Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Parrot and Olivier in America and Other Books

Yesterday I saw Peter Carey's new novel, Parrot and Olivier in America, and it looks pretty cool. It's a good sign, because I passed on Carey's previous book because I thought that His Illegal Self looked like it was mostly treading water in Carey's thematics. Maybe I was wrong about that, but I didn't buy it anyhow; and to be fair, there's something in the description of Parrot and Olivier in America that hints at earlier Carey, but it has at least caught my interest.

Over the last month of so I've been flipping between a few books. I've read a couple of short stories out of Nam Le's the Boat, and I dug them, actually. There's a lot of hype on the collection, but if you try your best to ignore it, you'll find the work to be pretty solid and satisfying, or at least I have. I must admit, however, that I could have done without the story about the author, the exploitation of Vietnamese culture, and his father visiting--it was a little too knowing for me, but it's all taste at that point. Good stuff overall and worth the time.

I've also been reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, the science fiction novel she doesn't want you to call a science fiction novel. To be fair, it doesn't really fit into what you would generally consider the modern day science fiction genre. It doesn't have the drive in plot that I would consider to be part of the successful side of the genre, and the prose itself is not what's in style. Sure, it's a science fiction novel, but if you were wanting to market it to an audience, I would head outside the SF genre to do it. Perhaps that won't make a whole lot of people happy, but while I am enjoying the book for the most part--Snowman tends to sit around a lot, which is fine, except when it's not--all the debate on whether it was a SF novel never seemed to address the idea of if it could be a commercially successful SF novel.

Ah well.

It's Monday morning, it's raining, and hello.


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