Variations of Brother War Reviewed at Necessary Fiction
04/23/2012 Variations of a Brother War by J.A. Tyler
reviewed by Michelle Bailat-Jones
A great review for J. A. Tyler, from the first paragraph…
“If I had an ounce of poetic talent, I’d write about J.A. Tyler’s Variations of a Brother War by mimicking its form. I’d create this review out of bundles of stanzas, introducing each bundle with a stark and intriguing theme, and then I’d hypnotize you with unusual comparisons—I might call the book a bird whose word feathers grow long from chains of letters that pocket the air in their hollows and carry the story aloft. Or I’d try to enchant you with circular and layered descriptions—I could tell you that this is a book about war and then tell you that it’s really a book about baking bread; I could write the review in three different voices, some of whom only speak through silence; I could convince you that the story is as old as forever but then prove it’s newness in my next breath.”
and then at the end…
“J.A. Tyler’s stylistic fingerprint is an unmistakable element of this work. Here is a writer who likes the language of dreaming, of unusual and sometimes mystifying descriptions— “Eliza, when she breathes rain into his fields, Gideon’s voice calms. When she is wrapped in his head Gideon runs through trees, spreading leaves, spinning their bodies as glass,”—descriptions that are certainly beautiful and inventive but also invite multiple, close readings. This is a book whose story is as much about the “story” as it is about Tyler’s playful and curious twists and leaps of language.”
Read Michelle Bailat-Jones’ complete review at Necessary Fiction now.