Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse - a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night.
To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers: Oleg, a New York locksmith; the beekeeper November; Ludovico, a binder of rare books; and a young Japanese woman named Sei. They’ve each lost something important -- a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life—and what they will find in Palimpsest is more than they could ever imagine.
©2010 Catherynne M. Valente (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Outstandingly beautiful prose.” (Publishers Weekly)
I don't know if I'd call it "better," but it feels right. The book demands to be read aloud, so experiencing it as an audiobook is natural.
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Old Bear likes the honey
Palimpsest is a unique story (or at least I've never read anything like it before). It's about a city who's maps are written in pieces on the skin of those in our real world. You can only get to Palimpsest by porking someone with a map on their body (like a tattoo).
The story is surreal, being divided between the real world and the world of Palimpsest. The first half of a chapter typically takes place in the real world and then we move to Palimpsest for the second half.
The four characters vary in terms of their quality. The audiobook version has a character who is very well read by the performer and also a character who has an insufferable accent which makes him almost unbearable.
If you want to check out a surreal work of fantasy with elements of horror, eroticism, and a general urban flair, you might enjoy this one.
I absolutely love Valente's work. I've listened to the fairy land series and six gun snow white. I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did, totally devoured it, couldn't turn it off. Makes me think of "fairy land come of age"
Fantastic performance by the reader.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I enjoyed the language, imagery, characterization and flow of this book, yet it also continually seemed to me written for a young adult audience. Perhaps when I was a much younger self I would have found the eroticism titillating, shocking, and discomforting in turns, however at my age and experience, I found sexual content rather bland. I much preferred the author’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which had a much better balance.
There is a lot to like in this novel as it tries to create a world of fascinating mystery and dreamlike imagery, and it often does, but for me the spell was repeatedly broken, making the overall experience less than fully satisfying.
There is a significant amount of sexual content and situations that are rather mild, yet would be quite offensive to many, and would be inappropriate for younger readers.
The narration was excellent throughout.
I listen to this for close two 2 hours and it makes no sense I finally gave up and started listening to something else talk about a weird book. I just don't get this book. wasted my money cause I bought this one without a credit.
It was hard to follow.
There is no erotic atmosphere.
It is poetic, no doubt, but there seems to be no real Story. I stopped listening after 2 hours. I think by that time one should be into a book. If not, I do not torture myself.
Wow, I loathed this one. Despite having my favorite narrator Aasne, this novel was simply too wordy and too fantastic to be believed. I was disappointed. The plot synopsis was intriguing but don't be fooled. The writing was very affected and irksome.
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