Another re-read of a childhood favorite. In this case the story held up better (or my body chemistry was better), and I really enjoyed it even though I've read the book ~4 times now. The basic idea is that this is the coming of age story of a bookish, lesbianic, satanic, murderess in a dystopian and collapsing near-future New York. As that list of adjectives implies, the story is completely and 100% extra and I love it for that. The story is told through a diary which tracks the descent of the protagonist and the society around her, through events but also through the changing language of the diary. The future-argot that the author invents has a few moments that flicker between being embarrassing and perfect, but for the most part I liked it and the conceit works far, far better than it could. In the hands of a less talented writer the conceit would have simply ruined the book. I don't have a ton of patience for invented languages and dialects, but this one I enjoyed, perhaps because it is introduced slowly, or perhaps because it takes English and radically simplifies it in some ways rather than making it more baroque and difficult to parse. And it is a neat phenomena that you can read a random passage near the end of the book and not really like/appreciate it, but if you read the entire book through from the beginning and let your mind soak in the argot then the later passage reads far more clearly/evocatively. Ok, the hard part of the review is over. Now, in case you can't get a copy of this book yourself (Jack Womack is criminally under-published), here are the 3 best phrases of the book, little bits of world building thrown in along the way:
Operation Domestic Storm
No Justice - No Mercy
It's a simple formula but I am a simple person.