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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) 3 reviews of Strange Travelers from BIP
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 23:32:39 

"Jeremy W. Crampton" <jcrampto@gmu.edu> wrote:

>Following are 3 reviews of ST from Books in Print. They relate
>to some of the discussions on this list esp. the Ziggurat.

> (January 1, 2000; 0-312-87227-5)

>Their inspirations range from music in "Bluesberry Jam" to
>comic books in "Ain't You Most Done?," a tie-in to Neil
>Gaiman's famous Sandman series of graphic novels, which are
>about as far removed from caped-crusader stuff as one can


> Publishers Weekly
> (December 20, 1999; 0-312-87227-5)

>Opening with "Bluesberry Jam," Wolfe (The Book of the
>Long Sun series, etc.) creates an intriguing speculative
>future in which an entire culture arises from people who have
>been stuck in a traffic jam for decades. This conceit is
>ultimately negated, however, by the most tired of clichs in
>the closing story, "Ain't You 'Most Done," which is set in the
>same world.

I have to agree with the last review that Jeremy W. Crampton was kind
enough to provide for us. My feeling on reaching the end of "Ain't You
'Most Done" was, "Oh, no! Not again!".

Wolfe has so many characters in this kind of predicament that I think the
primary thing you should keep in mind when reading him is not "Find the
wolf" (which doesn't strike me as being particularly helpful, even in the
case of "The Ziggurat") but "When did the main character die and does he
know it yet?".

Now, it may be that if I had read Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and could
appreciate the tie in, I would feel differently, but I was really
disappointed in the way "Ain't You 'Most Done" ended, especially since I
thought Wolfe managed to make the basically absurd notion of a traffic-jam
culture seem all too real and poignant.

William Ansley

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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