Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Your Body is Changing by Jack Pendarvis

I gave this one a few days to settle in...
and all I'm left with is "Blech..."

The writing is definitely not bad, but ... a lot of times it felt like I was going up a roller coaster... up, up, up.... up... up?  i.e., I kept expecting something else to happen.  something, anything type of thing.

But there are a few gems.


Lumber Land
This one, I really liked.  This one is the reason I read this book, despite pressing obligations otherwise.  This is the best of the bunch.  The characterization is great, the descriptions are vivid, the dialogue is convincing, the scenery is invasive.  All good, recommend.  It's dark and, since this is a book of short stories, I won't summarize.

This is one of those where I kept waiting for "it" to happen.  There are good visualizations and decent characterization... but it sat still.  If you like the type of "some stuff happened, and then some other stuff happened" fiction that is well-written?  I imagine this book may be just perfect for you...

Tollboth Confidential
Ditto.  And as I go back through these and write this review, I feel like there are a lot of good ideas for stories that could use a plot and more development.  Good ideas.  And then just ... plateaus...

Courageous Blast  
This one is funny.  Amusing, more than funny.  The dialogue format worked for the message conveyed.

The Train Going Back
... I have nothing productive to say.

Roger Hill
This one was ok... it didn't really *go* anywhere either, but I felt that a point was made in a unique way.  I appreciated the perspective and, again, the visualization.

Your Body is Changing
yeah... the title piece.  the raison d'etre ... blech.  And this one is really where that comes from.  Reviewing the book as a whole, I think Pendarvis deserves credit for his skill -- he paints a nice picture and creates realistic characters.  This is not untrue of Your Body is Changing.  It's just that, for the longest piece, the one that the rest built to... it was too much up-rollercoaster with no pay off.  And it's hard because I don't feel that I can really pinpoint the problem.  I liked certain characters.  There were definitely points of interest.  I liked the direction it began to go... and maybe that's just it.  It began.  Certain aspects could/should be fleshed out into a full novel.  Or something.  It might just be one of those where you WANT to like it, you WANT it to be good... but it just kind of... blechs.

TWO and a HALF of five stars.

No comments: