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BunWat

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All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
Rebecca Traister
Three Days to Never - Tim Powers Back once again at the question of how to rate a book that tried to do something ambitious and didn't altogether succeed. If this had worked, it would have been awesome. If he'd managed to pull together Einstein, the Mossad, Charlie Chaplin, time travel, seraphim, the law of conservation of energy, and Grauman's Chinese Theater into a single plot that worked that would have been just great fun indeed. He almost pulled it off but the whole structure sort of creaks at the seams and leans from one side to the other and he has to keep running around shoring it up with interjections and explanatory this-is-what-just-happened passages.

This story is told from many points of view, I count at least nine different pov's that carry major parts of the narrative. It would take a real master of prose to keep that juggling act from breaking down into incoherence, and I guess its a measure of Power's skills that he just about manages it. But I don't see that the multiplicity actually adds enough to the story to be worth the effort required.

In the same vein, the story gets told in and out of order, with flashbacks and flashforwards, some which are from unreliable narrators and others from narrators who are telling the truth as they see it but are misled. There are bits and peices that seem to be tossed in just because they were lying around the workshop and what the heck, its already a Heinz 57 of a novel so why not add them?

That may actually be the issue with this book - its just too much stuff for not enough good reasons. Like a cell phone that takes photos but also works as a blender and has a built in retractable steam shovel. Okay its clever that someone managed to pack all of that into one package but what am I supposed to DO with it? Make mai tai's while I dig up the sidewalk?