Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Scar month: swept up

To celebrate the tenth birthday of The Scar by China Mieville, I'm re-reading it and posting about the experience. There will be spoilers!
Currently at: chapter 8

Alright, I confess: The Scar's tenth birthday is just an excuse. I'm actually re-reading it because I love it. And I'm re-reading it now because I'm trying to think critically about the books and authors that I love. What are they doing that makes me love them so much?

I was a little worried that re-reading The Scar with this sort of thing in mind might damage my enjoyment of it. But I can see now that isn't going to be the problem. The problem is that I'm not sure I can read it critically at all. I was barely a tenth of the way in when I first noticed that I'd stopped thinking about what I was reading, and I was just -- happily, enthusiastically -- enjoying it.

There's probably an observation to be made about how I only fully engaged when Mieville stopped chopping and changing his tenses and narrative modes. I also suspect that my engagement has a lot to do with the way he handles mysteries and puzzles. They come at a faster pace than I'm used to in epic fantasy, and their pattern of resolution seems unusual. Apparently large mysteries are solved quickly, whereas smaller ones tantalisingly linger.

Whatever it is, I've been thoroughly swept up. There's every chance that all I'll be able to do for the rest of the novel is gush uncritically. I think I'm okay with that, but you have been warned!

Are you reading along too? Has it grabbed you already?

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