No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

Midnight Robber

Having visited fictional New Orleans in Confederacy, I took a fictional detour into the Caribbean, albeit in a science fiction-y sort of way, with Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber. Set on a planet colonized by a black Caribbean culture (without any undesirable whites) the novel follows the struggles of a young girl as she grows up, faces crises and learns a great deal about the autochthones. Although(?) the main society of the planet is very hi-tech, the local culture is suffused with the traditional culture of the Caribbean. For instance, there is a certain amount of hoodoo, as well as the celebration of Jonkanoo (which I always associate with the scene in Thunderball, during the course of which the incredibly luscious Luciana Paluzzi meets her doom). Ultimately, the book has a pretty rapid and not so satisfying resolution to the major plots.
The midnight robber of the title is a traditional character who appears at Carnival time in Trinidad: a boastful figure who holds up carnival-goers with his sixguns and tells them his elaborate tale. Our protagonist adopts the role 'in real life' in order to right certain injustices; these passages, demonstrating the 'power of myth', are some of the strongest in the book.
Tags: book

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