Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Blackest Of Dossiers!
The Black Dossier came out and I snatched up a copy. I promptly put it away and never got around to reading it. Finally I have and I must say that while I find the 1958 setting of an alternate-universe Britain recovering from the "Big Brother" period and poised on the precipice of space travel enjoyable, and the update on the characters Mina Murray and Allan Quartermain interesting much of this wild yarn is just too bewildering.
Whereas the early volumes of adventures of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" were rich with allusions and literary references, this book is overcome with them, so much so that the story grinds to a halt for me as I just gave up trying to figure it all out.
Here is a look at the Jess Nevins site which attempts to annotate the myriad references in this volume. It's a gigantic job and as I read through it I realized I never had a chance as most of the material was so Brit specific that I never knew of it to begin with, let alone have a chance to recognize it.
On the upside I have read Bulldog Drummond stories recently and that made his appearance much more enjoyable, in fact he's the stand out addition to the saga in this installment, despite his loathsome ethnic opinions.
I cannot exactly recommend The Black Dossier, but I won't say you shouldn't try it either. It's a strange brew indeed.