Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mobius Dick

Andrew Crumey's Sputnik Caledonia was one of my favourite books from 2008, so I was looking forward to this one. Billed as 'the only novel about quantum mechanics you could imagine reading while lying on the beach' and a 'blend of techno-thriller, historical fantasy, philosophy and farce' it seemed to have potential.

It was an interesting read and much of the narrative (the techno-thriller parts) is great, but the parallel universes and the tricksy connections across time and space put me off. Its not that the quantum mechanics gets in the way of the story, but it also doesn't actually add much. In the end you find yourself yearning for a bit of clarity and a character who keeps their own name and sticks around in his own universe for more than five minutes. I also found all the mental derangement and 'am I mad or is it everyone else?' schtick a bit hard to take.

The most interesting aspect for me was how some of this novel is like a precursor to Sputnik Caledonia and how Crumey's ideas and writing have developed from this book to the latest one. Not sure I need to go back any further into his backlist, but Mr Mee does look like it might be worth a go ...

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