Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This Languid Earth by Paul McCormack

This Languid Earth
Author:  Paul McCormack
Publisher:  Ichabod Dozer Press
Pages: 364
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The greatest tragi-comic romantic sci-fi ghost story written this millennium.

After finishing this book, I struggled a bit to put my thoughts into words. I skimmed some of the other reviews, good and bad, and found many of them already hit on the things I was feeling. The book did have potential, and I could tell there was a lot woven into this story. The problem was, there were some things that just didn't quite "click" to me. I was reading along, waiting for the "aha" moment. I didn't really ever get it. Can't say if that's the author's doing though, or mine.

This story had some elements that promised to make it interesting. There were interwoven stories, a plot that came together as you went, and some abstract thinking that had a slight psychological twist. When we hit the sci-fi, it borders somewhere between cool and odd, but it was unique, so it got points for that. 

The spacing between sections threw me off, though. We stayed so long with one character, that by the time we got to the next, I had already stopped caring about them. When I was with Hope, I wanted to just stay with her. When we were with Moses, I felt dragged away from another story to be there. It's hard to invest in characters when you're torn away from them after such a long time. I didn't really want to listen to Pastor Dave's sermons, because there were other, more interesting things happening. Then I struggled to figure out what the author was trying to do with Hope's story. It's like getting partway through the movie and someone switches to another channel. You kind of want to finish the one you're in first.

I think the biggest downfall for me as a reader was the Narratives thing. I think if you get what's happening, the story will start coming together at that point. I tried. I really did. But I don't think my brain quite put together all the blocks in the right places. Because I couldn't really make sense of what was being explained, as I kept reading, I felt more confused, rather than less. As things accelerated, I was still trying to fix a proverbial flat tire. 

That's not to say other people don't "get it". And that's not to say the whole book went over my head. There were a lot of good messages intermingled in this story. It was just a little hard to find, and a little hard to wait for. 

I think this is a good book for people who are patient. You need to be patient with the characters, the plot, and the author. It's not going to just instantaneously make sense. And for some people, sadly, it may never make sense. But I'll leave that for you as a reader to figure out. It's not that there isn't a lot here to be found. I just may not be talented enough for the scavenger hunt.

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