Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Literary Homage to Science Fiction

Last week, I finished reading Felix de Palma's novel The Map of Time. I really think that this book is perfect for summer - it's long, it's elegantly written, but still an easy read, without being effortless.

Look! I'm the cover & I'm shiny & delicious!

The Map of Time is separated into 3 sections. Each section introduces some new characters, and sections two and three reveal different sides to characters who have already been introduced. There are two characters who play a prominent role in all 3 sections: Gilliam Murray, a fictional character of the author's device, and H. G. Wells, the actual science fiction writer.

This book was interesting, and really looks at the idea of time, and how the concept of time influences society. How would the world be different if it were possible to more properly comprehend the fourth dimension and "travel" through time?

The novel is set in the late 19th century, and is worded and intended to be read with that time period in mind. When reading, one becomes entrenched in a world that is more proper, in a world full of possibilities, despite the fact that this time period has already occurred, and therefore, it shouldn't be full of possibilities, at all.

I really enjoyed this novel. It's technically a translation, from Spanish into English, but the manner in which it is written reads as though it was written in English. The writing flows. I mentioned in a previous blog post that this book is perfect for summer - it's not what I would call "fluffy" writing, but it is enjoyable, and a fairly quick read, while still having enough intellectual meat to chew over.

I did have one problem with this novel: it's obvious infatuation with H.G. Wells. Sometimes, I felt as though the novel's entire structure was fabricated around the premise of paying homage to H.G. Wells. This adoration went so far as to lead to the denigration of other famed writers of the time period, including one of my personal faves, Henry James.

Other than that slight irksome recurrence, this novel is definitely worth reading. It's well written, it's intelligent, it's slightly nerdy, but in a mostly enjoyable way.

No comments: