Sunday, January 03, 2010

Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

John Finch is a detective who keeps denying he is one, in a city named Ambergris that isn't a functional city by any reasonable measure, in a world that turns out not to be our own, trying to live under an occupying force of "gray caps" who are not human. Oh, and there's one more thing that's not: he's not actually "John Finch," though that's the name he's known by these days.

...and that's as much as I managed to get down, three month ago, when Finch was fresh and clear in my head. It's a complicated book that I greatly liked and respected, the latest (and reportedly last) in a series of books that I'm not familiar with, both a political thriller and a novel of detection. I don't want to misrepresent it, and I don't have the time to re-read it, so...just go read it. It was one of my favorite books of last year, and I went in knowing the following things:

a) it was a detective novel, b) by Jeff VanderMeer, c) set in his fictional city of Ambergris, d) after the nonhuman gray caps have risen and taken over.

Now you know as much as I did, but I can give you a bit more: this is one of the best noir fantasy novels I've read, and it's successful in every way that China Mieville's more heavily publicized The City and the City stumbles. So just go and read it already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is the only true SFF book in the list of 10 best SFF this year from the WashPost. The others were all mainstream with small paranormal or fantasy elements.

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