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April Books 2) Brasyl

2) Brasyl, by Ian McDonald

My reading of this year's Hugo nominees continues with another good 'un, Ian McDonald's latest. The setting of Brazil fits his lush, dense writing style so well that it is remarkable that he's never set a novel in real South America before (his two books set on Mars portray a rather Patagonian version of the planet, but it's not quite the same). We have three interleaving narratives, from the mid-18th century, the present day, and the near future (2030); we have peculiar variations of reality; and we have the jungle, both urban and literal, with its various hostile inhabitants. In some ways it's deliberately less ambitious than River of Gods, which juggled ten different viewpoint characters against the background of India forty years hence, but the intermeshing of the different characters from their different time periods in the end comes across rather pleasingly. On to Michael Chabon next, but I'm going to find it difficult to rank this relative to Halting State

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
martin_wisse
Apr. 3rd, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
I found it difficult as well, but if I absolutely have to chose I would give Brasyl (my review) the edge over Halting State (review), no matter how much I love Charlie's writing. The former is just slightly better composed than the latter, better held together.

Of course, if Charlie does win it's not quite a scandal either...
longlongwaytogo
Apr. 4th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)
Hi, I invited you to a comm, I hope you don't mind. It looked like something you might be interested in.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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