mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Urfaust. (95)

Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri & Dina Nayeri.

"I am friend of Faust"
A fair enough translation.
I like "not light lover."

To get out of high school, you had to write a research paper. Some 12 page bit on an assigned book, with all the pointless requirements that attend it, like notecards. Seriously, I never used notecards after I was required to use them for a grade. Okay, confession, I didn't do them when I was required to, either; I didn't do so well on that score. I just stayed home the day before the last day of school & wrote it. Hey, you do what you have to do. My book was Goethe's Faust & reading it I realized-- I hate Goethe's Faust. My solution was to make my thesis a cheap excuse to talk about Marlowe's Doctor Faustus as much as possible. Kit Marlowe is my jam. So, given that background, when I saw Jenny reading Another Faust, I figured "hey, might as well read it. Maybe I'll like it. Or maybe I'll hate it." Well, I don't know if I hate it, but it certainly was a failure, in the end sum.

First point first: this is the least diverse cast of a book? Ever? The beginning tries to make it seem as if it is the most diverse, but I don't know how to tell you this-- all white European people are the same. I mean, one upper class kid from Greece & two upper class kids from Italy & one lower class kid from England & one lower class kid from France...come on, what? They all relocated to New York immediately, & have their family histories erased, making their backgrounds moot, regardless. It isn't till about half way through the book, when some characters have had a chance to "fall" a little bit & others have had the chance to rebel a little that they start differentiating-- that, & when their mutant powers activate! Because in this case, selling your soul to the devil nets you superpowers like mind reading or time manipulation. Why not! I will say this-- certain bits of the book have some vivid imagery behind them-- the blue house/red house concept has some David Lynch influence lurking in the shadows, but wasn't played enough. Victoria's bug-room was well done. Vileroy's scarred iris was a nice piece of conceptualization. The "reveal" with Bice at the end was clever, but badly executed. Other than that though, I think the book fell flat. Relationships were wooden, for one thing. You don't notice that certain people are acting a certain way until the character's spell it out in expository dialogue. The plot was fairly tightly wound, with each character's actions falling into the next, in a sort of "master plan" scenario, but then that never came together. A let-down. Probably a hundred pages too long, too.
Tags: books, haiku
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