read: 23 February 2020
I’ve been thinking about this book a lot since I read it.Many of the things that happen within it are things that I had at least some interaction with while I was living in Seattle in the 90s--the stuff that was set on fire, the tree-sitting. So that part of the story felt a little more real and alive than some of the other parts. I feel like Powers had a narrative he was in love with, and then some others that he was less attached to. This novel is about the lives of 5-10 people whose lives intertwine, sort of. And the main thread, about what drives eco-terrorism and other sorts of political statement making, is well-explored. At the same time I kept getting vibes of... hyper-masculinity and I felt that when characters with permanent or temporary disabilities were introduced it was not in a person-forward sort of way (there is one character who uses a wheelchair and I found frequent references to his “withered” or “useless” legs to be sort of negative and took me out of the story. In general: terrific. In some specific ways: I wish it were better.
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