Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Einstein Intersection

I read this because it won the Nebula Award.  It is actually the second book by Delany to win this award.  If it hadn't been for that reason I don't think I would have attempted it, because after my first experience with a Delany book I haven't felt the need to read another.  He's not a bad writer!  Just an abstract one, which makes you work very hard to grasp what he is portraying.  The story was almost essay-like (the way I write an essay is to plot my thesis, and then map out the points and approaches of my arguments), but it was disappointing to me because the points he was trying to make where not obvious to me even though he had basically laid everything out for you to put together, he just wasn't going to do it for you (this made me think it was unfinished).  Add to this challenge a badly converted e-book, and the confusion is just annoying.  But, there's more!  Misleading popular culture references will point you in the wrong direction and you have the novel in it's  bewildering, annoying whole.  I can see what is going on, but I'm pissed that the chaotic presentation detracted from what I suspect could have been a really good book.  Maybe, if I ever come across this in a second hand book store, I might buy it and give it another go.  Maybe.  Neil Gaiman wrote a foreward for it, so I am guessing for him it was a great inspiration to go ahead and write a novel chock-a-block full of gods from many diverse mythologies, a progenitor for him so to speak to create American Gods.  I recognised the parralels to Earth mythologies in The Einstein Intersection, I just couldn't understand their relevance to the story (even when you are given a weak explanation at the end).

So, my conclusion is this, electronic books are not always what they are cracked up to be, especially conversions from old books, though that isn't always the case... I have read actual books that are that obscure and seem to deliberately make it difficult to connect the dots (Divisadero anyone?). I plan to stick with actual paper books for as long as I can when it comes to older editions.  Oh, and Samuel R. Delaney is an aquired taste, which I don't have.

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