Tuesday, April 24, 2012

278 (2012 #23). The Mercury Fountain

by Eliza Factor

The action in this book takes place over a 23 year period, from 1900 through 1923, in the mythical town of Pristina, supposedly in West Texas near the Mexican border.  Pristina is a utopian community built around a mercury mine.  Its charismatic leader is Owen Scraperton, and at the beginning of the book, his Mexican wife, Dolores, is giving birth to their first and only child, Victoria.  The story is told from their viewpoints, as well as that of the local doctor, Badinoe, and a young local named Ysidro.

The book explores some of the typical themes of utopian/distopian novels - initial high-minded principles being corrupted by time and change and character flaws.  Speaking of the characters - they are interesting, but very odd and quirky.  Some of the events in the book seem to happen out of the blue, with little buildup, and thus don't make a lot of sense.  Some of the events (like the attack on Victoria) are just plain weird.

The book is by a debut author, published by an independent press, and could have used some editing. (There is a glaring grammatical error on the very first page).  It held my interest enough to finish it, but it's definitely not an easy read.

© Amanda Pape - 2012

[I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program,  It will be passed on to someone else to enjoy.]

No comments:

Post a Comment