08 October 2007

A Handbook for Visitors from Outer Space

This book by Kathryn Kramer has been sitting (incorrectly) in my science fiction bookcase possibly for around 20 years--I don't remember when I got it, but it was published in 1987, and I just may have been lugging it along for most the years that have passed since.

A couple weeks ago I realized I was feeling kind of blue at about the same time that I realized I hadn't actually finished reading a book in several weeks (I'd been mostly reading magazines). So I stopped what I was doing and blazed through a few things, including this novel, which--in spite of its title--is not science fiction (though it has its fantastic aspects).

It is an odd book, well written but full of gothic twists--an exiled royal family, relatives in love with each other, wasting diseases, misunderstandings that last years, and envelopes that never reach their target. Readable, entertaining, and sad.

And now shelved (properly) in the general fiction section.

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