mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Bones of the Mark. (38)

Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll.

Cullen falls asleep,
The record flips to side B,
she begins to live.

I’m not sure how I feel about Bones of the Moon. I will say this: it is a hell of a piece of dream-based writing. When fordmadoxfraud saw Inception, his big complaint was that it wasn’t even slightly hypnagogic, wasn’t even a little bit constrained by dream-logic. Matrix-esque wire fighting isn’t the way a dream works—dreams have there own perverse sense of order. Carroll really nails that, from the names of the Bones of Smoke-- Obnoy, Kat, Domenica, Slee & Min-- & the moniker of the sinister Jack Chili to locations like Dead Handwriting & Ophir Zik, the city of the dead. That is where Bones really hits its notes—in dreams, where your dead son can be named “Pepsi” & it doesn’t make you blink. Where I’m a little more dubious on is in the real world bits & pieces, where Cullen James-- our female protagonist-- has her regular life. Now, I’m a guy, so I’m not the gate-keeper of "good female characters," so I’m not trying to speak from any position of authority here. Just musing. But Cullen’s real world problems all seem like...well, like someone thought “what kind of problems do women have?” Abortion, whether to cheat on her husband or not, a threat of rape—outside of Alvin Williams, it just seems a little too pat. & a little anti-choice. I’m guessing Mister Carroll was shooting for "universals," but to me it just rang a little...banal? Perhaps that is the counterpoint to Rondua, the dream world. In the end, I’m happy with the piece; besides the fact that some of the core conflicts strike an uneasy chord in me, I like the characters & especially the dream world. Actually, I think its nearest comparison would be to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman arc, "A Game of You," with Barbie & her friends struggling to defeat The Cuckoo. I've only read one book by Carroll before-- White Apples-- & I'm open to reading more to really solidify my opinion. Which is exactly what I said after I read the last one...
Tags: books, carroll, haiku
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