The Lightning Stenography Device by M.F. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a hard book to get through, unfortunately, but not for the normal reasons.
For one, I did kinda like the premise and have always wanted to see it done in ways more glorious than the way Stephen King did it, namely the automatic typewriter from Tommyknockers, pouring out a novel telepathically, but what LSD did, here, turned it into an existential/literary/religious/meta twisty-turny writer's wet dream.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a writer, too, and a part of me really gets off on the deep writer's angst bits, but most of the first half of the novel is devoted to it. I slipped from enjoying it intellectually and fell into "this is pretentious". I should have liked it more by natural inclination, but I didn't.
And then, apart from it being too long, I don't think anyone else would like it unless you're pretty much just like me and this author, enjoying the literary meta ride.
But then, the novel took on a very different turn and stuck close to actual storytelling. It turned into a fantasy with tons of great allusions and allegories and they were told with a strong voice both familiar and not *SO* usual that we are kept guessing. It was a pleasure to read.
Unfortunately, it wasn't the whole novel. If it had been *most* of the novel, I probably would rate this higher and clap. But it wasn't. Something just felt off.
Still, the whole novel was a very big LSD trip, even so, and I can appreciate the idea even if I didn't quite enjoy the ride. :)
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