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Manholebritmandelo wrote
on March 27th, 2012 at 11:20 am

Books Read 2012

19. "Range of Ghosts" by Elizabeth Bear

Review at Tor.com, here.

20. "Zone One" by Colson Whitehead

A dull, sloppily constructed book with beautiful prose. Whitehead can turn a sentence like nobody's business, but that's the only thing that Zone One has going for it--and unfortunately, he has a habit of loving those pretty sentences so much that four or five of them in a row will tend to say the exact same thing with different words. The construction of the narrative is wandering, sloppy, and prone to the sort of repetition that doesn't achieve an artistic effect but only shows how Whitehead seems to think that the reader needs to be explicitly told things, over and over, if they're going to understand what he's trying to say. Zone One is an exemplar of the worst habits of "literary" fiction--vacuous emptiness covered by lovely, poetic prose, especially.

I finished it mostly through a grim determination to make it to the end and see if he at least tied off the story properly, and in a way, yes--it's the ending we've been told will be coming since the first page. So, still unbelievable dull, but at least sensible.

^ indicates nonfiction
*indicates re-read

1. ^The Wave in the Mind^ by Ursula K. Le Guin
2. "Dyke Strippers: Lesbian Cartoonists A to Z" edited by Roz Warren
3. "The Annotated Sandman: Volume 1" by Neil Gaiman & Leslie S. Klinger
4. ^How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica^ by Susie Bright
5. "Double Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay
6. ^Storyteller^ by Kate Wilhelm
7. ^Women of Vision^ edited by Denise Du Pont
8. "Sins of the Demon" by Diana Rowland
9. "Tell My Horse" by Zora Neale Hurtson
10. "Best American Comics 2011" edited by Alison Bechdel
11. "Extra(ordinary) People" by Joanna Russ*
12. "When the Sea is Rising Red" by Cat Hellisen
13. "Celluloid" by Dave McKean
14. ^Magic Mommas, Trembling Sistrs, Puritans & Perverts^ by Joanna Russ*
15. "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 6" edited by Jonathan Strahan
16. "The Drowning Girl: A Memoir" by Caitlin R. Kiernan
17. "Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley*
18. ^The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Roleplay, and the Erotic Edge^ edited by Tristan Taormino
19. "Range of Ghosts" by Elizabeth Bear
20. "Zone One" by Colson Whitehead

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