Some novels I have no problem summing up in a few lines; for others it's an agony and far too much time goes into trying to write something intelligible. Here are a few for which I've had a very difficult time (partly because I enjoyed the books so much, I want to do justice to them). All I can say is read them! They're terrific.
Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand (Small Beer) is the author’s first foray into the psychological suspense thriller and it’s a doozy. Cass (Scary) Neary is a prickly, pill popping protagonist best known for the photographs of dead people she took during the punk scene. Now she’s on an assignment/pilgrimage to backwoods Maine to interview the reclusive photographer who so strongly influenced her own work. What ensues is engrossing and horrifying.
Spook Country by William Gibson (Putnam) is not horrific, but there’s a dark undercurrent of paranoia threaded throughout this tense and satisfying, overtly political “caper” novel. It’s a perfect successor to Pattern Recognition. A former rocker, now a journalist is on assignment for a magazine that doesn’t yet exist, a pill popping break-in wizard is stuck with a paranoid secret ops loony, and a young Cuban is involved in mysterious information transfers. And they’re all converging on a huge shipping container with a mysterious something inside. This all makes for great entertainment.
Fangland by John Marks (Penguin) is a surprisingly original vampire novel about a young associate producer sent to Transylvania to vet a mysterious crime lord for an interview on The Hour (modeled on 60 Minutes, Marks’ former workplace), a major newsmagazine show in New York. The crime lord, actually a vampiric creature who infects victims with the voices of humans killed in atrocities throughout history uses the woman’s connections to worm his way onto the twentieth floor of The Hour—dubbed “fangland” by its denizens. Every time the reader thinks she knows where the story is going, it takes a neat half turn away from the obvious.
- Three more very good novels