Sunday, January 12, 2014

Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand Review

"It is 1978. Merle is in her first year at the Corcoran School of Art, catapulted from her impoverished Appalachian upbringing into a sophisticated, dissipated art scene.

It is also 1870. The teenage poet Arthur Rimbaud is on the verge of breaking through to the images and voice that will make his name.

The meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past—and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other’s worlds."

Ooo! Another time traveling novel. That's how you can be in 1870 and 1978 in one novel.

Radiant days stars Arthur Rimbaud, who is actually a real person and a poet. His character is based on the real guy, if you didn't know. Anyway, Radiant Days is a pretty good book, with remarkable words and phrases. I like its little lessons even though it's not very obvious.

The plot gets really annoying quickly. This time, it's good that the POVs are from different perspective. Like Arthur's is told from...first or third person. I can't remember. But Merle is written in another way. Most likely Arthur's told from third person since Merle (probably is Elizabeth Hand in her imagination) is current times. Anyway, the plot skips back and forth from the past to near modern times. It gets kind of annoying when you jump back and forth between chapters. Sometimes I wish there's a set time for each part of the book.

The writing of Radiant Days is good, but that's not very...important.

The characters, on the other hand, were a bit confusing. Arthur was okay, actually, because he was a poet with a bunch of problems and hardships, along with his mother. But it's Merle, who is confusing. I just don't get her character. She jumps way too much for me. I do like her headstrong personality, but she's broken and kind of weak inside. But that's the point of the story. To be weak in the beginning, and be better in the end.

Anything else? 

Well, I do love the man behind all of the time traveling. He said that time was a river, which runs in both directions. A very nice touch, with a lot of mystery and intrigue weaved in. 

Rating: Three out of Five

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