The Body Library by Jeff Noon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
To call this a simple Noir mystery is to completely miss the point. Noon has created something on a completely different level of anything I've read before.
Yeah, that's right. The world of the imagination taking to the mean streets, turning meta-fiction on its head and grounding a whole world in a stinking reality where people really are the stories and stories walk the streets.
This is a fantasy and a science fiction novel. Make no mistake about that. Noon is running with a fantastic idea where a city must live with the fundamental fact that words are magic for everyone. Everyone is a writer, and if they aren't, then they're a character in someone else's' story. The motivations are clear. To get ahead, you must write. And then the police are editors and there are Dada fiction writers rebelling against the same-old narratives and murder isn't always murder... it's art.
The novel makes it gritty and grounded in the Noir foundation, but by god, it gets hallucinogenic as hell as Nyquist (our escaped protagonist from a city beset by shifting timelines) finds himself in a murder mystery he has to solve, only to get caught up in a madness of becoming a writer or be the written.
Lordy, this was one HELL of a trip. Not for the faint of heart. Or the impatient. But by Bradbury in heaven, I swear this is the spiritual godson of The Illustrated Man on PCP.
Noon's imagination is TOP NOTCH. I think I've just found my new favorite to-go guy for cutting edge and brilliant Weird fiction.
*does a happy dance*
A BIG thanks to Netgalley for letting me read this early. :)
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