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Posted July 22, 2006
Captivating story, once it sucks you in.
Elizabeth Gaffney's Metropolis is a captivating story, once it manages to suck you in. The novel starts off slowly -- I found myself wondering at first if I would enjoy the book or if I would regret spending my time reading it once I had finished. It didn't take long -- the characters definitely grew on me as I got to know them through reading. In retrospect, the slow pace of the novel fits well with the relative pace of life during the story's time period, compared to that of today. Horse-drawn carriages contrasted with modern cars... letters taking months to travel overseas compared to the instant communication of e-mail. I was probably drawn to this novel by my frequent wondering about what it would have been like to have lived as a contemporary of my grandparents or great-grandparents, when technology was far less advanced. There are fascinating bits of science, physics, engineering and medicine thrown in with the usual human elements of interaction and emotion. Indeed, history is a great character in this novel as well. On the human side, the novel contains some very interesting studies of nature vs nurture, giving voice to a concept and allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions to some extent. Gaffney's highly descriptive style of writing easily transports you back through time to a period when certain technologies were in their infancy, while demonstrating that many things -- people, crime, racism, love, and luck -- may not have not been changed by time that much after all. Gaffney weaves an unusual story that slowly, carefully manages to wrap you around its little finger by the end.
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Posted July 5, 2005
Posted October 17, 2008
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