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Unfiction Paperback – June 18, 2017
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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On the other hand, as a reader, there were times it was difficult to figure out how all of these different elements worked together. (Ok, I admit that it made me a little crazy because I wanted ANSWERS right now!) It's a complex story line where we, along with the main characters, question the lines between reality and fiction.This wasn't an easy, cozy ride but I knew it was good because all through the book I really wanted to know what happened next. I have read this authors other works so I trusted him to deliver and he certainly did. I don't want to spoil the ending so I can't give any details but, wow, I did not see that coming. It definitely made me think.
I wish I could describe this to you better. It's one of the most creative works of fiction (Unfiction, that is) that I've read and I recommend it to anyone who likes to be surprised. This is not your normal wall in the park. It is a thought provoking, imaginative story that might just drive you crazy while you try to figure it out.
This was a sweet, silly joyride through a genre mashup. Oliver's aborted short stories were crisply written and had me craving more, but some may find the cut-offs irritating; they eventually coalesce, if that's any consolation.
Wilson, the literary man in the writers' group, urges Oliver to use his talents to change the world by writing Literature, not genre fiction. The established failings of romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, and thrillers are presented via Wilson's constant derision and the rudimentary confines of genre conventions which are clearly presented as each story is told. Given the twee narrative of this book, I'm not seeing a case FOR genre fiction, except that it's comforting and offers its authors a plenitude of commercial opportunities. I nearly quit reading when an exceedingly jejune sci-fi ray gun shootout occurred, but, once I thought about the book as a whole, I understood why Doucette wrote it that way.
In the third act, as events were quickly leading to an unbelievable climax (as promised by the book's cover), Wilson remarks that if Oliver had only decided to write literary fiction, they'd all be navel-gazing on a yacht. I'm with Wilson on this one. I just feel like there was a chance for this novel to be a strong defense of genre fiction by doing more than poke fun or be ironic. Instead, the author took the YA adventure route, and it became pure pulp. Despite the bizarre events of the novel, it comes off as being circumspect.
To be fair, Unfiction makes no literary pretensions beyond mere entertainment value. That's the impression I had going in. Except for a few missed opportunities and a few imprecise reciprocal pronouns which briefly knocked me out of the story, I wasn't disappointed overmuch in anything. I look forward to reading more from Gene Doucette.
Anyone with a tiny background in classical antiquity will either smirk at the references or groan because they can see how everything connects from a mile away--and must wait for the story to slowly reveal itself to the uninitiated. Mostly I’m just saddened by the standards of America’s current education system. I'm praising the author here for keeping the Greek tradition alive in his own way. It's why I rated this book four stars instead of three.
This is another hit for him. Hard to describe without spoiling the story, though it reminds me of both of Stephen King's books "Misery" and "The Dark Half". Those are two of Kings nightmares as a writer, while this is more of Doucette's own writer's fantasy, and one which was very enjoyable to be along with for the read.
Of course there will be comparisons to the movie "Inception", I personally see more of the fun that I found college reading several of the dialogues in Douglas Hofstadter's classic pulitzer prize winning "Godel, Escher, Bach: An eternal Golden Braid", especially "Little Harmonic Labyrinth". Levels within levels and some of the very questions of what is reality and who shapes the world around us. Even reminding me of Neil Gaiman's "Dream of a thousand Cats".
The amount of time (and opportunity) to simply sit down and read for nothing but my own enjoyment seems to be be getting less and less, but I am very glad to have spent a few hours of my vacation time to enjoy another of Doucette's books.
Now where is the second Fixer book?