Quote of the Week 12-15-17

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire


Book Review: Palimpsest – Catherynne M. Valente

Palimpsest – Catherynne M. Valente

The name isn’t easy. Neither is the story. But I am glad I read it and I would encourage people to pick it up.

Catherynne Valente has made a story about a city that is sexually transmitted. Just roll with it. It’s a fairy tale. Or more… it’s fairy tales. And like all real fairy stories, it is not easy.

This is an adult fairy story with adult themes of loss and love and motherhood and isolation and need and cruelty and war and everything and nothing at all. And the deals one makes to stay in the beautiful, insane, dark, lovely, brooding, delirium of the city are hard.

You can find what you need in Palimpsest, but it is not an easy path. And for some the path will be forever closed. It’s beautiful, but cruel. There is love, but there is also obsession. The deals need blood or suffering or forgiveness or utter joy. To live in Palimpsest you have to give yourself over to something. To heal a scar of war or to build the beautiful corner of a map.

To find your way to this wonderland you have to be reckless and a little wonton. It is almost an addiction, but always a connection — brief connection. Because you can’t go there alone.

I can’t explain the book, I can only say that I loved the experience of it. And it is satisfying on an emotional level.

I would recommend it for people who like Russian literature and people who like poetry and people who jump down the rabbit hole of surrealism and magical realism with abandon.

This is *not* for someone who likes a straight-forward mystery or is looking for a quick adventure.