Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Funeral, Ruined

L. Timmel Duchamp reviews Paper Cities at Strange Horizons, and doesn't, in truth, like the book at all.

Here's what she says about my story:

Though Ben Peek's "The Funeral, Ruined" is marred by its author's apparently shaky grasp of grammar, his tale concerns an interesting protagonist in an unusual setting, that of a city of crematoria. The narrative is at times disorganized, however, and doesn't quite come together. Because it occasionally gives us very fine sentences, all the clunky ones were especially maddening. How, I wondered, could someone who writes sentences like these—"With hard yanks, she tightly wound the frayed black laces of her boots up. On the right boot she missed a hole, and on the left, two" (p. 177)—also write sentences like this: "Her skin, however, sagged around her jaw, wrinkled over her face, and continued to do so down her neck until it was covered by the brown gown she wore" (p. 180). Given its promise, it's a shame it didn't get a couple of more rewrites before publication.

Occasionally I get reviews like that, and I couldn't begin to tell you why she loved the first line but hated the second--outside the fact that the first is neater--but it's all good. Good and bad, I take it all.

Tags: review
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