Friday, September 02, 2016

Long weekend forecast? Rain and lots of reading.

While I grumble and pace, waiting for my copy of Underground Railroad to come in, I decided to give Underground Airlines a go because, themes?  Holy moly you guys, this is one intensely thrilling read. I walked past it a few times at first, intrigued by the cover and the premise but doubtful the author would pull it off. Maybe I found it too disturbing? I know what you're thinking--too disturbing... for me? I finally picked it up to read the first chapter and could barely put it down. Winters takes us into a sort of uncanny valley with his disturbingly plausible landscape of an alternate present day in which the Civil War never happened, and slavery was never abolished.

Slavery still exists in "the hard four"--four southern states with heavily guarded borders and economies supported by slave labor. A government agency now hunts and captures slaves who escape. "Victor", the mysterious and haunted former slave at the center of the novel, is a skilled hunter. This engrossing narrative of a secretive, lonesome man with a despicable job--ostensibly free but still enslaved--will keep readers up late, frantically turning the page to find out what happens.
Fans of science fiction will especially appreciate Winters' skillful world building in this grim alternate history.

Don't be jealous but I got my hands on Nathan Hill's debut novel, The Nix, just in time for the long weekend. If anyone needs me I'll be enjoying the cooler weather and this allegedly wickedly funny political satire the New York Times declared "The love child of Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace".

Have a safe and book-filled Labor Day weekend!

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