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Kerry Hackett is just another corporate pawn in the ...
Kerry Hackett is just another corporate pawn in the urban cauldron of 2015, besieged on all sides by those who would possess and exploit her. Driven to desperation, she undergoes a mysterious transformation into an alchemical goddess, wanderer of the timelines. In a magnificently evoked parallel Brazil, a place of seedy splendor and charismatic lusts, Kerry, or that which she has become, tests her carnal arsenal on targets deserving and undeserving; but the attention of a more powerful agency has been attracted, and a yet stranger metamorphosis awaits.
A tale of heartbreak, revenge, and liberation, written in Paul Di Filippo's most fantastically effervescent prose, A Mouthful of Tongues is a work of science fiction which crosses boundaries and breaks taboos with brilliant savage abandon. It can only add to its author's rapidly growing following, and will shake the world of speculative fiction to its very foundations.
"Out of a rich impasto of language, a story that is sensual, sexual, and hot takes shape around one of the most engaging heroines since Southern and Hoffenberg's Candy."
--Samuel R. Delany
"Sacred sin, that's Di Filippo's force here. We have participated in a transpersonal act that lifts our consciousness above the situational polarities of morality and into the psyche's unknown, where objective energetic processes fuse dream and matter--and make us us. A ruthless fantasy of aggressive sexuality and archaic intentions."
--A. A. Attanasio
Posted April 13, 2003
Well, in the March '03 issue of _Asimov's_Science_Fiction_Magazine_, Norman Spinrad hails Paul De Filippo's _Mouthful_Of_Tongues_ as 'the ultimate Essex House novel. Believable scientific speculation. Sexual magic and Latin American Magic Realism. Real and sympathetic characterization. Lavish attention to descriptive detail.' I bought all $29.99 of the book out of curiosity and I was very disappointed. Yes, Di Filippo is imaginative and explicit, but there was no believalbe scientific speculation, no real and sympathetic characterization, and most especially, no lavish attention to descriptive detail. Instead of believable scientific speculation, there is straight up fantasy thinly desguised with technobabble. Instead of symptethic characterization there is a heroine, who is taken advantage of in a modern civilization by her boss, and then her fatally-infected and contagious boyfriend. At this point I sympathized. Then, inexplicably she goes to a top secret area of her employer's company and punctures a hole in the manipulator gloves of a sealed container containing a 'benthic' -- an artificlal life form capable of changing its shape. The benthic enters her body and she obains superhuman powers, such as the ability to change her shape, replace a lost arm on a person who lost their arm, and change the sexes of a father who sexually abused his daughter, as well as the daughter. She then goes on to obscene cruelty, apparently relying on sexual intercourse of any kind torture and maime individuals. She goes mad and is not at all sympathetic through most of the work. Instead of 'lavish attention to descriptive detail' Di Fillipo's style, while effective, appeard to me to be an exercise in figuring out how many obscure and obsolete words he could fit into a single paragraph. Where guys like C. S. Lewis can pull off such a pretentious writing style, Di Fillipo falls flat. Have your dictionary handy when you read this one, folks. While I enjoyed many of the escapades presented in the book, and I especially enjoyed the fables told by one character or another (stories within a story) the book fails for lack of a reasonable plot. There is no motivation for many actions of the main characters. Its as if you're in this sexual nightmare where nothing makes any sense and you just want to wake up (before you have a wet dream). I'll grant the book was entertaining, and Di Fillipo is an imaginative and entertaining author, but I feel very let down by Norman Spinrad's review on this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.