The Bookman Histories – Lavie Tidhar

Tidhar presents an alternate history where lizards rule the British Empire, robots hope for equal rights, America is ruled by (Native) Americans, and a terrorist (and things far, far worse) is at large. The stories mix fictional characters with real one, re-imagined in a wonderful world of delightful, realistic absurdity. In the end, I am, as always with contemporary fiction, disappointed. Its style is ubiquitously concluding a work by ending it. No, that does not mean having an ending (good, bad, ambiguous, whatever), but simply stop telling the story. Is there more to tell? Yes (as with everything). Are there narrative threads that are concluded satisfactory? Yes (as with everything). The point is that we are introduced to a story, conflict, series of characters, etc and by the time the pages end we are still left with most of that in almost as largely a state of potential flux as we began. Oh, ah, yes, that is so clever, and also trite, annoying, pointless, dissatisfying, and some other less pleasant words. The additional problem with the final installment was that Tidhar decided to throw so many characters at us without focus and without letting us focus on them (again, an attempt to be clever without fulfillment). Some much potential, so well written, so much for that.