No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118
essentialsaltes

Duplex, by Kathryn Davis

Although subtitled "A Novel", I felt a little cheated to discover that Duplex is really more of interconnected short stories set in a block somewhere in mid-to-late 20th century Everytown, USA. Kind of a Martian Chronicles pushed further into the surreal.

The blurbs promise quite the fireworks, and it's hard to miss with a block populated by robots, sorcerers, and children on their way to growing up. But while I admire some of the askew descriptions Davis provides, and the dream-like and daydream-like departures from pedestrian fiction, ultimately some of these departures go too far into obscurity or opacity. The characters are drawn with a good feel for internal mental detail, despite their absurd world, but most of their preoccupations are almost numbingly mundane.

And since it is an assemblage of short stories or vignettes, the whole never becomes any more that the sum of its parts (and as a reader, I missed some of the parts wandering off stage never to reappear again.)
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