Ed Parks is a founding editor of my favorite magazine of all time, The Believer. So I was thrilled when it was announced that he'd be writing an online monthly SF column for the Los Angeles Times. In its first installment, Astral Weeks reviewed HARM by Brian W. Aldiss and Under My Roof by Nick Mamatas. Now in his second outing, Parks turns his attention to Adam Roberts' Heinlein-esque near future novel of revenge, Gradisil.
He starts off by quoting from the very first paragraph of the book, which he describes as "as elegant as invitations come," and concludes that, "By the paragraph's three-word finale, you might find yourself hooked." (I did!)
Parks finds buried references to Vladimir Nabokov and allusions to Charles Portis, while noting that Roberts, while crafting a book spiced with literary illusions and satire, nonetheless "keeps those pages turning and richly characterizes his generations-spanning dramatis personae."
Parks has written one of those wonderful reviews that obviously demonstrates a deep appreciate for the work while providing very little in the way of quotables - my publicity director loves these - but he clearly "gets" what Roberts is doing. So rather than tell you anymore, why not go read the review for yourself.