It should be obvious by now that I’m not exactly enthralled with this novel–though I am in awe of the workmanship. Kind of like a Polish (or any other, really) traditional costume that is breathtaking in it’s brilliance of design and needlework, but in another place and time, merely gaudy. Believe me here; I’ve worn one.
But I’m forcing myself to read–admittedly slowly–because it coincides with my project in the new media format. O’Brien weaves four stories–related only by authorship–yet gives enough of each so that we don’t forget while we’re off on one of his other paths. He seems to gradually get us used to the characters so they’ll sit well in our minds. Then again, he threw them all at us in the very beginning of the novel with a warning that this is what the book was all about. Note that we have no particular choice in the paths we take in this strictly text tome. If we choose to hop about–and we can, I suppose–we’ll get even loster (sic) than some might be. This brings me to another train of thought–why some of us don’t particularly go wild over hyperfiction. But that post is still festering in my mind, wanting to heal itself before I rip open the wound of self-revelation.
I think that what doesn’t draw me into the stories is O’Brien as a writer of story. I think his brilliance is in the performance, if not the play.