The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Readings for February 2018

In which expectations are challenged.

There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe's There Are Doors tells the surreal story of a man's inter-dimensional quest to regain his true love. Here's what I love about Gene Wolfe: the obvious twist in this type of story is that the protagonist is crazy. Well Wolfe addresses that in the first chapter by telling us that the protagonist is indeed a mental patient. But that's not the whole story.

Wolfe's style of narration is perfectly suited to this sort of story. He always has this dreamy style of writing which requires the reader to pay close attention, and leaves you questioning what exactly was described. I love it, and I recommend it.

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

I absolutely loved Leni Zumas' The Listeners. When I saw that she finally had another novel published, I sought it out immediately. However I must admit I was a bit put off when I learned that abortion was a major theme of Red Clocks. Luckily I decided to stick with it really enjoyed it.

Zumas is really skilled at story telling, and her characters are very compelling. Plus, this book is set in a fictional Oregon coast town, which is not too surprising given that Zumas works at Portland State University. So what's not to like? Well, the theme of the novel is fairly difficult at times. And there was no Juno-esque cheerful ending per se. But it was a significant read and I recommend it.