Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Rating: -

Samuel Delany

I didn't like this book at all. I was assigned it for a class and to be honest, pretty much everyone in the class hated the book. On the flip side, it was the two professors' favorite book. Personally, I felt like the author was purposefully trying to keep me from understanding. There was a plot going on, but it was hard to make it out in the midst of all of the other stuff that was being described. There were aliens that were clearly different and sensed the world differently than humans and thought about it differently, but instead of having them explained or seeing them through human eyes, we saw them on their own terms.

I think that this was meant to be a challenging experimental book. I think it was supposed to be hard to understand to explore the ideas of what it would be like to encounter a real alien, and to read one of their books. But the falseness to this, for me, was that a human was writing the book, and humans were reading the book. In addition, if I encountered an alien, if it really wanted to communicate with me it would attempt to find common reference points. I know that that is harder to do than to say, but it still remains that I felt distanced by the book, as if it didn't want me to understand. The author's attempts to be obtuse came through, and that bothered me. I don't mind being made to work when I read if there is something worth working for, but working for the sake of being difficult didn't appeal to me.


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