Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book review: Vintage Tomorrows

You may have heard that any movie based on a novel is forced to gut the novel to the bone in order to fit within the allotted time. You may have also read interviews by screenwriters, directors, and producers that it's a very challenging and painful task. The authors of Vintage Tomorrows have spared themselves. Vintage Tomorrows is 412 pages long. By god, I read at least the first third. I really tried to get into it. But after a while, I couldn't take it anymore.

Vintage Tomorrows sets a goal of defining steampunk. A relevant quote:
"A steampunk object arrives with the intention that it’s not meant to be used when it comes out of the package. You’re meant to do stuff with it… to make it yours. It has to be sized to fit. Stuff has to happen to it. It’s meant to be bodged and changed after it arrives. You can see how it’s been put together. It has obvious snags hanging off of it where you’re meant to add stuff, or fix stuff, or attach stuff, or even move stuff around." --a certain Cory
What an appropriate way to describe this book! The book is a cornucopia of the authors' musings on day-to-day minutiae, on their experiences and thoughts in local restaurants, on the most trivial details of numerous conversations that are presented, unsummarized, in their full glory. This is the closest to a stream of consciousness that I've experienced since reading House of Leaves many years ago. I can see how the book has been put together. But I don't buy a toothbrush where it's my job to attach the bristles.

Needless to say, I haven't figured out the point of the book. I hope it's simply that I don't see eye to eye with the authors.