. The author portions out key pieces of Tane's past from his youth in the slums to yarn-thief to lover to fashion genius that ties in to and explains what is happening in the main story line. That worked very well for me here.
The story contains delightful black humor and Tane Cedar is an interesting character with an inner dignity to him throughout all his ordeals that makes him easy to love. The other characters are more superficial but there are some really interesting ones like Brunne the fashion dictator of Seattlehama, Vada his ex-lover revolutionary and a few more.
The world building is on par with the story and the characters. "Seattlehama: the volcano-powered sex and shopping capital of the world" is the name of a chapter and a good description of the setting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating until the end. Then what is done in the back story is the exact opposite of what would make the current story likely. Read morePublished on May 5, 2011 by D. Lucas
Jon Armstrong's Yarn is attracting very serious critical acclaim. This includes a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, an outstanding review in the LA Times by Ed Park, another... Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by SteinwayMyWay