...Then my plan to save time has worked. I need to make an early start of it today, so I'm posting tonight. Wait, that doesn't make sense -- you're reading this about nine hours after I wrote it.
Posting about what? How about Lionel Shriver? I finished her novel The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 several weeks ago and found it rewarding reading, a close-up look into the abyss of economic collapse through the lens of several generations of an extended family. Generally well-written and ultimately humane; Shriver has one visible seam typical of mainstream writers doing speculative fiction -- but it's a forgivable one, no worse than anything you might find in Vonnegut. She is a storyteller, her prose usually effortless, her plotting not quite invisible but deft enough.
Having read one Shriver novel, when The New Republic showed up at the used-book store, I didn't hesitate. This one, too, is a kind of spec-fic, seeing as how it's set in a part of Portugal that does not, in fact, exist. It's a story about journalism, terrorism, and just how far bored or desperate men might go. By turns funny and profound, with an interesting ending. I liked it.
Shriver is an outsider's outsider and her perspective is rarely predictable. If you read Rand and Vonnegut, R. A. Lafferty and Avram Davidson, you might enjoy her work.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
1 year ago