Engine summer

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Doubleday, 1979 - Fiction - 182 pages
29 Reviews
On an impassioned quest for sainthood, one man searches into the distant past to study the age-long catastrophes and cataclysms that have shaped our world

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A dreamy, allegorical novel by one of my favorites, John Crowley, which I seem never to have read before but bought two different copies of (in different three-novel compilations) at the used book store last week. This early book shows that the highly structured, inward-folding, holonic quality of Crowley's writing in his masterpiece Little, Big and unfinished [!!! apparently not !!! I couldn't resist googling it up, only to find that the 4th volume came out a year ago, and that I have an important book on my to-read list! I will reserve judgment on whether to include those 4 works as a composite masterpiece until I've caught up on the conclusion of the Aegypt tetralogy. O what excitement -- but I have a sentence to finish ...] anyway this early novel showcases the same kind of formalistic/fractal approach that is featured in Little, Big and the Aegypt tetralogy. Crowley here lovingly constructs a post-technological future culture, populated by 'truthful speakers' who have perfected the art of communication, then yanks his narrator out of it to wander in search of a girl and sainthood and ultimately to experience a different kind of translation. Abstract and chilly compared to his best novels, but still, an interesting read. 

Review: Engine Summer

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

At times bordering on pure genius, this book gets lost in its own overly ambitious plot. A solid 3.5 for a unique setting and beautiful insights, but the continuity of the novel is hard to spot. Read full review

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About the author (1979)

John Crowley was a recipient of the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Literature. He lives in the hills above the Connecticut River in northern Massachusetts with his wife & twin daughters.

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