Not Quite Dead, John MacLachlan (a book I forgot about)

My mother mentioned this book as something she might want for Christmas, if it was any good.  My mother is impossible to buy for so I made a specific effort to acquire it at the library and read it, to screen it for her.  It’s all about how Edgar Allan Poe fakes his own death, and Charles Dickens comes to America, and there’s a conspiracy, and numerous Irish people, making trouble.  People from the homeland are apt to behave in this fashion.  (My people were Irish.  I know British people object strenuously to claims of this sort, but I can’t help it, my people really were Irish.  If England didn’t want Americans to claim to be Irish, they shouldn’t have oppressed Ireland so much that they had to come to America to escape all the oppression.)

I’m sleepy, it’s late, and I just recently got my typewriter back, so I’ve not got a lot to say about this book.  Spoilers will happen, I guess.  See, there were a lot of things in this book that I totally enjoyed.  There was a scene at the end that was one of the funniest things I have ever read – Poe is working to finish up David Copperfield for Charles Dickens, and he keeps asking about this undercurrent of incestuous love, and whether it’s going to end with this guy killing himself or Uriah Heep vanishing in a cloud of smoke….

Oh my God, that was funny.  But on the other hand, this was a most unsatisfying mystery.  I thought a bunch of cool things were going to happen, but there was no cool resolution.  It was all muddled and blah.  I enjoyed the book all the way through.  I read the end early on, and couldn’t make a lot of sense of it; and I kept thinking it would resolve itself elegantly, and everything would be explained.  That never happened.  Oh well.  Fie upon this unsatisfactory book.  All fooling me into enjoying it and then letting me down at the last second.

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