The Guild of Saint Cooper
- The Guild of Saint Cooper
- 415 pages
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Halfway into this superb, freeswinging, & under-celebrated novel -- halfway almost to the exact page, showing a typically smart grasp of the form -- GUILD's protagonist & narrator Blake Williams falls under the spell of the brief experimental film "La Jetee." This eerily composed B&W flick, a strange & scary taste of the early '60s, was concerned with world destruction & the slippery nature of time. That is, it's the perfect specter to haunt this multi-layered & altogethe [...]
This book was everything I wanted out of a fabulist novel right now.It's a meta-narrative that covers climate change, Twin Peaks, multiverse theory, Seattle's changing landscape, Washington's timber business adapting to a changing industry and more. It has been a long time since I devoured a book over 400 pages so quickly. Scanlon is an engaging storyteller who is unafraid to make his narrator often-unlikeable and occasionally painfully naive. The masterstrokes here are when he successfully pull [...]
This is the kind of book I would have to read a second time before being able to form a coherent thought about. I'm not entirely sure I understood half of what was going on most of the time and yet I was compelled to read it to end despite that. Perhaps it was the Twin Peaks connection that kept me going when not much else made sense.
Dystopian future. Alternative history. Environmental disaster. Alien invasion. Cults, and resistance movements. All this, and Dale Cooper. What more could you ask for?Shya Scanlon brings all this together in one of the best novels I've read in awhile. Do yourself a favor, read this book.
A strange, but affectionate, book. Takes a jarring turn into parallel dimensions (I think) but, like Lynch films, that doesn't impede the overall effect of witnessing something wonderful.
An Edgy, Near Future Apocalyptic Fiction Novel From A Young MasterIn "The Guild of Saint Cooper" Shya Scanlon offers us a crazy, twisted, near future apocalyptic novel about Seattle that reads like early Philip K. Dick mixed with early China Mieville and early Haruki Murakami. Scanlon seems to have had as much fun as Matt Ruff did in creating his vivid, richly imagined, dark satirical alternative history speculative fiction novel "The Mirage", in invoking the spirits of the television show "Twin [...]
Had you asked me, I'd have said that a 415 page book I decided to stop reading less than 100 pages from the end would've been, like, two stars or less. I've decided on three stars, however, because I can kinda, sorta, respect what Scanlon was trying to do here. I loved the Seattle setting, and being able to so easily visualize the settings that I visit on a regular basis. And I truly savored some of the sentences, the way he puts words together. These things ultimately deserved three stars, to m [...]
What's the point of this book? Who knows?! Who cares?! It's magical realism!I'm giving this book two stars rather than just one because, unlike most magical realism, the author doesn't disguise the lack of plot behind impenetrable writing. This let me give up half way through when I realized the next 200 pages wouldn't be that much different from the first.(view spoiler)[There's a chance the book makes more sense if you know what the TV show Twin Peaks is. Never heard of it before, and this book [...]
Eminently readable, frustratingly vague, funny, frank, sometimes sexy. The spiritual cousin to Twin Peaks, in novel form.
I could not follow this book. So, I haven't watched Twin Peaks (gasp!). Perhaps I missed more connections than I thought.
Discussion of cultural appropriation has surged in the last few years in the context of race relations. White culture has borrowed and stolen from black culture for decades, particularly in entertainment, usually without enough credit to the origins of a style of music, dance, poetry, or performance. What happens then, when a writer creates a fictional world wholesale out of another fictional world? Is he borrowing in order to comment on that world, or stealing from it because he can’t come up [...]
This is a remarkable work of science fiction or dystopian fiction or social satire or comedic narrative or something else. The novel follows an author living with his mother (who smokes too much dope) in Seattle after the government has ordered people to evacuate. The evacuation was ordered when scientists concluded that global warming would cause the Ross Ice Shelf to break off and create a tsunami which would drown Seattle. Not everyone believed it. He is recruited by some weird people to writ [...]
My review for The Nervous Breakdown (originally ran 11/12/15):thenervousbreakdown/tn
Unusual, weird, yet I couldn't put it down. My brain is on overload. I feel like you need to read this a dozen times before you start to "get it".