it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Book Report #31: Tricia Sullivan, Maul

This was the only possible icon for this book report.

Hey, did I mention that I can read faster with my new contacts? Apparently I had gotten to 20/80 (corrected) in my non-dominant eye. Seems to, er, make a difference to be back at 20/20.

Maul is something else again. A jumble of two distinct plotlines--one involving the interactions of two gunslinging packs of teenaged girls in a Mall like any Mall (I am amused that triciasullivan apparently uses the same spelling that I do: in my family, we refer to the process of journeying to a maul as "getting mauled," in point of fact), and one taking place in a futuristic bio-research station cum "Fun Park" in a hellish consumerist society in which women desperate to have children compete for the sperm of the few remaining males--Maul is as much farce as fantasy. It's a very black farce, concerned with, among other things, consumerism, teenage and adult pecking orders and how they are not all that different, backstabbing feminine social hierarchies (I have worked with women like the women in this book, and always found them to be kind of like space aliens. The book has not changed my opinion of them.), bizarre games of social status and posturing, and hypermasculine men who are pretty good examples of the variety of men I find to be like space aliens. (Actually, space aliens are a bad metaphor. Space aliens are interesting. And it's not that this kind of behavior is incomprehensible so much as boring.)

I figured out the plot twist a very few chapters in, I'm afraid, But I'm, er, jaded.

It was a bit of a jumble in places, and I pretty much hated everybody in the book with the exception of Meniscus, who (intentionally) doesn't have enough personality to be unlikable. However, I didn't much mind hating everybody, because the book is fast-paced, bitterly--brutally--funny, aptly observed, thematically complex, and ambitious. It's also heavily morally ambiguous, though the ambiguity is quite understated.

Tags: 100 book reports

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