Friday, April 04, 2008

The Baum Plan

John Kessel is an incredibly talented writer, and the Baum Plan serves as an excellent introduction to his work. His range as a writer is simply astonishing. This book alone contains a lunar gender study, a reformed criminal tale, and a surprisingly brilliant Mary Shelly meets Jane Austin story (despite it's groan worth title, Pride and Prometheus).

There is not a dud in this collection, however it suffers a bit due to its main virtue. The collection as a whole doesn't fit together to my liking. There is just enough cohesion amongst the stories to make me feel that there should be something more in this book. It's an arbitrary failing, but it does separate this collection from some others (Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners comes to mind) that I'd consider to be truly great.

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