DuplexDuplex by Kathryn Davis
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

this book is very disorienting. and i liked it, i think, but it is the kind of book you need to read at least twice. in this book, davis is very fond of manipulating the reader, making sure there is never a point where you feel entirely comfortable reading it, confident that you know what is going on. she will drop a portion of backstory, an unfamiliar word, an imagined folklore, disingenuously, as though we know what she’s talking about, only to provide the explanation several chapters on, when you have all but forgotten the context of the initial drop. it’s a very tricksy book that never lets you forget you are being led.

usually i love kathryn davis; this is my fifth book by her, but this one i only liked. at the start, it reminded me of Enchanted Nightwhich is a short story cycle centered around many characters living one night on a suburban street, with a little bit of magic, but it is a much more approachable, accessible magic than this one, which really just flings you about with no regard for your well-being. i know that if i were to reread it, it would be a better experience, with all the story mapped out in my memory. and i may still, and soon, because there are moments of beautiful prose here, interleaved with all the slipstream bewilderment, about the ways in which girls come of age, form relationships, fail to meet expectations, and settle for less than they should.

also, robots.

soknow what you’re getting intoa dark surreal, occasionally erotic fantasy where things are at once very familiar and incredibly, jarringly other. and then go read The Walking Tour.

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