[Epub] ➝ Engine Summer By John Crowley – Dailytradenews.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Engine Summer

  1. says:

    A highly unusual book, especially in the genre It s easy to tell you some of the things this book wasn t for me It wasn t exciting or compelling It wasn t emotionally engaging.So what was it that dragged four stars from my tightly clutched fist Much of the book reads like a minute dissection of an LSD trip minus the visuals And that s not immediately a recommendation eitherWhat made Engine Summer for me was the gentle literary beauty of the thing That combined with the imagination and mystery I wasn t compelled, but I was certainly intrigued from start to finish The writing is spectacularly beautiful without being overdone Crowley has a subtle touch Whether the philosophical spiritual insights and revelations are deep or shallow I can t say, but the writing gave them a gravitas that made them seem as vital and obvious as that thing you understood with sudden and perfect clarity in the moment before you woke and it escaped youI think as many people might set this book aside in exasperation as may read it through to the end, but there s definitely something worthwhile here for many readers.Quotes The better you tell an old story, the you are talking about right now I learned, as the raft moved and I slid through the day, as the day slid through me, to let the task be master which is only not to choose to do anything but what has chosen me to be done Time, I think, is like walking backward away from something say, from a kiss First there is the kiss then you step back, and the eyes fill up your vision, then the eyes are framed in the face as you step further away the face then is part of a body, and then the body is framed in a doorway, then the doorway framed in the trees beside it The path grows longer and the door smaller, the trees fill up your sight and the door is lost, then the path is lost in the woods and the woods lost in the hills Yet somewhere in the center still is the kiss That s what time is like Join my 3 emails a year newsletter prizes


  2. says:

    Fey, muted, beautiful The story of Rush that speaks is a bildungsroman that will haunt you long after you have read the last page The story follows the charming and inquisitive Rush as he grows up in his enclave of True Speakers , one of the few groups of humanity left after an apocalypse has destroyed most of civilization It then follows him as he ventures out into the world to see what strangeness it may offer and in the hopes of finding his lost love.Don t expect to find the mutant zombies or flesh eating reavers of many other post apocalyptic stories Instead prepare to see with Rush the melancholy remnants of our society, given new strangeness and wonder when viewed through his eyes Tied to this are the strange people we meet those who survived the cataclysm and continued to live their lives, forever changed by the harsh reality of the end of civilization The ways in which these groups choose to meet the challenges presented by this world mark each of them in significant ways, and as Rush witnesses these things he is changed by them, becoming both , and less, than he was when he started his journey This is one of my very favourites by Crowley I seem to prefer his early work to his later and I highly recommend it to any and all.Edit June 12 12 Upon reflection I think I have to give this one five stars.


  3. says:

    There are some books that are bigger on the inside than on the outside They may be small, but are so densely layered that they feel like they re opening onto infinite space, and when you finish reading you re dazed, like you ve woken up from a vivid dream to find your waking life transformed Engine Summer is such a book, a deceptively slim novella set in a far future world, which is at once a picaresque tale of love and adventure, and a dreamily gorgeous story about the nature of time, identity, consciousness, and the stories that make us really live You should read it.


  4. says:

