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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Ship of Fools - Cristina Peri Rossi Uruguay.There's some enjoyable and often amusing language:The best way to get to know a city is to fall in love with one of its women, someone inclined to mother a man far from home and also appreciative of different pigmentation. She will trace him a path that does not figure on any map and instruct him in a language he will never forget. She will show the stranger the bridges and the secret corners of the place, and, nurturing him like a babe, teach him to lisp his first words, take his first steps, and recite the names of birds and trees. Actually, I am not quite sure about this last point: in the big cities where we live the names of birds and trees are no longer familiar, and anyway, for all the notice we take of them, the trees could be made of plastic, like the tablecloths. p. 33.There's also a beautiful section about identifying with ducks and water. However, a lot falls flat. Though I am a person with a few learned degrees, who has managed Irigaray and Kristeva and Wittig in graduate semiotics and women's studies courses, I can't quite make sense of this book, and from the limited reviews I can find in English, it's not clear that anyone else can, either. The best spin I can put on this is that it's an anti-novel, one that undoes itself (as the protagonist Ecks [X?] triumphantly undoes his/the imaginary king's virility by shouting "virility!", as the tapestry representing creation is incomplete). See the problem? I'm not going to put spoiler tags on this because it's pre-spoiled, a pastiche of genres, foci, tones, and, relentlessly, no particular plot except Ecks's ongoing travel. I began to admire how relentlessly it managed not to cohere. Perhaps that's its point.