- Paperback: 309 pages
- Publisher: Night Shade Books; paperback / softcover edition (Dec 1 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597802107
- ISBN-13: 978-1597802109
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,801,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Yarn Paperback – Dec 1 2010
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About the Author
Jon Armstrong is a speculative fiction writer. His first novel, Grey, was published in 2007 and was short-listed for the Philip K Dick Award. That same year, Jon was also nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New SF Writer.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, I got a grip on myself, finished reading the story, and enjoyed the amazing storytelling. I will say I personally spent the most time marveling over the machines Jon invented, trying to imagine how they worked.
The detailing in Yarn will blow you away. Forget what you think you know and let Jon lead you into his universe.
You can listen to Jon's first book, Grey, at Podiobooks.com for an introduction to his storytelling ability. Check out his podcast, If You're Just Joining Us, for the interview where Jon talked to the cover artist. It was great.
Yarn takes place in the same Fashion-fueled dystopia of Grey. Or is that Fascion? The casual melding of totalitarian cruelty and high couture, with no moral distinction, is part of what makes his world so bitterly funny and so compelling.
The sentences this man writes can inspire me for weeks. "I am the corporate fashion slut of my dreams!" is one early example. Retail Warriors speak in "WarTalk" that is like Calvin Klein perfume ad copy as written by Joseph Conrad. There really is nothing quite like Yarn and Grey that I've found, and spending time in Mr. Armstrong's carefully and thoroughly-wrought world is as luxurious as fine cashmere kissing milk-white skin.
A few minor quibbles: Mr. Armstrong appears to be sinking comfortably into a slot known as 'speculative sci fi.' I don't know what that means, only that the parts of the book that sagged for me where the parts where I was most aware of the author trying to fit into a 'genre' (when the book took itself seriously as a sci-fi thriller/mystery mostly). I don't know if that is author or publisher driven, but I'd say go with your gut Mr. Armstrong and write what you want, the stranger the better--risk the messy plot and keep the WarTalk coming. Good writing is good writing, don't focus on the sci fi / fantasy labels, defy and transcend them.
Immediately after reading Yarn, I got Gary Shteyngart's "Super Sad True Love Story" on my kindle. Ironically, another near-future dystopian fiction. My review of that novel can be summed up as: 'meh.' Yet it's a critical smash and bestseller. To my ear and eye, Armstrong's take on vapid and rampant consumerism is far funnier and moving than is Mr. Shteyngart's. Where is Michiko Kakutani when you need her?
I hear rumors of another book set in the same world of Grey and Yarn. I'm excited by that--the universe summoned by Mr. Armstrong is so rich in potential it could support at least 2 sequels. This corporate fashion slut cannot wait to go back.