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Julian Comstock is an unusual story for science fiction, a 16th century tragedy, presented in a 19th century style, set in the 22nd century. It's also a first person account written by a friend of the title character, which has the consequence of leaving much about Julian, and about the world in which the story is set, unexplained. If you're looking for an uplifting adventure story, or a geeky exposition on post-collapse technology, you might look elsewhere. But if you like a good story, beautifully told, check this one out. Although the stories and characters are quite different, the tone reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby, particularly Fitzgerald's last line: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." The narration is very well done, though a bit melancholic, but it fits the nature of the tale. Like a previous reviewer, I really didn't want this one to end.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This was my first Robert Charles Wilson novel, and I can tell that his strength is in characterization and dialogue. The setting reminded me of Orson Scott Card's THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER series in that it is a 19th century setting but a post apocolyptic idea without the doom and gloom of THE ROAD. Wilson's characters are well drawn with desires and motivations that are universal. Julian Comstock would have been my pick for the HUGO award.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful