18 October 2007

Cruise Alaskan waters

I was searching the Northfield Public Library for a book to read and came across John Straley's name on the spine of a book.

I recall reading a book or two of his a few years ago. I didn't remember much about them besides that they were set in Alaska.

So, I checked out The Angles Will Not Care, published in 1998, and now I've read it.

I thought it was pretty good. There are gaps in the characters and in the narrative, but those faults can be overlooked, I think, if you're just in this book for lightweight entertainment. This is the literary equivalent of episodic television.

The story is interestingly complex and full of action, even though I didn't understand it all. Remember, I'm an unimaginative literalist, so my complaints might not be the same as yours.

The main character, Cecil Younger, is a real mystery to me. Then again, he was, in this book dealing with his own PTSD, so maybe his behavior wasn't supposed to make sense. However, the behaviors of a whole lot of people in this book don't make a lot of sense, so I don't think my lack of imagination, Younger's PTSD, or the foreign culture of an Alaskan cruise ship are to blame the problems I had with the story. His long-time lover is the most complete character in the book, but that doesn't say much.

I read it quickly, but without joy. Maybe that's why I don't remember much about the earlier Straley books.

According to the Fantastic Fiction web site, Straley wrote 6 books. The last one was in 2001. Maybe he found other things to do.

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