Thursday, November 3, 2011
A Map of Time--Félix J. Palma
Jack the Ripper, H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Henry James, Her Majesty the Queen with a Squirrel Monkey, and the end of the world in the year 2000. Those are only some of the delights that await the intrepid reader willing to enter the metafictional world Mr. Palma has created for the reader in this novel.
The novel consists of three interlaced stories all of which center around time travel and its possibilities and all of which involve that foremost inventor of time machines. Because the jacket copy is so vague I hesitate to provide any additional information that might detract from the readers' enjoyment of this marvelous book.
I'm not sure how I felt about the metafictional element and the occasional authorial intrusions. They didn't particularly bother me, but I'm not certain I have enough distance to understand how they enhance or alter the work. They were, at times, quite amusing and generally were not enough to get in the way of the determined reader. (Let's face it, any person who picks up a six-hundred page novel in translation is likely to be a determined reader.)
Well-written, well-paced, fascinating in its intricacy, delightful in its surprises--while it took me some time to get into it the finish was worth the effort. For fans of science fiction, adventure, metafiction, and just plain good reading.