Monday, April 21, 2008

Book Review: The Dragons of Manhattan by John Grant

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free, bite sized book reviews.

Browsing through the table of contents, I was completely baffled (it made sense later on). However, that ceased to be a concern as reading the first few pages, I was immediately hooked and this is one of those books that I couldn't put down. The Dragons of Manhattan makes for easy reading especially considering it's divided into three parts and each of those parts are sprinkled with mini-chapters that lulls readers into thinking that they can read one more chapter before they finally put it down.

Originally an online serial, it's understandable why this novel was written to be so compelling--and Grant succeeds with that goal. The novel's premise, which you can probably surmise from the title, isn't anything new but Grant's writing and technique is so upbeat that it creates a story that's one part fantasy and one part science fiction. And then before the second part ends, one realizes that this is definitely a John Grant book.

Grant's characters, and there are several of them, are written with a distinct voice that's both crazy and personal. However, the real gem of the novel is that it's quite the satire that makes for an enjoyable read. Grant doesn't leave any stone unturned and pokes fun at politics, religion, and the media. If you want something accessible, funny, smart, or simply interesting, you can't go wrong with The Dragons of Manhattan.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Is there a copy in Metro Manila I can check out?

Charles said...

It hasn't been released yet (it should be within a few weeks) and is under a UK publisher.

You can find more details of it Screaming Dreams and includes excerpts.