Monday, February 3, 2014

The Etched City

If this book had a theme song it would be Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads. Written by Austrailian author K.J. Bishop, while these characters are on the road a lot, what I really mean is the plot.  I think this is what happens when you just start "riffing" without an outline or a plan. I imagine George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series as a plot line that begins around the Arc de Triomphe and the "roads" radiate out like a wheel.  Now, his keep going and going and you beome quite worried.  You think, are we going to ever get to a resolution, and how did I end up in Brittany?  But he has a plan, its a huge, ambitious, insane plan but he has one.  This book, by contrast is full of dead ends, cul-de-sacs, a proposed bike path, but with no destination.  Don't get me wrong, she can write a beautiful sentence, but what's the point without a plot?  If the point is to anger me, mission accomplished. 

We start the story in the desert, with a lady doctor and mercenary bandito, Gwynn.  Its like a Western but on camels.  Then our characters go to a lush river town, think Thailand, and Gwynn becomes the main character.  Its like what happened to our lady?  Also, that whole desert scene doesn't have relvance to the plot anymore...poop...why did I suffer though that?  (I don't care for Westerns) In our lush city, Gwynn becomes a gun for hire, who stops to have long, pointless, major theological discussions with the local priest.  Ugh.  Was is just to show Bishop's philosophical chops?  Why?  Also, there is no magic or any fantastical elements until the second half of the book---I was like where are the damn dragons!  Give me a sentient book at least.

While its not the worst book I've read, you should skip it, but you should NOT skip this drink.  Part exotic, part Western, try this: Gold Rush:  1 1/2 ounces Domaine de Canton (ginger flavored liquor that is to die for), 1 ounce bourbon, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon.  Put with ice in shaker.  Drain and serve.  So so good.  This has a point.  Destination delicious. 

No comments:

Post a Comment