Mr. Thursday by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I definitely get the feeling that this is Literary SF.
You know, the kind that uses average characters but pumps them up with mini-stories and obsessions and drives that are very grounded in the real world and do it much longer than the Genre-standard but then add ONE SF element to make it spin in an entirely different direction?
So. The good: I like subtlety. The three characters are caught in a weird loop and I'm pretty certain that it's all about those damn butterfly wings. Everything that is done to prevent the thing actually causes the thing, but this point is extremely subtle and others might disagree with me.
That's the thing about literary stuff.
The bad: A lot of literary stuff focuses on normal folks with normal obsessions or workarounds in lives that have gone wrong. It usually conflates them to a grand degree but we're supposed to fall into the depth of the normal, average scenes to get invested in these characters. Mandel succeeds with this for the most part but I personally get kinda annoyed at the whole Literary scene for pulling these stunts in the first place.
And then when we DO get the third part and it's all SF, we're supposed to wonder at this one little comment at the bar, regarding the time traveler, that makes me think he MIGHT be some kind of future corporate legal thief of the past, but then I think he's just in love, but then he just starts questioning everything he's doing...
And the payoff is kinda lame.
Literary, sure, and made to make you THINK about all these subtleties, but ultimately, it's still lame.
View all my reviews