Archive for the ‘Alternate History’ Category
My review is of a paperback reprint of a Tim Powers novel, ON STRANGER TIDES, first published to a good deal of critical acclaim in 1987. No doubt the success of the new movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” inspired the reprint.
In JANE AND THE MADNESS OF LORD BYRON, by Stephanie Barron, Jane and her brother, Henry, embark on an expedition to the seaside to recover their spirits after the passing of Henry’s wife, Eliza. In the spring of 1813, Brighton was a “glittering resort and “the summer haunt of expensive Fashionables,” including the profligate Prince Regent and his cronies. Although Jane is at first is aghast at the thought of staying in a vulgar place devoted to “indecent revels,” she realizes that “Henry would never survive his grief by embracing melancholy.” In fact, “Brighton, in all its strumpet glory, was exactly what he required.”
December 26, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 19th-Century, Amateur Detective, Lord Byron, Stephanie Barron, Time Period Fiction Â· Posted in: Alternate History, Facing History, Sleuths Series, United Kingdom
Reading A.W. Deannuntisâ€™ debut novel, MASTER SIGER’S DREAM, put me in mind of the John Kennedy Toole masterpiece A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. The epigraph for that book â€“ When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him â€“ could easily do service here. In the role of the genius is 13th century philosopher Siger of Brabant, with the dunces being played by the Bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, the Papal Legate, Simon De Brion, and various anonymous sadists of the Roman Catholic Inquisition.
Two things about British novelist Fay Weldon: she will always be controversial and she will always be relevant.
NEVER LET ME GO is a magnificent achievement, one that I personally rate above all other Ishiguro novels, because it adds an unexpected and quietly devastating emotional dimension to his already-powerful armory. Although this book has something of the alternative-reality feel of THE UNCONSOLED, it is by no means as difficult to read. It probably beats even THE REMAINS OF THE DAY in the surface lucidity of its narration, and emotions that had been denied or repressed in that earlier novel are here allowed to flower, albeit briefly. Indeed, one strand of this most unusual Bildungsroman is a love story, simple, true, and almost traditional, though denied the traditional happy-ever-after ending.
September 13, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Boarding School, Identity, Kazuo Ishiguro Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Alternate History, Literary, Scifi, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author
ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER, obviously an alternate biography, is fun from beginning to end. Seth Grahame-Smith’s includes mock journal entries and Photoshopped historic photos, so that the novel reads like an actual biography. The story is riveting throughout.