8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Marketed as the sequel to Myers' great underground classic, `Silverlock', `The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter' is no such beast, although it does bear a family resemblance to that former work, as a particularly fierce house cat might to a tiger. Both books are romps through the entirety of literary history, but it is there that the similarities end. Whereas `Silverlock' was a feast of literary creations, `The Moon's Daughter' introduces us to the creators, or makers, as Myers would have it. But the most important difference between them is that while `Silverlock' functions on several levels, with a story that can stand alone as a fantasy adventure even to those who miss the most obvious of its literary, historical, and mythological references, `MF-ED' has no story worth speaking of, and if you are not amused and charmed by Myers' literary game playing, there is no reason to read it.
George Puttenham is the book's hapless hero, a bored professor of Economic Geography, who is swept out of his dull routine by the godess Venus (the fire-eating dame of the title, AKA Ininni, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Astarte, etc.), and assigned the task of making a survey of the Road - a highway that is none other than the continuum of all of literary history. On that Road, he travels from ancient Sumer to Homeric Troy, from deep in the Goof Stream of the Ocean to the star Aldbaran and the planet Mercury. Along the way, he encounters most of the great writers and poets of history, (also cut loose from their respective times), mostly in bars, and they all get blotto and sling about ribald tales. Some of these encounters, such as the fist fight between Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth over which of them has a bigger ego (they reached a compromise - agreeing that William had the ranking ego, but that Walt's was based on flimsier grounds, and therefore a purer vanity) are pure gold, but unless you have a couple of PhDs in literature and comparative mythology, you are unlikely to appreciate all of the many such encounters equally.
Nor is it only the required wide knowledge of literature and mythology that limit this book's accessibility. Myers wrote the book using an exaggerated 1930s street slang that sounds like Sam Spade with a heavy brogue. It is somewhat easier to decipher than Burgess' `A Clockwork Orange' or Joyce's `Finnegans Wake', but not by much, and unless you bring a real commitment to completing it, you are likely to give up before you get the hang of the lingo.
I have read the majority of John Myers Myers' books, and am a huge fan, and as such, I enjoyed parts of this book. There are places where his idiosyncratic charm shines through and rewards the effort, but as a whole, `The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter' misses the mark of Myers' typical magic. It is interesting as a literary curiosity, but should be avoided by all but the boldest of literary connoisseur, and the most devoted of Myers' fans.