Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek: An Afterword: part six of several

after the brief intermission of part five of several, i consumed three chapters of Shriek: An Afterword in a single, febrile flurry of reading before sleep once more sank her talons through the tissue of my eyes.

i could argue that the adrenaline of the first two chapters of part 2 lingered for me past the intensity of those pages, carried me through the succeeding chapters even as Janice returned to the relatively banal descriptions of life-going-on in post-war Ambergris, and this may be true. however, as the pace slows considerably, jarringly after those events (of the first two chapters of part 2), restored to an unseemly sense of normalcy, it is also true that a sense of weariness has come upon the narrations of this Janice, as though the simple act of remembering those events has drained her; there is a relief to having passed that point, but it isn't all a relief.

while this Janice (and this Duncan) is (are) essentially the same as the one(s) we met in part 1, we know her (them) now well enough, it seems, to look at that Janice (and that Duncan) in a new light. and we begin to have a disquietingly comfortable sense of what this book is really about, even though the single objective truth behind it all remains, if it exists at all, for us, as it does for the characters, ultimately elusive.


Anonymous said...

Oy! It's about squid! And mushrooms!

Jeff ;)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

ay caramba! of course! *slaps forehead* LOL

the squid here seem so much less conspicuous (except, of course, for the Festival) than they are in other stories, though.

did i miss something? or is that what they'd like me to think?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, btw, for this whole analysis, whether you wind up liking the book overall or the ending or not. It really helped me see the book with fresh eyes.


skinnyblackcladdink said...

er, you're welcome. i'm glad you've found some value in what i've said.

the 'final analysis' is up...i hope you don't mind my 'jabs' at you there. it was all for fun. and with all due respect. er, i hope i haven't overstepped any boundaries.

and, at the risk of sounding fanboyish, which i've admittedly been trying very hard to avoid, thank you for all your stuff. it's been an honor to have you here, and please feel free to drop by and comment on my subsequent 'real-time' reviews.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see them as jabs. But you ascribe waay too much in the way of cleverness to me. I felt these characters in my heart and my soul, and they are the core of the book.

I'm glad you liked the book, and I linked to your blog entries on my blog just now.

Thanks again!


skinnyblackcladdink said...

hey thanks for the link and the comments. guess i was trying too hard LOL.

but really, i did purposefully stay away from the 'more obvious' interpretation (i.e., as you say, that it's a 'family chronicle') to try to bring out as much of the subtler flavors and scents that i could detect wafting on the Ambergrisian air as i could.

i hope you don't feel i've somehow done a disservice to your book by doing so.

re: cleverness, well, i figure unintentional cleverness is still cleverness, and is usually the cleverest kind of 'em all.

thanks again, and can't wait for whatever you come up with next.