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chrisblocker

Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: Solar Bones

Solar Bones - Mike McCormack

if a tree falls
if a tree falls
in the forest and no one is present
does it make a sound
and if a string of words
has no end punctuation
is it a sentence
these are questions void of question marks posed by a reading of Solar Bones questions of purpose why make a novel out of one sentence—if one may call it that—and why make it stream of consciousness and are either of these labels being placed on this novel accurate
no
not at all
because this book is neither stream of consciousness or one sentence but that doesn't mean it fails, it is not stream of conscious truly because no one—or so I believe, maybe just very few—think in such complete complex thoughts we are creatures whose minds bounce around from one incomplete thought to another rarely stopping to return to—what was I saying—this novel is better classified as a slightly rambling experiment in form, a term that is as muddied as it sounds, perhaps it's better to call it interior monologue lacking grammatical accuracy, which is often confused with stream of consciousness, neither is this novel one sentence because, as I hope we've established by now, if you've made it this far and actually are understanding this rambling experiment in form that I call a review, a sentence isn't a sentence without the 
tangy taste of
Miracle Whip
that comes in the form of
end punctuation of some kind
but Solar Bones doesn't fail in story which is important since I guess you could say the point of a story is to tell a story or something, this gets confusing and the fact that Mike McCormack could write like this for more than two-hundred pages shows that he's either really skilled or that once you start a bad habit it's easy to stick with it, like
what if McCormack's intention wasn't to create something experimental, but what if he's just a bad typist
the fact I'm going off on tangents may lead a reader to believe that I am writing in stream of consciousness but I'm not
I'm just rambling
stream of consciousness would look more like, squirrel this is
nuts how did McCormack write for 224 pages like this but
once again I stray from the review at hand
which is difficult because all I want to talk about in this review is style and the definition of stream of consciousness and pointing out that a string of words without end punctuation is merely a string of words, all this should indicate how significant style is to this work and it begs questions like
why did McCormack elect to use this style
I can only venture a guess that it's because our narrator is a spirit, a fact that I don't think was made clear enough in the opening pages and that this lack of proper grammatical sentences is a case of I-don't-give-a-fuck by our ghost friend which speaking of language
reminds me how lilting the language is throughout this story, it's poetic haunting and crass, initially it's a little hard to get into the style and 
I'll be honest here, I'm probably not doing it justice, but once you get used to the voice, it sort of flows easily but take too long of a break, a day or two spent in another book and
the rhythm is thrown completely off, you have to get back into the book relearn the rhythm that is the voice of Marcus Conway, spirit
if you actually read all of this review, I wish I could buy you a cup of coffee but digital coffee sucks and I'm poor, but I hope you enjoyed it and if you didn't because you found the style irritating then you may not like this book because it is written in a similar manner though it truly does grow on the reader after ten pages or so but
if for some reason it doesn't Solar Bones may drive you
may drive you
may drive you nuts