City of Saints and Madmen- Pt. 1

Having read only three of his books, I’m a Jeff VanderMeer fan and will read everything he writes, this I vow! Because he wrote the superb Southern Reach trilogy (AKA Area X books) which was easily one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read, I will be a loyal reader. They were in my top 5 of 2014 and I will be rereading them again in 2016. I NEVER reread this quickly. Usually, 5+ years go by before I am ready to revisit a book, and even then, I think the number of books I have actually reread is 10-12 out of the hundreds and hundreds. But I cannot wait to read these again.

I’ve been meaning to get to his other works, but like usual, other stuff gets pushed to the top, so I made this one a priority. I knew absolutely nothing about this book other than the author and a friend (who also read Area X) telling me this series is better. Not possible!! But we shall see….

The book is set up in short segments, all which, as far as I can tell, revolve around a city. So when you come across characters within this city, your mind automatically tries to categorize them into either “saints” or “madmen.” Most characters don’t fit into just one or the other, but like good characters should, have a little bit of both sides existing within.

This blog isn’t about regurgitating plot, so sorry if that’s what you’re looking for. I’d much rather discuss what I’m thinking as I read, or when I am done. So, what struck me from this first segment, Dradin, In Love, was the use of the name Dvorak. I wonder why VanderMeer chose this name. If there is any significance at all. Maybe he just likes the sound of it. Maybe he is a fan of the composer. Or maybe there are similarities between the character and the composer that the reader is supposed to uncover. Having read the Area X books, knowing what I know about how VanderMeer loves to create a nice mystery, I’m leaning toward the latter of the maybes.

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