"Ian McDonald's Brasyl is his finest novel to date, and that's really, really saying something. There are McDonald novels -- Hearts, Hands and Voices, Desolation Road, Out on Blue Six that I must have read dozens of times, as you might watch Gene Kelly dance over and over, seeing it but never quite understanding how he does it.
Cory goes on to describe the trifold structure of the narrative, then comes up with my favorite literary metaphor to date:
"McDonald's prose is like chili-spiced chocolate and rum -- it reels drunken and mad through the book, filling your head to the sinuses, with rich complex tastes, until it seems that they'll run out of your ears and eyeballs, until it feels like you're sweating poetry."
Finally, he concludes:
"Brasyl masterfully braids its three timelines together into a master story that is both exciting and enlightening. I don't think I've had as many a-ha! moments about the metaphysics of computation since reading Cryptonomicon. There isn't a McDonald novel written that I haven't loved, but this one, this one is special."Cory concludes by mentioning that we've posted the first 48 pages of the book, and issuing this challenge, which we heartily second:
"Try reading that intro and not getting hooked!"