on 24 June 2010
This is a story about brains. Most of the human race have had their brains extracted from their skulls and put in filing cabinets wired to the world-wide databank. Thus everyone can have the permanent illusion of living and doing things while saving space. It's very weird. I lent it to my mother to read and she said it was "pure filth from beginning to end." Ermm... there may be a bit of sex in it... kinky, weird. There may also be a bit of gore: a shotgun blast, for example, and a fantasy torture dream. There's quite a lot of gore in that last one, actually. Don't lend it to your mother.
One thing puzzles me: if it really was pure filth, why did my mother keep reading it? She must have read it all, otherwise she wouldn't have known that it was filth all the way through. She wouldn't be happy to be told this, so I have kept quiet.
Various characters are introduced. There's a brain who used to be an actress. Where are those long legs, those lovely breasts now? Where are those smouldering violet eyes? Dust and ashes. However, the depraved mind which used to look out through those eyes is entirely intact. There's a teenage boy who hasn't grown up properly. The managers of the brain repository try to give him various experiences to encourage him to mature. There is a scheming malevolent character called Obu Itubi who doesn't want to stay as a brain. He wants to escape into a real human body in the real world, and succeeds, for a while at least...
"Tour de Force" says the blurb on the cover and it's right. The author writes in a direct, efficient style, without unnecessary drama, so every twist of the story arrives with a powerful impact.
I enjoyed it hugely. Parts of the story, and in fact the whole concept, can be described as bizarre, weird and rather unnerving. When I first read it I was impressed at the sheer imagination. Definitely recommended.