Ian McDonald Interview
This winter, River of Gods was my introduction to Ian McDonald and I have to say, I was blown away. Here’s what Christopher Priest at The Guardian had to say:
In terms of ideas, intellectual scope, detail, inventiveness, risk-taking and sheer scale, McDonald’s novel is one of the most ambitious I have read in recent years. It is also a staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising, the characters intriguing and psychologically convincing, their dialogue brisk and naturalistic, the grasp of Indian customs and nuances impressive, the sex scenes unusually spicy, the politics subtle and plausible, and much else besides.
However (and there is often a “however”, even in the most friendly of reviews), this is not the totality of the book. Everything above is true, and truly meant, but it also has to be said that River of Gods is fiendishly difficult to follow. From the outset the reader is thrown into a tautly described and enormously complicated mise en scène, with little help to find the way.
Personally I like my fiction a bit challenging. I like following along as it unfolds and the “aha” moment when everything comes together. Since River of Gods, I purchased Brasyl as a gift for my father and I received Desolation Road as a birthday gift. I’m looking forward to digging into that real soon. As I do with many authors I discover I enjoy, I turned to YouTube to see if I could find any nuggets worth passing on and I found this:
I like his comment on steampunk and what his willingness to mash up cyberpunk with Indian Bollywood culture to see what would happen. There’s actually a second part of this interview here.
If you haven’t read anything by McDonald, I urge you to give him a try. If you have, then you’re probably nodding your head. If that’s the case, then chime in with your fave Ian McDonald book.
I may just have to put down Ishmael and crack open Desolation Road tonight.