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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
Debuting to mostly scathing reviews, The Affinity Bridge by George Mann is a pulp novel in the most basic and classic sense. It is a pastiche of steampunk and even some Michael Moorcock with a heavy dose of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. That's why I don't understand the reviews that have said things like, "Mann's stiff-upper-lipped Victorians chat at great length over cups of Earl Grey and occasionally whack zombies and robots in arduous action passages, and the unnecessary details and painfully stilted dialogue bring nothing fresh to the steampunk subgenre." (Publisher's Weekly review)

It's a freakin' pulp novel, folks. It isn't a Pulitzer Prize contender. And for that matter, it reads better than most of the Pulitzer winners I've read lately. It's about the story, and the speed of the plot, not the writing style.

Fact is, anybody's "stiff-upper-lipped Victorians" chatted at great length, wrote long letters many times a day (the City of London boasted five mail deliveries daily) and drank copious amounts of tea during the day, and whisky at night.

I liked the Holmes character, Newbery, but I really loved the "Watson"-- Miss Hobbes. And the epilogue wasn't terribly expected either.

It wasn't until I had finished the book and started to read the reviews (see, I hardly ever read the reviews until after I've read the book-- makes liking books easier sometimes) that I realized the flaws of the novel.

And there are, as has been multiply pointed out, flaws. Great big sloppy ones.

But I didn't notice until afterward.

And that makes a good pulp novel.

3 Stars-- Recommended

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