Monday, November 22, 2010

An Unusual Beginning - Karen Burnham

A short article about Egan's first mainstream novel :-

"But mostly there’s a kid in high school (the story covers four out of five years of schooling), way too bright for his classes, bored almost literally out of his skull. There are no characters other than the narrator; some of the teacher’s get names but they’re just archetypes. None of his classmates even get names. There’s no real antagonist here except “the system,” probably another reflection of those counter-culture mainstays. The (unnamed) narrator is disgusted by criticism and depicts in-class lit crit as an act of disgusting vivisection. He often uses scientific imagery, and he’s always way more precise about it than your average writer: he specifies that someone’s enthusiasm is “1000 watts (RMS),” and if you don’t understand what that means you can at least see that for most people it’s enough to say “1000 Watts” without specifying the measurement system."

3.5 out of 5

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