The Stone Gods has ratings and reviews. Ian said: When I bought my copy of The Stone Gods, the bookseller told me two things: it had received s. “The Stone Gods,” Jeanette Winterson’s new novel, makes an excellent choice for desert-planet reading — scary, beautiful, witty and wistful by. The Stone Gods is one of Jeanette Winterson’s most imaginative novels — an interplanetary love story; a traveller’s tale; a hymn to the beauty of the world. On the.
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It’s odd to find characters in a science-fiction novel repeatedly announcing that they hate science fiction.
I can only suppose that Jeanette Winterson is trying to keep her credits as a “literary” writer even as she openly commits genre. Surely she’s noticed that everybody is writing science fiction now? Formerly deep-dyed realists are producing novels so full of the tropes and fixtures and plotlines of science fiction that only the snarling tricephalic dogs who guard the Canon of Literature can tell the difference.
I am bothered, jenette, by the curious ingratitude of authors who exploit a common fund of imagery while jenaette to have nothing to do with the fellow-authors who created it and left it open to all who want to use it.
Review: The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson | Books | The Guardian
A little return generosity would hardly come amiss. The Stone Gods opens rather unfortunately with such meaningless flourishes as the “yatto-gram” and some fancy writing – “Eggs, pale-blue-shelled, each the weight of a breaking universe.
Perhaps there is an excess at times of the device known to science-fiction writers as “As you know, captain. Realistic fiction, dealing with the familiar, seldom needs such a device, but imaginative fiction often has to explain what a hobbit or a light year or a limbic pathway is.
The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson
And so we get dialogue beginning: But even in the lectures Winterson’s tone is lively. Her wit varies from flashy to flashing, her highly mannered, crackling dialogue moves things ghe along, the surface of her tale scintillates.
Underneath it, as in every fable telling us that the future will be much worse than we thought, things are deadly serious. So, yes, we are near Borges country. And beyond that, it’s hard to discuss the story without entirely giving away the central conceit, which Winterson develops teasingly, gradually. Delayed revelation is an govs effect in the book, and I don’t want to spoil it.
But, since there tbe some apparently arbitrary initial confusions, I want to assure other readers that it does all add up.
We will jeandtte to see the connections. We will understand why, from the interplanetary cataclysms of the first section, we are shifted so abruptly to the visit of Captain Cook’s ship to Easter Island, and from that taken suddenly to a near-future London, and also why certain characters have the same names though they don’t inhabit the same spacetime.
Some of these significantly hidden connections are made with truly charming inventiveness. In the first section, the reduction of the robot Spike to a mere head is grotesquely sad; in the last section, Wintdrson existence as a mere head that doesn’t have its body yet is grotesquely funny, particularly when Spike succeeds, as I think no other detached head has, in having sex.
And when Billie Crusoe finally finds her Man Friday, the ironic comedy is fine. At times Winterson seems to think that poetical invention excuses fictional implausibility or incoherence. A farmhouse, with hearthfire, beside a willow-hung river complete with iris and moorhens could not possibly exist in the terminally exhausted world of the first section.
Stranger than science fiction
But since this image of the farm wintereon essential to the book, it is essential that we be able to believe in it. Bursts of emotion may be forgivable, given the dire events recounted and predicted, but they may also be overwrought.
I felt this particularly in the Easter Island section, the central part and hinge-point of the book.
The history of that island and its winterzon, as it has been pieced together in recent years, is in itself so appalling, and so appallingly apt an image of human misuse of our world, that it needs no heightening to make it hit home. But here it is all mixed up with a love story that is asked to carry far too much weight.
Sentimentality, the product of a gap between the emotionality of the writing and the emotion actually roused in the reader, is very much a matter of the reader’s sensibility; to me, both the love stories in the book are distressingly sentimental.
Still, despite the gaspy bits, the purple bits, and the lectures, The Stone Gods is a vivid, cautionary tale jeannette or, more precisely, a keen lament for our irremediably incautious species. Fiction Jeanette Winterson Science fiction books reviews.