Dark Cities Underground

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 21, 2000

Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein

Eleven people attended this meeting, at which we discussed Lisa Goldstein’s recent novel and chose new books. Dark Cities Underground is a urban fantasy novel involving trains, Egyptian gods, and children’s books and their authors.

Most of us liked this book a lot. We found the characterization of the children’s author and her son, who was the protagonist of her books, to be believable. Goldstein’s prose was involving and a joy to read, reminding several of us of Jonathan Carroll’s work. The book was full of great archetypes and images (dog-headed men, not-so-jolly green giants, a woman made of rain) that appealed to us. The cool imagery reminded us of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass.

Not everyone was thrilled with the book. One person found the writing sloppy and felt that the characters committed unbelievable actions. She liked the basic concept of this book, but thought that a better book could have been written from its outline. A couple of people found the book’s villain to be a letdown. And several people admitted that since characters travel all over the world in this book, a map might have been helpful.

In general we concluded that Dark Cities Underground is a thoughtful novel with many rich images and a great sense of wonder.

At the end of the meeting we chose several new books for the reading list: There and Back Again by Pat Murphy, The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, Half Life by Hal Clement, A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Marriage of Sticks by Jonathan Carroll, and The Road to Mars by Eric Idle.

— A. T. Campbell, III