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Dhalgren Paperback – July 15, 1996
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From Library Journal
Published back-to-back in 1975 and 1976, respectively, these works involve an apocalyptic society on the verge of collapse and a utopian society at war with Earth. LJ's reviewer dubbed Dhalgren an "important novel" (LJ 3/15/75).
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
5 1/4 x 8 1/2 trim. LC 95-42557
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About that "unappealing bit." If you're looking for a linear story line with a definitive resolution and characters who have obvious motivations and whose actions follow reason; look elsewhere. Events transpire that will remained unexplained for the duration of the novel and certain plot points remain ambiguous; especially since the protagonist seems to fall out of time at certain points in the novel. It's probably going to be like nothing you've ever read before but in it's portrayal of humans trying to survive in a society sliding towards collapse; it's like nothing else.
As if the dark was a bad thing
as if any of us could ever be confused again by telephone wires wanting shoes to wear
as if a man with a golden lotus tattooed on his forehead hadn't lost a shoe and the mother of his child from the trailer on his bicycle.
ALL writers, poets, journalists,
ALL writers of literature must read this book.
If you don't know Dhalgren, you don't know prescient fiction.
Given Delany's self proclaimed bi-sexualiy, in some ways the storyline may reflect some level of autobiography, and this seemed very prominant in my first time through the book. Later, the aspect that kept drawing me back to reread it several times was the romance aspect. Amidst such a horrific life style of trying to survive the catrastrophe of Bellona, and the violence of this city (not so unlike Harlem) Kid finds love and caring relationships amongst the inhabitants of the city. Many readers seem to only find a sexual aspect in Delany's writings, but it always came off as more of an autobiographical romance to me. I have always been a big sci-fi geek, but it has always been the romantic aspect of this book that brought me back, again and again.