5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sometimes great, sometimes derivative and smug....,
This review is from: City of Saints and Madmen (Paperback)
I was attracted to "City of Saints and Madmen" due to the other reviews on this site, and it is the first time I have read anything by Jeff VanderMeer. It basically provides a number of short stories concerning the city of Ambergris and its inhabitants. I wanted to say I loved it, but I have seen this kind of book before, and its been done better. There are a lot of similarities with works like "Viriconium" by M John Harrison, which predate it and which taint the originality of the concept. I dare say that if I read this book first I would have enjoyed it more.
Vandermeer is very creative and humorous in his writings, but sometimes he appears to be just a little too pleased with himself. His characterisation is not that great, and it would definitely help if he fleshed out his real human characters more as they battle with the city and its arcane ways.
Could have been a lot better.