Monday, October 30, 2006

Must read

Jonathan Carroll is becoming one of my favorite authors. In admirably short volumes, he spins strange tales of the metaphysical and fantastic, without becoming tedious or confusing. He writes books similar to Neil Gaiman and Tim Powers. His books don't always make the most sense, but the two I have read have been world class.

I just finished White Apples. Have a look at the journal/blog Carroll wrote for this particular book. It is filled with random asides that may give you a hint as to whether you might or might not like him. There is also a list of reviews.

The plot is strange, and it involves an intially not terribly appealling character who has been brought back from death to save the cosmos. Sounds cliched, no? Don't worry, the story doesn't play like the normal good vs. evil tale. Instead the characters wrestle with memory, identity, and personality traits made manifest.

A number of the Amazon reviews dislike the book based on analytical grounds. If you're the type who greatly admires structure and plot continuity, you will probably not be thrilled by the book.


Anonymous said...

The premise Jonathan Carroll posits in both WHITE APPLES and its sequel GLASS SOUP about what happens to us after we die is one of the most compelling and believable I have ever encountered anywhere. The negative reviews of both books at Amazon miss the point entirely. Both of these stories are about redemption-- both here and after we die. On earth it is love that saves us, but that's not so easy to get or give and often comes with enormous costs. People like Jonathan Lethem, Stanislaw Lem, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman have been saying for years that Carroll is one of the genuinely great living writers, and they're right.

Gerry Chandler

Tripp said...

Good point Gerry, I also think Carroll's depiction of the afterlife (or parts of it) is excellent. And thanks for letting me know about the sequel