(urth) Jeff VanderMeer

James Crossley ishmael at drizzle.com
Fri May 14 20:39:38 PDT 2010

City of Saints and Madmen is certainly the flashiest of the three, with its
myriad styles. It leaves a lot to the imagination, in the best possible way,
and is probably the most purely enjoyable book in the Ambergris cycle.

Shriek is also very rewarding, and I think the most accomplished of the set.
The depth of characterization in the book is beyond almost anything else in
genre.  It¹s quite different from its predecessor, which I find refreshing,
although I can see where it wouldn¹t push a reader¹s buttons in the same way
as CoS&M. 

Finch is yet another departure, a successful one in my opinion, but again
not necessarily a likeable one.  In many ways, it wraps up the mysteries
that the previous books set up, which I think lends to the deflating feeling
that some have described.


On 5/14/10 5:24 PM, "Jordon Flato" <jordonflato at gmail.com> wrote:

> Huh...I found it to be the most compelling of the three.  I found FINCH to be
> the most underwhelming, mostly because if felt like a well written China
> Meiville story:  nice and pretty but with not as much, what, soul? to it?
> On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM, Craig Brewer <cnbrewer at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I know this isn't the place for Vandermeer discussion...but for those
>> interested, I'd have to say that _Shriek_ is the least successful of
>> Vandermeer's three Ambergris novels. The premise is a blast (a missing
>> brother has left behind a book, found by his sister, who decides to write an
>> afterward to it explaining their lives...but the sister is now missing and
>> the brother has found the book and is now commenting on her afterward by
>> inserting notes as she tells it). But the execution becomes bogged down a bit
>> halfway through once we basically know the whole story. And the character
>> examination to me became a bit repetitive rather than illuminating at the
>> same point.
>> The book that introduces the city of Ambergris, _City of Saints and Madmen_,
>> though would I think be plenty interesting to Wolfe (and Crowley) fans for
>> its variety of styles/mysteries/histories/wonders.
>> From: Mike Myers <mimyerspdt at yahoo.com>
>> To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
>> Sent: Wed, May 12, 2010 7:49:25 AM
>> Subject: Re: (urth) Jeff VanderMeer
>> Shriek is a great book, one of my all time favorites.
>> --- On Tue, 5/11/10, JBarach at aol.com <JBarach at aol.com> wrote:
>>> From: JBarach at aol.com <JBarach at aol.com>
>>> Subject: (urth) Jeff VanderMeer
>>> To: urth at lists.urth.net
>>> Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 3:32 PM
>>> URTHers --
>>> I glanced at a copy of Jeff VanderMeer's recent novel, Shriek -- An
>>> Afterword, and discovered that it has a blurb by Gene Wolfe:
>>> "Here is a desert island book, a tale you can lose yourself in for days, a
>>> novel of character in which the setting -- the magnificently gritty
>>> city-state named Ambergris -- proves as the light fails to be the finest
>>> character of all."
>>> http://www.amazon.com/Shriek-Afterword-Jeff-VanderMeer/dp/0765314665
>>> I wish someone were keeping track of all the books Wolfe has blurbed....
>>> John
>>> -----Inline Attachment Follows-----
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