Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer

Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer. Unless you really, really, liked Annihilation, I would avoid this novel. It has similar elements: rambling, disjointed narrative, foggy-thinking main character, ambiguous setting, lurking menace, muddy philosophizing, eco-themed naturalism…. But, in my opinion is comes across as pretty hurriedly or lazily written. The prose certainly does not sparkle. If I read one more time that the hero called her purse Shovel Pig, I was ready to scream. I did. Then again. All the fucking way to the end of the novel, she was still talking about “Shovel Pig”? No. Any editor worth their salt would have insisted on changing that. Lots of other instances of bad writing in the novel. A big mess. It read like a tossed off screenplay treatment of a “wouldn’t it be cool” TV show… moody dystopian thriller set in the Pacific Northwest.

About mkevane

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