September 4, 2018

Review: Space Opera

Space Opera Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

And my run of good books comes to a screeching halt.

That isn't really fair, I guess. I'm sure a lot of people like this book. Unfortunately, this book isn't for me. I tried to read it, but I had to give up about halfway through. Valente is a good writer, especially at shorter lengths, and I've read and liked things of hers previously, in particular The Refrigerator Monologues. But this book is so over the top that I felt exhausted trying to read it. I call the writing style for this book thesaurus vomitus, and it's just not something I can read for very long.

(For example, the first sentence of the book:

Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb.

The entire book is like this.)

Which is sad, because I think there might be a good story here, if I could get into it. From what I've read about the book, it's basically Eurovision (the annual European singing contest, which I've also never watched) in space. Which is why I suppose it's over the top, but that doesn't make it any less exhausting. I've struggled with this book for about a month, and I finally had to give it up. So if you like absurdist humor, paragraph-length sentences, and a stream-of-consciousness narrative, give this a try. I'm moving on to to other things.

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