Bones of the Moon
4 journalers for this copy...
The comfortable daytime world of Cullen James gives way at night to a fantastic dream landscape in which a talking dog and a child named Pepsi lead her on a search for five magical bones.
Jonathan Carroll is an amazing writer. This was a strange story and I admit I would have been totally confused if I didn't check out the reviews on Amazon before reading it! If you like Jonathan Carroll, you'll like this. If you haven't read any of his stuff yet, you might want to start with The Wooden Sea
by Jonathan Carroll (my personal favorite of his).
Journal Entry 3
Bizarre Fiction Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Friday, July 31, 2009
Released 12 yrs ago (7/31/2009 UTC) at Bizarre Fiction Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Cullen James (who is a woman, believe it or not) is happily married to Danny, is being romantically pursued by a famous movie director named Weber Gregston, has a fabulously (and stereotypically) gay best friend named Eliot, corresponds with her teenage axe-murdering former neighbor, and has serial dreams about a land called Rondua, in which her son (named Pepsi) is attempting to collect the five Bones of the Moon with the aid of giant animals Martio the camel, Felina the wolf, and Mr Tracy the dog. The dreamworld and the real world interweave in strange ways, from Cullen's bizarre magical powers to the appearances of Jack Chili and Sizzling Thumb. I was disappointed at the lack of description of Cullen's real life, such as her travels to Europe and her experiences living in New York City. There were a lot of "white room" experiences for me. On the other hand, I actually quite liked how little Rondua was described, leaving most of it up to the imagination of the reader. There is no explanation as to what exactly the bones of the moon actually are, nor any number of other strange things, like the Hot Shoes or Fire Sandwich - just like in real dreams. The bizarre names created all kinds of interesting mental pictures for me. I wish, however, that there had been a little bit more plot. Most of the dream sequences felt more like I was hearing them second-hand than experiencing them with the narrator, and the "twist" ending felt more like a cheap shot than anything truly shocking. But all in all I can't say that this is a bad book. Just a very strange one. A nice change from the ordinary.
Bringing this to the BC in DC meet at Union Station, Washington, DC, tomorrow. I hope it finds a new reader.
Caught this one at the BC meetup today at Union Station, and decided to take it home on the recommendation of SqueakyChu. Sounds weird, but weird can be good.
Journal Entry 8
Alexandria, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 28, 2012
A very strange book, but I enjoyed it. The protagonist is Cullen, a young woman who is smart and beautiful and is married to Danny, a sweet, totally devoted man who (at the start of the novel) plays professional basketball in Italy. She loves living in Milan and traveling all over Europe, but when an injury derails her husband's career, they head back to New York to start all over again, and to prepare for the arrival of their baby. The transition might be difficult, but things quickly turn out just fine. Danny immediately finds a job he loves, Cullen finds a neighbor -- a way too stereotypical gay man named Eliot -- who becomes her closest friend, and she gives birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Cullen is happy and successful, but beneath the surface, her life is getting weird. A teenage boy who lives in her building and with whom she'd always been friendly is institutionalized after he murders his family with an axe -- and at his request, Cullen starts corresponding with him. A bizarre and famous film director begins pursuing Cullen, oblivious to her lack of interest. But the weirdest things happen while she's asleep. Cullen has been having serial dreams, set in a fantasy land called Rondua -- kind of a Narnia for grownups. In the dreams, she traverses the land on a quest with a boy named Pepsi and an assorted cast of bizarre characters.
Carroll is an excellent writer, but some of this is too sketchy. In the real-life scenes, I often wanted more description. She keeps saying how wonderful it is to live in Italy, but I never felt like I was seeing it. Most of the scenes in Italy could have taken place anywhere. And his female main character didn't always ring true as female. Sometimes she thought more like a man; for instance, everyone is always telling her how beautiful she is, and she just seems to accept that she is. Almost all women are insecure about their looks. Certainly a woman who's rather insecure in general, like Cullen is, would be more doubtful about her beauty. The Rondua scenes, on the other hand, were beautifully described. This fantasy world came to life for me. Though I was amazed that Cullen didn't figure out Pepsi's identity way, way earlier. I had him pegged from the very beginning. The horrifying ending that brings reality and fantasy together was also predictable, but I'm not sure if it was really necessary.
So it's not a perfect book, but it's a wildly original one, and fun to read. I recommend it.
Journal Entry 9
Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Released 10 yrs ago (1/28/2012 UTC) at Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Virginia USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On the book buffet at the BC in DC meetup.
Journal Entry 10
Annandale, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Picked up at today's monthly meetup. Thanks!
Journal Entry 11
Annandale, Virginia USA on Sunday, February 19, 2012
This was a strange book and I'm not entirely sure I enjoyed it, though I did finish it since I wasn't quite sure how it was going to end. I found the dream world to be interesting, even though the storyline there was rather trite. I did NOT like the main character at all, though. I was totally unsympathetic to her situation since she lies to her oh-so-wonderful husband pretty much through the entire book. I thought the "gay best friend" was such a stereotype that I found myself rolling my eyes almost every time he appeared in the story. And, most of all, I was put off by the "this is the child I killed" take. (Though it *is* rather appropriate that I happened to read this right now when my state (Virginia) just passed a bill declaring that life starts when the egg is fertilized and, therefore, human rights apply to the "person" from that moment forward.) Even though the character "still thinks abortion is okay for other women", it felt like someone jumping up and down on one of my hot buttons. I was also irked that Cullen calls a waitress a "cretin" for not glancing at her baby in a coffee shop. (OMG, the nerve of a busy waitress to ignore an infant!) I also felt the story ramped up and up and up and then got bundled up in a tight, fast, bundle in an entirely unbelievable way, even for a fantasy-esque novel. Teenaged axe murderer escapes the institution he's in? I *SO* don't think so.
All that being said, I did find Carroll to be a very fluid writer. I read the book quickly and enjoyed the story-telling aspect of it. I also appreciate that he leaves a fair amount up to the imagination in a lot of ways. So even though this particular story sat with me a little funny, I think I'd like to try something else by him.
Journal Entry 12
Busboys and Poets in Arlington, Virginia USA on Friday, March 30, 2012
Released 9 yrs ago (3/30/2012 UTC) at Busboys and Poets in Arlington, Virginia USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left just in the first set of doors, on the side table. Gone by the time we left. Happy travels!