trolley problems

Thought it was time I saw what all the fuss was with Emily St. John Mandel, so started in on Sea of Tranquility while travelling to Helsinki for Finncon. (Scandinavian ferry culture deserves an ethnography all of its own.)

My capsule takeaway on Mandel so far would be something like “what if David ‘Cloud Atlas’ Mitchell, but absent the barely suppressed sense of their own profundity?”. (In other words: it’s pretty ok, but sort of showy in its resolute unshowiness; an affect that I seem to be noticing a lot if late.) But then a paragraph like the above rolls out of a side-street, tips me into a ditch at the roadside, and leaves me thinking maybe there’s something really special going on here.

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