BLOT: (23 Nov 2010 - 02:43:00 PM)
Ok, I've gone back and forth and thought about this review. I have not read the second volume (will soon), but this is how it seems to me. This book contains two important works: "The Great God Pan" and
The four novels and five or six "real" tales of The Three Impostors are subtitled "The Transmutations", and most of the stories involve some element of things changing. However, the connection between the storylines and change can be tenuous in places. I think I get it, but I wouldn't be absolutely sure. And are the interlocking stories where one character might tell a story told them to someone else a statement about the nature of legend? "Black Seal", with its commentary about legends wrapped in legends and lost folklore, suggest that it is at least part of it. Outside of that, you have one story involving mistaken identity, one involving the danger of looking for the past, one involving the danger of certain hobbies, and one about the downsides to medical science (sort of).
As for the remaining, more minor tales, you have "The Inmost Light" and "The Shining Pyramid". "The Inmost Light" is interesting, but at its core is a coincidence that makes the entire oeuvre of Dickens sound plausible. If the whole thing was written in reverse sequence (except the end would still be the end), it would be better. "The Shining Pyramid" has some neat mysticism, but is done better in "The Novel of the Black Seal".
Still, the bookends—"Pan" and Impostors—are very worthy tales and I'm sad it took me this long to read them. Those two get a Good, with
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