Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick

If at first you don't succeed, try again. That's how I managed to finish reading Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter although the second time around, it wasn't as dragging as I thought it would be. At the time, Swanwick's novel blended modern machinery with the fantastical so his concept of an "iron dragon" was quite revolutionary. Steampunk but not quite. Mixed up in this bizzarre world is our female protagonist who seems to be trapped in a recurring world and her defiant stance at everything. Manipulation and sex abound, and Swanwick carves out an interesting narrative. Admittedly, there are lulls while reading the novel but the protagonist's exploits and emotions keeps you returning, if only to find out how it all ends. Halfway through the book, things start to get quite bizzarre, more so by the end. The Iron Dragon's Daughter is quite a slipstream novel, crossing several boundaries and presenting them in an unprecedented way. Not the easiest of reads, nor is it for pop consumption, but the journey is quite an experience.

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