Sunday, December 6, 2009

FINCH by Jeff VanderMeer

As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. Lots of people have already heaped all kinds of praise of Jeff VanderMeer's excellent novel FINCH. Still, I felt the need to chime in too. This won't be anything like a full, professional review. Just me saying how much I liked the book.

Finch is sort of like Raymond Chandler meets Philip K. Dick meets ... well, I'm not sure. The action of this fantasy novel (can we call it fantasy?) takes place in a world that seems fully realized and completely original to me. A fungal, squishy world where something gross waits around every corner. This is the landscape in which our hero Finch must solve a double murder in the style of a good police procedural or private detective novel. Often Finch reminds me of the character Deckerd in Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) as he pushes forward in his investigation, in over his head, and often getting the crap knocked out of him.

Jeff VanderMeer's prose is razor sharp with no fat on the bones yet at the same time wonderfully descriptive and vivid. When I can get out from under all these dealines, I'll be eagerly picking up more work by VanderMeer.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little over halfway through and I don't want it to end. This exquisite new world to explore. So I'm getting ready to hunt down the other books of "fungy" Ambergris.

Rob Smith

Alibyebye Essmob said...

I have yet to read Finch, but I have read the excellent Veniss Underground, The City of Saints and Madmen, and I'm currently working my way through Shriek: An Afterword. If you have not yet experienced Ambergris via The City of Saints and Madmen, I suggest you do so immediately. All by it's lonesome it turned me into a raging VanderMeer fan.
Very glad to hear all the positives thrown around in regard to Finch, but truthfully, I did not expect otherwise.

Mike Cane said...

You don't update enough these days, so you get this Comment here:

Merry Christmas and Happy 2010 to your and your family, Victor!