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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ah ha! A Twist!

The Quincunx, in a nutshell:

There are only 30 people in all of England; and no matter how you choose them, in every group of five people, three will know each other, two will be working to kill or rob one of the others, and one will have two names; and it's been that way for a hundred years.

The plot is absurdly complex (and not just because it's tightly bound to the intricacies of 19th C. British estate and inheritance laws and procedure!) ; and every few pages the main characters have to take time out from implementing their idiotic schemes and explain the whole thing to each other - because even they can't keep it straight without periodic recitation. But when they do that, you can be assured that a Big Plot Twist is about to happen ! And that means everything they just explained will need to be revised ! Frankly, I think they probably know that's exactly what will happen and are just helping refresh the reader's memory so he'll know where to put the new information when it arrives.

But after more than 700 extremely dense pages (dense in typeface and in language), the author ends it without answering the Big Question. And I'm all like ... Now you pull out the subtlety? After 700 pages of melodramatic wankery, you decide ambiguity is the way to end this thing? What The Fuck?

But, at least I got to learn that there was a brisk trade in human flesh (from stolen corpses. for meat.) in mid-1800's London.

(And, you should really read the link I stuffed up there. It brings a whole new dimension to bad writing ! )

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