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Zer Netmouse
June 26th, 2003
07:19 am

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I finished reading David Brin's The Kiln People the other day. I was pretty disappointed. It starts out well, but I rapidly got impatient with the splitting narration. Especially because at the beginning he implies that first-person narration indicates continuity of memory, i.e. that golem survives to upload its experiences into the "archie" or "original" person, but then later he realises that won't work and dispenses with it with the somewhat awkward pretense of personal recorders and recited reports. I mean, that pretense is integrated into the plot, but it feels annoying from the reader's perspective.

Switching between POV narratives is nearly always a little frustrating, and in this book Brin pulls cliffhanger after cliffhanger as he rotates between 4 to 6 different points of view. Then near the end he slows everything down to be philosophically preachy while also covering any plot holes with a time-travelling soul that can apparently control people but only gives them little nudges, really...

One of those books where fairly near the beginning I started asking "why am I not progressing through this book faster?" and near the end I was thinking "why aren't I done with this yet?" As Rikhei said, I'm unlikely to vote for this one for the Hugo.

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From:mishamish
Date:June 26th, 2003 06:45 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I will put up with a lame plot easier than I would faults in writing style. I have this nasty habit of bouncing books off of walls about the third time I wonder "Why am I not progressing through this faster."
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From:minnehaha
Date:July 5th, 2003 08:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm in the middle of it now. It's okay, but not great.

I'm still interested in knowing how it ends, though.

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