Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cloud and Ashes

Cloud and Ashes by Greer Gilman

This is fantasy in the mythic mold, filled from first page to last with eloquent language of almost poetic beauty, clearly showing an intense commitment to literary accomplishment and great skill with writing. So, of course, I hated the book.

Well, that's a bit too strong, but I definitely felt lost at sea in the reading of it. It's very hard to establish place, plot or significance, and ultimately the experience of reading it was more frustrating than rewarding. There are some moments of description that stand out and make the work tangible, but overall it's far too self-indulgent and deliberately resistant to perception. The work with the themes and level of description at points were good enough that on my big ranking of 2009 books I felt compelled not to put it too low, but I don't expect to seek out any more books by this author.

Clarity is a virtue.

Worse than: Green by Jay Lake

Better than: There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe

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