Abby L Vandiver
on Sep. 17, 2013 :
The story in this book is hilarious. There is this courtroom scene that . . . and then the receptionist that needs a pencil holder because . . . Oh, yeah and BECAUSE. . .
I know it makes no sense, what I just wrote, but neither did the magical, spiritual, extraordinary events of the book and that is why it is so good. The author couldn't have said it better when he wrote, in the book, no less, that the book was about religious zealots, neurotic dragon bureaucrats and bullying female sea captains. But there's more. A grandiloquent wizard, a cross dressing hero, a being that should be charged with gross sexual imposition, and the Ghost of Marco Yet to Come.
Initially, I dove in the book with trepidation. I am not one for fantasy and didn't know if I'd be able to make it through, but it wasn't long before it got my attention. This is not just a "chuckle" funny, but laugh out loud (and laugh some more) funny. This book takes you through jungles, down by sea ports, across the sea and through the air. It is filled with colorful, outrageous characters and wraps everything up nicely at the end. It is a sesquipedalian romp, with several anachronisms thrown in. But, if you are a macroverbumsciolist the read may be a little tedious. In other words, Simon uses a lot of big words to tell his story. Too many I think. Some are fun, especially for the Chancellor, some make you run for the dictionary, but to make it more enjoyable for everyone (and this is certainly a story that everyone would enjoy), it would have been nice to have more fifty cent words in the narrative. When odd words are used they seem to pop out at you when used often. For instance, I grew tired of "splayed," "pall" and "backpedaled." But I did not grow tired of this book. It was amusing and entertaining. Some books make the assertion that they are funny, this one hits it right out of the "seven hells." The only other time I remember laughing this hard at scenes out of book was in Huckleberry Finn.
Simon does an excellent job on the Gullwing Odyssey and you won't want to miss this one. I'm glad I had the opportunity to review it.
I give this book 4 1/2 stars.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)