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Omnilogikos: literati

I'll post here all the book related content that I usually share on my blog, be it comments, reviews, quotes or whatever else.

Currently reading

L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop)
Robin Buss, Émile Zola
Dicionário de Lugares Imaginários
Carlos Vaz Marques, Ana Falcão Bastos, Alberto Manguel, Gianni Guadalupi
Progress: 60/1040 pages

The Inner City by Karen Heuler

The Inner City - Karen Heuler

Another book I had the opportunity to read through NetGalley, and this time a blind bet, considering I didn't even know the author and the description wasn't really specific. No regrets. Though, as is unavoidable in anthologies, there were some stories I liked much more than others, in general the book was very interesting, with some original ideas and approaches different from what I'm used to.

On her website, Karen Heuler says she writes magic realism, lead there by reading Gabriel García Márquez, and I do see some similarity between some of her stories and the little I've read of Haruki Murakami, other author associated with this genre. I still can't move past my feeling that this is but another part of speculative fiction isolated from science fiction and fantasy and associated with literary fiction for commercial reasons.

Side note apart, as an anthology of short tales - be them whatever genre one says - The Inner City is an interesting work that allows for an exploration of the individual's reaction to some odd situations - often quite surreal - which end in a self-analytical tone. The plots are of such an heterogeneity that one can only understand it knowing that they were published separately between 1997 and 2011. From kids that turn into animals, human-dog hybrids to people born from the ground like plants (though adult, dressed and decided) and others that become part of an alien ocean that reminded me of a syncytium, anything can happen in the works of Karen Heuler. Addressing themes such as bio-genetic experimentation, ecology, religion and social engineering, what's new here is the simple and natural way in which characters deal with the awkward situations, allowing the author to lead the reader through unexpected paths. The focus is always on the person, her vision of the phenomena, her participation in or behaviour facing them and what she turns into or finds out about herself, creating a narrative that reminds me of Kafka or even Camus. The reader is shown realities that constantly question his concept of person, of society, of humanity or morality.

A recommended work to all those who enjoy speculative short fiction. I now want to read more of this author, any suggestions?

 

This review was originally published on my blog in portuguese and english.

Source: http://omnilogikos.blogspot.pt/2013/06/the-inner-city-by-karen-heuler.html