I felt that the author got to caught up in showing off her knowledge.
Packing for mars
The narrator was phenomenal- all characters were great
I understand the style and what the author wanted to achieve, but she just took too long to tell a story, as I said there were Points where it wasn't about the story, but about the author saying look how superior I am over you.
This is a literary book, it is slow - as most literary books are. She does a gOod job within the style; but needs to be careful that her pretentiousness doesn't show through. If you like literary go for it. If you are a psychiatrist or psych nurse - you will find more honesty in the E.R.
loved this book. India's mental illness is amazingly well portrayed. i found the book disturbing in that sense - I am not schizophrenic, but some of her thought processes and habits, both of thought and action, had a familiar resonance that made me have to take a break from the book for a bit.
the storyline is, given the viewpoint character's issues, predictably non-linear. and the book ends with a discussion of how the character will never know what really happened... neither does the reader. if that bothers you, this is *not* the book for you.
I like to read
I was completely captivated by this story. The language, the characters, the narration were all perfect. Every once in a while, I find a book that takes me someplace new, that surprises me, that stretches my conception of the art of writing: this is one of those books. It borders on poetry.
Erotica, fantasy, spirituality, leftist politics, self help, and a lot of goth horror...yup, that's me!
Two summers ago I listened to this book on headphones while walking back and forth from the library in Holyoke, MA - an old New England mill town set with abandoned brick buildings and sooty sidewalks, much like old parts of Providence, RI described in the novel. I was struggling with poverty and mental illness like the narrator, and found in this listening experience a rare world where I felt I belonged. Caitlin R. Kiernan’s work often does that for me. I see myself reflected in her protagonists more than any other author’s. They are often queers, goths, outsiders, and artists, struggling to survive against deep horrors that the rest of the world doesn’t acknowledge as real - horrors that threaten their lives and sanity, and that are intertwined with old, deep traumas.
My own personal fondness for her characters aside, Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the most critically acclaimed writers in the horror/weird fiction tradition. She's widely recognized, up there with Thomas Ligotti, as one of the premiere literary descendants of H.P. Lovecraft. Not in the sense that she writes with a Lovecraftian formula (though sometimes she plays with it in her short stories), but in the sense that she evokes Lovecraftian themes like cosmic dread, shaky sanity, deep time, and surreal beauty in modern day settings with her own unique voice.
This book, with its non-linear prose, deep water imagery, bouts of poetry, stories within stories, and impeccable historical research, is one of her masterpieces. It has strong echoes of Shirley Jackson and other influences I’m sure I’m not aware of. Suzy Jackson’s narration is absolutely fabulous. She worked extensively with the author to accurately capture the distinct voices of each character and the oscillations of the narrator’s mental state as she slips in and out of lucidity. I read a hard copy of the book after listening, and found that I preferred listening to this book over reading it.
If you’ve ever struggled with your sanity, doubted what is real, feared what that the rest of the world can’t see - or if you want to slip into an expertly crafted description of that experience; if you enjoy weird fiction, aquatic folklore, good horror or old New England gothica, I highly recommend this novel from one of the great living masters of the genre.
Convoluted and ridiculous. In addition another reviewer states that the book is a way to showcase the authors knowledge- I would definitely agree. Awful book.
This is the only audible book I did not finish, and I tried twice. I felt the author tried too hard making this difficult to follow. Mission accomplished. I never felt anything but contempt for the main character, so I could care less about her nonsensical plight.
This felt like a real mess to me.
I didn't finish this title. I got tired of the main character's self-absorbed faux-mysteriousness. After two or three hours of listening to her argue wistfully with herself over whether she met someone in the spring or the fall and then go on and on about how very mysterious her life is, I called it quits.
This book was one of the most disappointing books I have read. Very hard to follow and repetitive throughout the entire story. I love the narrator but did not like the story. It was all over the place