Re: Jack O'Connell (as Re: RARA-AVIS: Question for Mr. Sallis)

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 23 Feb 2004

Bill wrote:

"I don't think Jack O'Connell's ever been mentioned on the list before yesterday."

O'Connell's been mentioned a number of times. (Ironically enough, one of those mentions was in a post of yours, Bill, a call for papers you forwarded for an issue of Paradoxa he edited.) I just tried to search the archives for the posts and found that if I search under Jack O'Connell, the engine drops the apostrophe and comes up with nothing. However, if you drop the O altogether and search under Jack Connell, you will find a number of comments.

Bill went on to ask:

"What's the best book of his to start with? I see BOX NINE, WORD MADE FLESH, WIRELESS, and SKIN PALACE by him. Are there any others?"

I agree with Jim that they are best read in order. It is not a series in the sense of revolving around a steady cast, unless you count the city of Quinsigamond as a cast member. In many ways, the city is the main character of all of these books.

I also agree with Jim that there is a great progression in the series, with each book adding more levels to the storytelling. Box Nine is the first, and most seemingly orthodox (especially when compared to those that follow), offering the somewhat stock character of the hardass female cop who is dabbling in things she shouldn't. Still, what O'Connell does with her in particular and the book in general is far from normal genre fare.

And it just gets weirder with each book.

Jim added about O'Connell:

"He told me that when he finished [his latest book], he said to his wife, "This one's really strange" -- and that she's still laughing."

Stranger than Word Made Flesh? That's hard to imagine, and something to look forward to. Jim mentioned that he reads O'Connell's books as soon as they come out. Word Made Flesh is the only book I can think of that I ordered from the UK so I would not have to wait the months before it was to be released in the US.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Feb 2004 EST