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Bsides 77 - Looking For Jake

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:45 pm
by ScubaMan
China Melville. As in The Scar?! A steampunk or post-gasoline tale?! Oh boy. People, please support drabblecast so that you can access this thread (my $10USD/month a la PayPal is being well-used). :D

Re: Bsides 77 - Looking For Jake

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:26 am
by ScubaMan
Okay, so I just finished listening to L.F.J. with my spouse. And we were BOTH looking at the loud speaker... and saying .... wait... what?!

I wolfed down The Scar and had many conversations with my spouse. The authour's prose is intricate and if one paid attention, had an elegant logic to it.

L.F.J. was expertly narrated (thanks Norm). That didn't help us figure out what happened. :shock: :shock: :shock: My spouse has listened to other books written by Mieville... such as Kraken & Purdedo Street Station. They are very hard to follow, according to her. These books were far easier to read (complex & intricate prose).

Next step = relisten to it. I might also pick up Mieville's book form of L.F.J. 8)

Re: Bsides 77 - Looking For Jake

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:10 am
by normsherman
I love the couples bonding over such a twisted, weird story. :)

China's stuff goes this route often in his short fiction. I haven't read as much of his longer form stuff so can't speak to that really. A lot of writers write to fulfill our expectations as to what is happening and how it is fixed/resolved. I think MiƩville cares more about setting things up in a supernatural and often cataclysmic way, and then exploring the effects on his characters from their perspective. Things start to dissolve and fall through the cracks much like the unwitting pedestrians mentioned in the story who simply vanish while walking down the sidewalks. If you think about it, 9/10 times in a true world-ending event we would all likely have very little answers. We would experience the madness and confusion and despair in our terms, in whatever way we could try to make sense of things at the time.

"The city doesn't need me around while it winds down. I was going to catalogue its secrets, but that was for my benefit, not the city's."

That's the line that says the most to me in this story about letting go. Whatever it is up those steps into the Gaumont Estate that draws him in, it's where he needs to go. And he knows he won't be coming back. He can't make sense of anything anymore and there seems hardly any point in even trying anymore, so why not follow the sign. I think of it as "heading towards the light" instead of choosing to continue struggling and suffering in the throes of death. And who can even begin to say what's in the light?

On the other hand, I think the whole thing is also clearly an allegory about the loneliness and isolation one can suffer even in the densest of urban environments. Perhaps even particularly in those dense urban environments.