    My usual word associations for science fiction, especially regarding prose, are dry, factual, impersonal, straightforward John Crowley turns these assumptions of mine on their head, offering a text that excells in the whimsical, lyrical, mysterious, introspective I find the choice of style appropriate, as the novel deals with a post apocalyptic Earth a popular setting, usually dealing with the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic events leading to the death of civilization as we know it Engine Summer is focused instead on the long term effects and paints a society than a thousand years into the future, where technology and science have been replaced by myth and tribal relationships The prose of the novel reflects this by a style reminding me of ancient Greek or Scandinavian epics There s a time in some years, after the first frosts, when the sun gets hot again, and summer returns for a time Winter is coming you know that from the way the mornings smell, the way the leaves, half turned to color, are dry and poised to drop But summer goes on, a small false summer, all the precious for being small and false In Little Belaire, we called this time for some reason nobody now knows engine summer The passage made me think of the coming witner, of the probable dissolution of the last pockets of humanity populating the world.Rush That Speaks is the hero of the saga, and in keeping with the traditions of these old tales, he is on a quest one of self discovery, of understanding the world around him and of finding out his destiny in it Growing up in a tightly knit community of people that call themselves truthful speakers we really mean what we say, and we say what we really mean he has an early fascination for saints and holiness More than keepers of tradition and storytellers, the saints are the source of wisdom, of knowledge and emancipation Rush channels his natural curiosity into the search for answers, sometimes to questions he is not yet aware that exist A poignant and understated love affair marks his early years in the tribal maze, with the departure of his girlfriend giving him the final impulse out of the safe nest.This nest, Little Bellaire, struck me as very rigid in its class system and in its traditions The reasons are not made immediately clear, and I would recommend patience, as the science stuff, the disclosures are left for the very last chapters in the novel Basically, everybody is expected to follow a predestined path in life, one that would ensure survival of the tribe and peace Rush That Speaks strikes me as the avatar of non conformism, of the rebel who cannot accept dogma blindly and needs to reason the why of the things around him Path is like a snake, it curls around the whole of Little Belaire with its head in the middle and the tip of its tail by Buckle cord s door, but only someone who knows Little Belaire can see where it runs To someone else, it would seem to run off in all directions So when you run along Path, and here is something that looks to be Path, but you find it is only rooms interlocking in a little maze that has no exits but back to Path that s a snake s hand It runs off the snake of Path like a set of little fingers It s also called a snake s hand because a snake has no hands, and likewise there is only one Path But a snake s hand is also my story is a Path, too, I hope and so it must have its snake s hands Sometimes the snake s hands in a story are the best part, if the story is a long one His elders warn him that his chosen path is a dangerous, potentially unhappy one Remember, Rush, there s no one who would not rather be happy than be a saint This sadness will accompany Rush on his epic journey through an abandoned North American continent, where only the big highways remain to mark a heavily forested landscape hiding the puny remains of our modern civilization Rush will meet various characters along the way, most important of these being Blink a buddhist like philosopher saint, hoarding the last books salvaged from the past, some scavengers among the ruins of ancient suburbs and hypermarkets, and most importantly his former girlfriend, now a member of a different tribe, one that seems to mix a flower power attitude with some Sapphic mysterious rituals that involve drugs and a secret deity The chapter where Rush finaly is accepted into this community was the most confusing part of the novel for me, but by the end of the journey I got a satisfying explanation of said events So I guess it was a job well done on the part of the author presenting science as mythology.The book is full of symbols and metaphors at one point Rush goes to live literally inside a huge head These small details, and the beautiful language imagery raised the story for me from three to four stars, as I found the plot OK, but not all that original Originality is overrated anyway, it s how you tell the story and how you connect with the audience Here s the way Crowley puts it The better you tell an old story, the you are talking about right now And I love how he gets philosophical about the nature of time without getting into astronomy or the theory of relativity That it could ever be like that again well, it s like smiling over the sadnesses of your youth, and being glad they re all quite past Time, I think, is like walking backward away from something say, from a kiss First there is the kiss then you step back, and the eyes fill up your vision, then the eyes are framed in the face as you step further away the face then is part of a body, and then the body is framed in a doorway, then the doorway framed in the trees beside it The path grows longer and the door smaller, the trees fill up your sight and the door is lost, then the path is lost in the woods and the woods lost in the hills Yet somewhere in the center still is the kiss That s what time is like One final quote, that will mark my departure from the realm of Engine Summer, hopefully only to return soon for another Crowley book Blink told me once that in ancient times they said a thing was holy if it made you hold your tongue We said a thing was holy if it made you laugh That s all


  5. says:

    Of course it s lovely to find that something held up as amazing, like say Infinite Jest or Catch 22, is actually amazing, but there s something extra wonderful about finding a book quite randomly, that it seems nobody ever heard of, that is in that same bracket I did that with The Red Tent through a recommendation from a friend , and now I ve done it with this book, which I picked up for 2.99 quite randomly at a little bookshop local to my wife s workplace.This is proper old 70s scifi, and among veterans of that scene I m given to understand that it s a cult classic But I had no idea what to expect, and I was blown away I ve never seen an imagined world in this case, a far future Earth detailed and thought out so well, and explained so beautifully It feels fully realised, not created just for the benefit of the reader, and not over explained for the benefit of the reader In fact, you are often not sure what s happening But Crowley seems to know so well himself, and keeps you engaged as you are wondering with such beautiful and real moments, that you trust he will make it good by the end, that you will understand as much as you need to.And by the end, you do Although I wanted to take this new understanding and go back and read the whole novel again with it in mind, to better understand many of the sentences and moments in themselves I ve resisted doing it again straightaway, though, and will save it as something to look forward to.


  6. says:

    A book that is as elusive and ethereal as a dream, it left me with a sense of something profound and beautiful and sad, painted in greys and blues Engine Summer says a whole heap about how a culture is built on the stories it tells itself, where myths come from and how they tell us who we are It is post apocalyptic, but also kind of hippie utopian, told in a rich, mapley voice the writing actually reminded me a bit of Tom Spanbauer and full of unexpected little touches and lush, dreamy visuals which are oh so pretty This was such a genius novel I m gonna be all over John Crowley like a bad rash.


