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America Pacifica America Pacifica: A Novel A Novel (2011)

by Anna North(Favorite Author)
3.08 of 5 Votes: 3
0316134120 (ISBN13: 9780316134125)
Reagan Arthur Books
review 1: Oh, now this was very good. Darcy is a strong character with true motivations and weaknesses, and Anna North doesn't spare her the ugliness of the world around her. North recaptures the specificities of ancient novelistic tropes: being punched in the face, discovering someone you love is gone, poverty, dying of hunger or thirst. My eye has been trained by years of fantasy to skim whole chunks of text depicting these "everyday" narrative events, assuming the author's basically rewriting the meta-text channeled by every other author in the same genre. North stood these old scarecrows back on their feet and pummeled life into them again, setting them down in a confined, polluted island society squatting mid-Pacific, a refuge from a modern ice-age. There were moments in this n... moreovel that took me entirely out of myself in empathy, wonder and surprise - like an underwater scene, seawater tasting of foulness and rot, surrounded by huge dark slow-moving inhuman figures, or a broken-hipped figure sloping and scuttling by on sunken man-made mudflats. The story meanders, but the result is not displeasing. This novel has all the elements I like: post-apocalypse, fascist police-state weaving lies, downtrodden people rising up - but all balanced by a very intelligent, nuanced approach to self-doubt, cynicism, feminism, hope and despair.
review 2: Got about 50 pages in and had to stop, largely due to sentences like, "Every time the wind changed, the gamy, artificial smell of imitation goat washed over the people squatting in the packed waiting room, and the women waved their hands in front of their faces and the children pinched their noses and the men looked out the little windows at the rushing late-afternoon street." The dystopian world isn't so much drawn for us to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells, as it's laid out in very bland detail. The repetitive references to the solvent that's polluted the ocean and turned the citizens of this island refuge to junkies, and the seaboard, seafiber, materials that everything on the island is made of becomes tedious. The premise was a good one, I found, but the execution was lacking. I didn't care what happened to Darcy or her mom. In the portion I read, neither was fleshed out in a way that kept me turning the pages to ascertain their fate. less
Reviews (see all)
I wanted so badly to like this book but, my god, I just could not get into it.
Dreary. So very dreary. But worthy and haunting and I couldn't put it down.
Compelling, interesting first novel. WIll read more by her.
meh. a lukewarm way to kick off 2012 reading
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