Friday, May 26, 2006

In The Palace of Repose by Holly Phillips

In the Palace of Repose is the debut collection from fantasist Holly Phillips. This collection has garnered a signifigant amount of critical acclaim, and has amassed more than a few fans and proponents amongst the internet review circles.

Here is a differing opinion.

Using a surrealist style, more Marquez than Wolfe, Phillips paints with vagaries. Her vocabulary is eloquent, her sentence structure flawless, and her settings are vividly stirring. However, the worlds felt uninhabited, the stories impotent, and at the end of each entry, I was left grasping for substance.

Like a flawless painting that fails to move, Phillips collection is lovely and fruitless. This book is a tangible embodiment of the style over substance fallacy.

Phillips is a wonderful writer, but I just didn't care. If you have the ability to appreciate delectable prose without asking for much in the manner of a payoff, this is probably something you should check out.


Collector's Notes:

It's a nice collection for what it is, and probably a small print run from Prime Books. However, my gut feeling is that you'll be able to find this book for at or below cover price 20 years from now. There's certainly no mass appeal.

Comments on "In The Palace of Repose by Holly Phillips"


Anonymous Michael said ... (2:57 PM) : 

It's reassuring that someone had the same feelings as me regarding this book; I thought I was missing something. I expected better based on all the good reviews.


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