Customer Reviews for

The Einstein Intersection

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delaney is a post-apocaly

    The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delaney is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel about a man's quest to avenge the death of his lover, to bring her back from the dead Orpheus-style, and to kill the man who has caused several deaths in his village.
    The book rates two out of five stars. If I hadn't read it for a book club, I wouldn't have finished it. The book had a slow start, picked up toward the first quarter, then fell flat on its face by the half-way mark and never really got off the floor after that. The biggest thing that killed the book for me was the reactionary nature of the hero, Lo Lobey. He's an empathetic character draw heavily on the Orpheus myth. As he sets off on his hero's journey, however, he reaches a point where he is only reacting to those around him, and therefore he never really takes charge or seems to pursue anything. He becomes content to just let the antagonist Kid Death come to him. This makes for some pretty boring reading. A character in waiting makes for a reader in waiting. I hate waiting.

    The other thing that really bogged this novel down was a self-awareness on the part of the author. It was difficult to lose myself in the story because the author was always near-by and reminding me of his presence. He did this blatantly by inserting epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter, many of which were excerpts from what I assume is his own personal journal. Also, the tone of the story was a double-edged sword, in that its unique voice made it stand out from other novels I've read, yet that same voice also caused me to spend more time paying attention to the author's use of language, which meant less time paying attention to the story.

    The creative use of language was interesting, however. Delaney has a beautiful way with metaphor. On top of that, the narrative voice was strong and consistent. The style was unique to that novel, and few readers would confuse a page from The Einstein Intersection with a page from any other novel. The metaphor and unique tone combine in an intriguing setting that inhabits a world of mutants on an Earth abandoned by humans. Despite the likability of Lobey and the mystery of what he and the other characters are if all the humans are gone, in the end, this novel offered no compelling reason to finish it. Beyond that, for the trouble of finishing it, the ending offered no reward for having made it through all 123 pages.

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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    This tale is about Lo Lobey a sherpherd in his small village. Lo

    This tale is about Lo Lobey a sherpherd in his small village. Lo Lobey and his fellow villagers are an alien species that have chosen to make Earth their home after humans have abandoned it many years ago. Due to radiation and fickle genes, this species has trouble reproducing functional children. Those that are deemed functional receive the title Lo (for men), La (for women), and Le (for the androgynous). Those that are non-functional do not receive a title. Lo Lobey falls in love with Friza, a villager with no title. Soon after, Friza is killed by Kid Death. The village elders feel Lo Lobey is the chosen one to go after Kid Death and bring Friza back.

    This is a hard book to review. This is one of those books that you know that you need to read at least twice (if not more) to truly understand everything that is happening in this book. This book is less than 150 pages, so you can read this book in one sitting, and then read it again if you want. :) I should mention that I started this book, and I had to put it down for a week or so before picking it up again. I feel like I would have a better grasp of how I feel about this book, if I had read it in one sitting.

    This is a beautiful book to read. It is like reading a mythological dream written in the form of a poem. The book is not written in verse, but you feel like you just float along as you read it. This feeling is definitely helped along by the fact that Lo Lobey is on a hero's journey and he, like the Greek hero Orpheus, is going to the underworld to rescue his love (Friza for Lo Lobey and Eurydice for Orpheus). I wish that I was a bit more up-to-date on my Greek mythology to make more connections.

    Besides the song-like quality of the text, I really liked the messages in this book. In particular, a major focus of this book is on difference. Early on in the book, the villagers have a long conversation about whether Friza should be given the title of La. Friza doesn't speak, but she is smart and has special powers like being able to keep dangerous creatures away. Some villagers argue for La because she understands others, but others vote against it because she does not speak. 

    Overall, I enjoyed this short book. It was thought-provoking but comfortable (i.e., the mythology context of the story made the story feel relate-able). I have read a few reviews of this book, and most of them note that the book feels like it is going over the heads of its readers; however, it is not done in a condescending way. When you read this book, you just get the feeling that you need to reread it, because there is so much in it and you can't absorb all of it.

    Delany won the Nebula and was nominated for the Hugo for this book. If you were considering trying Delany but were not ready to jump into Nova or Dhalgren (his more popular books), this is a great starting point. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Three things...

    1) When I see a movie for the first time, I don't watch it with the commentary track turned on. So while having brief autobiographical segments pop up to explain what you were doing around the time when you were writing something may be interesting to some, it can also take people out of the world your building.

    2) I'm not saying one shouldn't use pop culture references. I will say that if one does so, they should be prepared for their novel set when all of humanity is nothing more than myth and legend to feel oddly dated. I would suggest though that if you're mixing your pop culture in with ancient myths to suggest how pop culture will become myth one day, that perhaps when you want to suggest what type of person a character is, you use the reference that has a couple hundred years of traction behind it. People may understand those a little easier.

    3) I am not a fan of any work that makes me wonder how many illegal substances an author was on when they wrote it. I am less so a fan of any work where I wonder how much of the author's stash was shared with the committee that gave the work an award.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    I love all of Delany's work. Somehow missed this one.

    Very interesting reading this one last. It really foreshadowed the rest.

    BTW: when I said all of his work, I don't include the Neveryon series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2011

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