Engine summer

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Doubleday, 1979 - Fiction - 182 pages
16 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  - Mark Lawrence - Goodreads

A highly unusual book, especially in the genre. It's easy to tell you some of the things this book wasn't (for me). It wasn't exciting or compelling. It wasn't emotionally engaging. So what was it ... 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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