Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Paradise - A Divine Comedy - Glenn Myers

Author: Glenn Myers
Description: "A comedy. A fantasy. A story of redemption. With quite a lot of Afghan food. Set in a world borrowed from John Milton's Paradise Lost but peopled with underperforming evil spirits, a quarrelling First Couple and a snake with a personality disorder."
Review: The premise of this is a cool idea—comatose people meeting up, crossing over to their respective paradise, though we find out quickly that it probably isn't quite a paradise. Myers is skillful at paralleling Dante's works and showing us that heaven can really be hell. Careful what you wish for.
And don't forget the big snake and corrosive yellow rain.
This is a wacky storyline wrapped within some very heavy philosophy and it is brilliantly written. At some points it's a little clunky but it's not enough make you push stop and get off the train. But Myers is a great writer and his style is terrific; there is nothing wrong with his craft.
But I didn't laugh much. Was I supposed to? Perhaps, perhaps not—it is still an indictment on our belief systems, our perceptions of reality. I smiled a lot, chuckled a little, but like other reviewers, found myself pushing through the theology—I agree with the assessment that the other characters are just there for the benefit of the main character; a very solipsist view. Those other characters are thin, which I would expect for something a little more bizarre, but for this type of work perhaps they needed to be more fleshed out. I don't know.
The book does feel long at times, but I found myself wanted to know the end—would he wake up? Or would the comatose world of dreams continue? Or was it really a dream? A long from a heavy metal song kept ringing through my head while reading this: "Time/Only Time will tell/if this will be heaven or hell" (Gamma Ray).
This was a great book. I liked it. There is nothing wrong with the assessment I am giving, especially since it rounds to three stars. A very good book, worth reading.
3.28 stars
Additional Info: The copy I received was not justified text and the dashes were - - , not —. If that really bothers you, you need help. I do. So back off. Definitely did not hurt anything, but a little pet peeve. Again, that's my opinion...

No comments:

Post a Comment