The Eclipse of the Century

Alex alex.mb at zoo.co.uk
Fri Jun 9 11:46:50 EDT 2000


This isn't about DWJ, I'm afraid but I read this book by Jan Mark yesterday
and had to tell someone about it. I've even put a review on Amazon.co.uk,
that's how much I enjoyed it.

The book lies somewhere inbetween fantasy and ordinary fiction. It is
supposed to be a YA title but I think that it's been placed there because of
the fantasy element. It deals with a young man who, while having a
near-death experience, sees a place called Qantoun (my spelling is wrong
here) peopled by European looking figures in long white robes. When he
discovers that the place actually exists in the cenre of the old Soviet
Asia, he determines to go there only todiscover that it isn't at all what he
expects. The toen itslef is weirdly like a town in a fantasy book and yet it
is quite definitely a product of a real empire, the Soviet Union.

it's a superb book on lots of different levels and it has an ending as
complex as Fire and Hemlock. It deals with all sorts of issues like cults,
ex-pats, respect for other cultures, truth and the desire to destroy. It
probably deals with more than that but that's all I can think of at the
moment. Read it if you can get hold of it. It's well worth it.

Phew! Now I've got that off my chest I can go and re-read Charmed Life. (By
the way, sorry to intrude an an old discussion but I think it's important to
read CL before The Lives of CC: the latter illuminates the former.)

Alex

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