Vurt by Jeff Noon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I honestly don't what to think about this book.
On the one hand, it's like a jazz festival that mixes Naked Lunch with Trainspotting.
Add an alien feast, nanobot robot cooks, robodogs, The New Weird, and a vast dreamscape that goes from heaven to hell, from arty cafes to cop busts, to licking feathers to get high, to an outright possible reference to Tammuz and Geshtinana with an incestuous bent, and I STILL don't know what to think about this book.
It has a clear jazzy style that jumps all over the place easily, filling in backstory in a fun way, but at the same time, there are so many odd references to a world so alien and just like a drug-filled afternoon, that I can't quite say it was comfortable at all.
And yet it was very creative. I loved the virtual meta moments, the way it felt like a mix between Matrix and Strange Days years before those movies were ever made. It also felt like Existenz in a HUGE way. Again, this was written long before that, as well.
So here I am, looking at the genuine article, the haze of the utterly strange and fascinating and brilliant, and I'm wondering if I even like it.
On one hand, I will absolutely respect it and give it major props for existing and to myself for having read it, but I can't say that it was all that pleasant. However, I have also said the same things about China Mieville and Vandermeer, so it may be a tolerance thing and a mood thing rather than an exacting approbation or me being amazed. Of course, I could be both at the same time. :)
Love, and hate. Or beauty and ugliness. My reaction fits quite well with the contents of the book, from imagery to spelled-out themes. So perhaps this was the whole point, to begin with.
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