Reviews: Card, Cooper, and Barth

Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card

This edition of the novel is littered with surface errors; however, the story itself is quite interesting. While it can’t stand on its own, as Ender’s Shadow or Ender’s Game certainly can, it is an intriguing “next step” in the Bean series, and it definitely leaves me wanting to continue on to the next book: Shadow Puppets. Orson Scott Card is a genius at merging creative imaginings of the future with historical and contemporary political and military fact. Seems almost effortless.

Guide by Dennis Cooper

Beautiful, bold, and brilliant. A lot of Cooper’s unique and trademark style has been carried over into Guide but with some innovation. For instance, Guide is much more personal, it seems. This episode of the George Miles series is, in my opinion, the best because it brings together the three previous novels and begins to explain who George Miles was to Dennis, why he is so important – how he changed Dennis forever. The novel somehow manages to be touching, heart-breaking, and disgusting all at once. Superb and unexpected.

Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth

Brilliant! Absolutely unpredictable. Sad, too – the novel speaks of the end of itself, that is, the novel. Written in an age where novelists truly feared new media (cinema, theater, etc.). Barth’s literary and composition skills are beyond compare. Highly recommended for any lover/scholar of literature and/or creative writing.

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