Thursday, October 29, 2009

Isis by Douglas Clegg

I'm not sure what to think about Isis. It's a beautifully written and illustrated novella, strange and dreamy. But it's also uneven. Most of the book is reminiscence leading up to a tragedy, and then the main character Iris does one thing and another character does one thing, and then it ends. With all the build-up, I wanted more to happen. I also wanted more to be resolved.

I can't decide if the fault lies with me for wanting action with a happy ending, or if the book really is too still and open-ended. I suspect it's somewhere in between. Clegg brings up too many issues without explaining them--what was with the drowned bird? what was with the shadowy seed-man?--and I find it frustrating to have ends hanging like that. It feels sloppy.

On the other hand, the story is what it is: a short tale of grief and loss that steeps the reader in atmosphere. It's not exactly plot-driven and shouldn't need to be. I did enjoy it; the writing is lovely. I suspect it'll be one of those stories I reread in the fall when rain is pasting fallen leaves to the sidewalk and I'm feeling melancholy.

B&N link

Reviews start soon!

About a year ago, maybe more, I noticed I was depending more and more on online book review blogs to find new fiction. More recently, I've noticed that many of the review blogs I used to read have either stopped updating or turned into blog-style magazines, with more interviews and contests than actual reviews. I just want the reviews. I'm sure other folks feel the same way, so we'll be pretty much reviews only.

We won't post every day. If we do, it's a coincidence and unlikely to keep happening. Then again, we might post three or four reviews in one day, who knows? We will try to post at least one review a week.

We're just people who like to read, just like you probably are, and our reviews will be closer to homespun than tailor-made--and there's nothing wrong with that. I hope we help you find some awesome new books or authors you might not have found otherwise. Good books make life great.