Monday, October 22, 2012

[Book] The Pale Blue Eye by Loius Bayard

This was a masterful work. I enjoyed it a great deal. Moreover, I substituted it for infinite jest to meet one of my yearly goals. I won't get into Infinite Jest until I actually review it, but in the meantime, I did enjoy the Pale Blue Eye. The basic premise of the book is that the detective is called to West Point to investigate a series of grisly murders of cadets. He proceeds to do so but in a rather interesting turn of events becomes allied to a young Edgar Allen Poe, who proceeds to help him with his typical dramatic flair. What is even more interesting is the fact that not only does Poe come to life, but this fictional detective manages to hold his own. There are a number of false fits and starts, red herrings galore. But the story is just as much a study in character, particularly into Mr. Poe, than anything else and in this it greatly shines. You feel while reading it that you are immersed in the setting, which has just the right mix of detail and plotage to keep things interesting. Then, just when you think things have been neatly wrapped up in a tidy bow, in a typical trope of the genre, the author reaches out from the pages of the book and smacks you in the face with a herring until you taste fish for a week afterwards, but you LIKE it, evne if you hate fish. The thing I liked the most about this book was that it used tropes, mechanisms, archetypes and characters typical to poe and the time period, whilst at the same time humoring modern and post modern sensibilities and using the old addages with an entirely fresh take.

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