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DT6: Song of Susannah

 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject: DT6: Song of Susannah Reply with quote

This book was not bad--I enjoyed it--but it was a bit of a letdown after DT5. Some of it was its brevity. It didn't feel as epic. However, its short length did lead to the impression that things were speeding up, that events were coming to a head, and the end was finally near. Of course, King cultivates this impression explicitly by having the characters say this themselves (Jake, for one). I think King tells too much, when he should stick to showing. But it was an interesting story, even the baby stuff. I liked how the characters got separated and had their own adventures. Getting to meet King as a character was wild. I think he handled this Vonnegut "gimmick" well, giving us plenty of warning ahead of time that it was not only possible, but likely. I bet that was fun to write.

I disliked the speeches given to us by Mia. Actually, I dislike the Mia character entirely. She seemed unnecessary, when Susannah was already prone to multiple personalities. Why have a "hitchhiker" personality? Is it to absolve Susannah of the responsibility so she'll remain a sympathetic character? It would have developed her character more if the baby issue wasn't imposed upon her externally, but developed and resolved an inner conflict of her own.

Back to the Mia speeches ... not only are they wordy, unnecessary, and boring, but they also feed into a belief that is absolutely false, but sounds good to the gullible. Mia says:

King wrote:
You doom yourselves, Susannah. You seem positively bent on it, and the root is always the same: your faith fails you, and you replace it with rational thought. But there is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism.


We replaced magic with machines, and now the machines are failing, and that's why the world is "moving on."

Bullshit.

I know this is a fantasy-ish novel. It has magic and monsters, and this is fine as long as they are metaphors, but King is literally pitting magic against reason here. Myth and metaphor are literally meeting reality in this story. And the problem with reality? Well, not enough unreality! Not enough made up bullshit ... i.e. magic.

Rational thought is not merely good for launching probes to Pluto. It's how humans have survived in conditions that would wipe out less intelligent species. It's how we developed agriculture, medicine, air conditioning, sanitation systems ... where is the death in rationalism? [Okay: weapons ... but those can be used defensively to save lives.] Rationalism gets to the core of the human experience, it's what moves us out of Plato's Cave into reality. It puts us into the world to a much greater degree than any other species on earth. It lets us comprehend our reality, to know our actual state of Being better and more accurately than any other creature. It pierces illusion.

I'm sick of being lectured about magic by people who miss all the "magic" right in front of them, who fail to see how "miraculous" rationality is, because they crave illusions instead of truth. Yes, many of us have lost our faith, but in the process we have freed our minds. This is not death, this is life.

But I guess that doesn't make a good story for people who crave illusions.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My least favourite book of the series. Didn't like the whole "Mia" thing at all.

King's entry into the story at first bothered me, but I got into it when I understood he wasn't creating the story, merely recording it.

(The GF says his inclusion of himself ruined it for her, but I got it.)

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