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Amnesiascope Paperback – 1 Sep 1997
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Top customer reviews
Be it clear: Erickson is a very interesting writer, and this is an original novel. But it has it weak parts. The first 40 pages are not very exciting; the plot takes off when the protagonist and his girlfriend Viv start making an avantgarde porno short. Only then the reader realizes that it's a book on Los Angeles/Hollywood as a city of dreams, ghosts and fantasies. It is also a book on women (LA women, sang Jim Morrison), which is partly autobiographical partly oneiric.
Erickson's amnesiascape is science-fictional landscape, dreamscape, and something else in between. It is not the surrealistic quality of the narrative which bothers me. I like David Lynch, so I can appreciate weird plots and weird visions. But the problem here is that sometimes the intensity of Erickson's dream decreases and it plods. While some episodes run, or even fly. This suggested me that Erickson is a very good writer when he feels like, but here and there his inspiration fails him and he turns into a rather unfocused and slighly boring storyteller.
One might compare this novel to Jonathan Lethem's Amnesia Moon, which covers a surprisingly similar fictional territory (maybe with less sex and less movies) to see what I mean: Lethem was not as accomplished a stylist when he wrote his second novel, but his imagination was way more creative and powerful than Erickson; it never let Lethem down.
So, all in all, I can admire Erickson's ambitious plan, I can enjoy the accomplished parts of this novel (which are excellent, and might be edited out and published as standalone short stories), but I have to warn you that some parts are rather disappointing (also the ending is a bit too weak). This is definitely not a good starting point if you want to see what Erickson's all about. IMHO Arc d'X is the one you should try before this one. This novel is probably only for Erickson completists.