Something that was buried in the drafts section of this blog. I originally intended to do that same as last year, and post my thoughts of all the books I read in 2006, but this is as far as I got. Never posted it before because I didn’t think it’d come out right, but it’s been a little too long since I read the book for me to fix it now. Reading it in hindsight, it wanted to be something more substantial. Posted in lieu of real content.

  • Shriek: An Afterword
  • (Written in May ’06)
    Jeff VanderMeer’s first full-length novel, and his second book set in the city of Ambergris. Ranging from humourous to horrific, at times both beautiful and tragic (often within only a few pages), it’s an account of two people’s (and to some extent, a third’s) lives–one that you want to believe, but there is doubt there, the sense of it being a story of half-truths and melodrama (and Janice Shriek, the narrator, does have a tendency towards melodrama that is apparent from the start). Duncan’s notes often help bring this into perspective, but it can still be hard to work out what to believe and what to take with a grain of salt. The “afterword” to this afterword only makes it more difficult to accept the story as presented.
    In the end, it is an engaging, entertaining, thought-provoking story that takes you deeper into the mysteries of Ambergris than ever before.


    2 thoughts on “Leftovers

    1. That one sounds promising, Alan. Since it is his first novel but his second book, was the first book some sort of story collection or the like in the same setting? Would you have to read the first book to read the second book?

      ~ duchess

    2. The previous Ambergris book was City of Saints and Madmen, which is technically a mosaic novel, being four novellas and several short stories. VanderMeer has also had a collection, Secret Life, and a short novel, Veniss Underground, which are–other than a couple of short stories in the collection–not related to the Ambergris work.
      It isn’t necessary to read City of Saints and Madmen to read Shriek, but I’d recommend it–there are some small things in Shriek that reference the stories in City of Saints.

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