I’ve often held the opinion that I’d much rather provide a rich, fascinating mess than a clean, efficient diversion, and I’m happy to see that John H Stevens over at the SF Signal appears to have enjoyed AMERICAN ELSEWHERE in the exact manner I’d hoped.
What makes this feel. . . well, not “realistic” but resonant are all of those messy moments that inform the characters’ respective viewpoints and actions. The novel’s power comes from giving the reader so much information that there is a lived feeling to the experience of reading the story, and that makes what the characters go through, and how they deal with the ends of their worlds, that make American Elsewhere so satisfying to read.