Thursday, January 27, 2011
Impressions of The Bookman
Not there aren't good qualities here. Tidhar plays against some writerly tropes. The plot changes at least three times in the book, which is unsettling in its way, but also makes for an interesting read. I did not expect the story to end where it did - even if that ending was a little disappointing. There is a great moment, however, when Orphan makes an unexpected choice that changes how events play out through the rest of the book. The prose, as usual, is remarkable with only a few hackneyed and awkwardly worded sentences.
I haven't mentioned the world yet, have I? It's a colorful world. Giant lizards rule England. Automatons want equal rights. The mysterious Bookman puts bombs in books. Historical figures like Jules Verne, Lord Byron, and Karl Marx, make appearances. It's alternate history, it's steampunk, it's weird, it's absurd, it's whimsical, it's adventurous.
Tidhar has said The Bookman is the first of three books in a series; maybe more answers are forthcoming, though I believe each book is meant to be standalone. Either way, The Bookman, despite its flaws, was a fun read - though I must say, I'm more interested in what Tidhar has cooking up in the short form.