From: Valerie E. Polichar ( valerie@ucsd.edu)
Date: 26 Feb 2004

Doug says:
> BOX NINE fell apart at the conclusion, I thought,
> WIRELESS was strong and WORD MADE FLESH was absolutely
> terrific. I'm not sure, though, that I'd start with
> FLESH: O'Connell's world is a strange one, and BOX
> NINE is a good introduction to it.

I've only read WORD MADE FLESH so far (Patrick Millikin's fault that I started with that, but then he has a lot to answer for...) I found it jolting, shocking and absolutely excellent. The things I found most shocking were not necessarily the detailed and specific descriptions of torture and death (though they are there, and if you have a weak stomach this might not be the book for you), but the implications about the structure of the society the story is framed in, what has become important and what has become impossible. There are heavy overtones of eastern Europe during the pogroms, and a backline of politics behind a frontline of detection with issues of love and friendship blurred there in the middle.

It's an amazing book. I don't know what it would have been like to start with BOX NINE. But besides inducing some confusion, starting with FLESH wasn't entirely a bad thing, kind of like a chug of Everclear on a frigid night isn't entirely a bad thing...


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