Recent fiction reading

Arcadia, by Iain Pears.  Superb sci-fi/fantasy novel.  If you liked The Magicians by Lev Grossman, or Jo Walton’s Among Others, then good news: this is much better!  It really is almost perfect.  And it deliberately mashes in As You Like It and George Smiley.  So fun!  Straightforward style, complex and convoluted story.  Often these time-travel and rabbit-hole tales have trouble with the last third, but Pears does a remarkable job of tying up the loose ends and not disappointing.  As a Goodreads reviewer put it, “The most entertaining Shakespearean time-travel dystopian science fantasy spy thriller romance I’ve read in that terribly overcrowded genre.

The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud.  I could not slog my way through to the end after about a third. I have a well-known bias against “American” novels featuring people like my peers living “exciting” lives in New York City.

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac.  See above. Messud is in good company. At least I learned the name of the bridge we sometimes drive over when going down to Garrapata.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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