  7. says:

    Sometimes stories are hard work but are rewarding in the end when it all comes together and makes it worth while This book is certainly a lot of hard work but I m not sure the reward at the end is quite enough to make it all worth while.When I say that it was a lot of hard work, there were times when the reading was pleasant and engaging but there was far too much couched in impenetrable phraseology, whole chapters that seemed all about imagery and metaphor The narrative was for large parts of the book barely able to anchor the story and I was barely able to grasp what the author was trying to say There is a reason for this and the ending puts it all in context If I were to read it again I imagine it would all make a lot sense But sorry, that s just not good enough The reader should be able to engage with the story the first time around, even if the ending puts it all in a different light adding new layers of meaning I appreciate what the author was trying to do here but I just think it is all just too obscure and un enjoyable the first time around.I m certainly going to be careful before I pick up any of his work.


  8. says:

    In which industrial civilization collapsed some unspecified number of centuries ago in an even known as the Storm, leaving a variety of different societies that seem to revolve around communion with nature with the notable exception of the avvengers who scrounge about in modernity s leftovers and non violence and communalism The parts of the story that focused on this were riveting The question of how our descendents would look back at our lifestyle after some sort of epic catastrophe is one of the major draws of this kind of fiction, of course, and where this often takes the place in a kind of hyper violent, hyper individualistic milieu, Engine Summer draws the reader into a pastoral, humane, even gentle setting, which is excellent, and goes hand in hand with Crowley s examinations of memory systems and story telling and the self I have the feeling, too, that this would only improve with a reread characters are always posing riddles to one another and relying on myth and folktales to explain things, and knowing what you do at the end of the novel would make puzzling your way through these even enjoyable.It s too bad, then, that this discussion has to share half of this short, short book with a terribly stupid love story.


  9. says:

    Engine Summer A Review in VerseSometimessome bookswhen you hold them between your hands they almost have a pulse each word a heartbeat pumping life between the pages They are pieces of a universe that exists somewhere elseyou ve never seen ityet you know when you meet it you simply know firmlysurelyand a little bit excitedly you know that these booksare made out of stardust of the same star scattered between worldsDiscovering them is like a piece of miracle cutting time and space in twowhispering a secretLife, memoryare hardly linearSome books make you live twice, thricecountless timesnot because you read them again but because they are so full of lifelife is so densely packed in themlife is dripping from the ink into your fingersso reading them is like a blood transfusion is like topping up on oxygenis like a supernova the size of your palm.Some books exist in other bookslike lives exist in other livesand stories inside other storieslike embroiderystitch inside another stitchand there is affection in this patternthere is loveand a kind of thirst toosurelyyou ll notice itSome books talk not about the stars and the skiesbut talk in the language of the stars and skies themselvesthey become an origami firmamentthe Milky Way their spinal cordSome books have been kissed by timethey age so wonderfullylike the yearblessed with the beauty of alternate seasonsSome booksthe moment you finish themthey make you have a single wishGo back to the beginning and start overThis is one of those books It seems that I love this book so much that my feelings towards it could have only been expressed in verse reading DeleuzeGuattari around the time this was written did not help If my poetic skill has not convinced you, perhaps what s in this story will tempt you enough a low technology future a small scale, rural feeling a love for life, simple things, and details a unique and strangely fascinating society an indescribable affection for stories, books, knowledge, life a heart wrenching, bitter sweet ending you cannot imagine And large cats Lots of them Cats everywhere I swear this book was written for me Who knows, maybe it was written for you too.


  10. says:

    I accidentally read this book while I was trying to find a book I had read as a Jr High student I put out a few aspects of the story I remembered and some suggested this could be it It wasn t, but it was still pretty good.It is a post apocalyptic coming of age tale Crowley s style is fairly distinct, and once you get used to it, the pages just fly by There are spacklings of advanced technology, but in this piece it does not take center stage, it is just a prop I don t know exactly how a writer can make me feel melancholy and nostalgic for a time and place I have never been, but Crowley does it with this one I stop just short of calling this a must read though, as it seems to leave off just where I was REALLY curious what was next Guess I will have to read Little Big and see if it ties in the way some folks suggest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Engine Summer download Engine Summer, read online Engine Summer, kindle ebook Engine Summer, Engine Summer 9bb0bf3f9ec2 Born Into The Community Of Truthful Speakers One Thousand Years After The Storm, He Was Raised On Stories Of The Old Days A World Filled With Saints, A World In Which All Things Were Possible, A World Which Finally Destroyed Itself In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Rush Journeys Far And Learns Much Taken Into The Society Of Dr Boots S List, Attached To The Old Mysteries, Rush Grows Closer To A Sainthood He Could Never Have Imagined