The bad news and the good
THE BAD NEWS - Two problems with TUC: 1) there are questions answered, 2) there are questions unanswered. As for the first, I don’t know about you, but in the 5 years between WLW and TGO, my mind filled with 1,001 pet theories to explain the unexplainable Earwa. Bakker is so good at creating the impression that every stone is impregnated with bundled meaning, that anything seemed possible. When I did get the answer, I felt all the other possibilities turn to smoke. A strange feeling.
That there are questions still unanswered, what can I say? TUC reveals a lot, but not all.
THE GOOD NEWS - That mysteries remain means we can look forward to plenty more Earwa. However, there are a few super duper things about TUC in particular that I want to share:
1) Bakker cares. When I read a book, I have a feeling for what parts the author agonized over. Some sentences like “Bob shot Dubby" are obviously low effort on the author’s part. Word for word, sentence for sentence, Bakker lets the reader know that he has crafted this thing jot and tittle. That means a lot to me. More than all of the previous Earwa books, this one is exquisite in the minutiae. AND THAT’S JUST THE MANUSCRIPT!
2) Bakker has done some super subtle foreshadowing going all the way back to the PON books. I would like to hint about that, but it’s just too wonderful. Once you finish TUC, you’ll def want to start the whole journey over. I know that you know Bakker did this, but the way he did it was surprising and unlooked for. There are parts of the previous 6 books that foreshadow events in TUC that do not seem to be foreshadowing moments or seem to foreshadow something else entirely.
3) IMO, Bakker hits the perfect balance of narrative and philosophy—better than the other books.
4) Action! This thing is tense through and through and ends with rush upon rush of page-turning action.
I really enjoyed TUC! I think you will too! I’ll be putting some of this stuff in the forthcoming book review.
Lastly, if you can only squeeze one reread in before now and July, reread TTT