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Book Review: The Incarnations, by Susan Barker This was a random… - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Book Review: The Incarnations, by Susan Barker
This was a random selection from the work book sale. Admittedly the picture of Chinese mountains on the cover was a draw, and the promotional cover sheet made it sound interesting.

The story is about Driver Wang, a Beijing taxi driver in 2008. He receives a series of mysterious letters, found inside his taxi, purporting to describe previous incarnations of himself and another. These are interleaved with the story of Wang's current life: his wife and child, his father and stepmother, the taxi drivers, other friends. Various reviews, both in the book blurb and online, compare the writing to David Mitchell (whose work I haven't read). For me, although the stories were well written, they were frequently too dark and brutal, and there's a lot of sex and violence, though there was enough intrigue for me to keep reading. Without giving too much away, there isn't a happy ending: some things are explained, some things are explicable, and others remain for me unexplained. Overall, I was a bit disappointed.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
white_hart From: white_hart Date: January 31st, 2016 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
It sounds very like David Mitchell (who I have just been writing about, as you may have seen). I'm not sure I'll be seeking it out, though.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: February 1st, 2016 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I saw your post and noted the commonality of bleakness.
poliphilo From: poliphilo Date: February 1st, 2016 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
David Mitchell is great fun. I'm reading The Bone Clocks Now. He's very ludic- and plays around with reincarnation and immortality- but without an overload of sex and violence.
qatsi From: qatsi Date: February 1st, 2016 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, that's interesting to know. I've wondered about Mitchell once or twice before, and Mrs Q has a few of his books, so maybe it's worth a try.
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