My review of Behind the Moon by Madison Smartt Bell ran today in the Boston Globe.
An interesting premise undone by the book’s commitment to a “stream of unconsciousness.” I was very intrigued by the idea of someone getting lost inside the cave paintings of an ancient people, but Bell’s rendering of this surreal experience is more tedious than anything. I actually really enjoyed the more true-to-life chapters and how Bell depicted life in a small, run down South Dakota town. But eventually the two threads converge and the more grounded aspects of the narrative unravel. Bell took a risk, and in the end I don’t think it panned out.