New: Book Report: A Far Country

Scouting game locations for a puzzle hunt, e.g. BANG 19, is time-consuming but fun. It's a good excuse to go out on a tour of not-in-front-of-your-computer. Plus, since you're trying to find places that are good for puzzle-solving, you spend most of your time in comfortable places, carefully observing: is this place quite comfortable enough for puzzle-solving? Is it perhaps even more comfortable than that previous place? Don't rush to any conclusions, now. Loiter a little longer if you have to. Not all places are so comfortable, of course. These places are not so good for puzzling and/or visiting; you might want to read about them, though.

You saw my book reports about Shadow Cities and Planet of Slums and thought, "I dunno if I want to read some rant about mass migrations of third-worlders from rural land to urban slums... maybe I'll just wait for the novel." Your wait is over, Daniel "The Piano Tuner" Mason has written that novel; it's named A Far Country. A family is torn apart, clings together. Country folks make their way through a city which works by its own rules. Life in a shantytown. Bleak, bleak, bleak. People take risks and harm passes over them. People play it safe and fate crushes them. And yet... the story is compelling. I read it through, not even put off when Magical Realism reared its ugly head.

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Posted 2008-09-28