Pornokitsch on “The Book of Transformations”

A wonderfully meaty review (always something that appeals to the author ego) over at Pornokitsch:

As a comics fan, I naturally tend toward an analysis of The Book of Transformations’ take on fantasy heroism – or, more accurately, the transformation from human to superhuman. But this is only one of the many, many lenses that can be applied Mr. Newton’s substantial text. He has given his book an audacious title and yet the finished product manages to live up to it. The book also scrutinizes the moment that utopian socialistic aspiration turns into anarchist revolt, and when enlightened absolutism becomes an oligarchial dictatorship. Transformations marks a turning point in the series as well – the climax of the internal politics and the dawn of a more external focus. The characters themselves undergo a series of transformations: static definitions of gender, class and species are all evolved over the course of the book. Transformation is a broad topic, but Mr. Newton approaches it from every conceivable direction. This is a book that, like many of its Dying Earth predeccesors, will provide grist for criticism for decades to come.

I realise the following sentence makes me sound like an arse, but it’s such a satisfying feeling when reviewers genuinely get the little layers. After all, I’ve been faffing about with them for the better part of a year; they’ve been loitering around my head in addition to the But what happens to the people? bit. Go read the rest.

To balance out the author ego, here’s a one-star review of Nights over at Amazon, entitled “Pompous prose murders momentum”.

I’m watching my stats closely to see which link gets the most clicks.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. Totally aphotic!

  2. “but the author is so in love with flowery language that it is obscured by his words.”

    Translation: “I am of below average intelligence and require books to be written in single syllable words or I become confused.”

  3. Heh. At least he got past Vill-ja-mur. And Cha-ran. That’s something.

    Though I do like the artistic notion of a story being “obscured by words”…

  4. I’ve clicked on the Amazon review at least 6 times. Take that, stats!

  5. Well it turns out that more people were clicking that anyway. I hate everyone now.

  6. Yup. That guy’s got quite a few more “This review was helpful” votes as well…

  7. You pompous arse.

  8. Indeed. I’ve been called worse though.

  9. “I realize that he is British…but he goes beyond that”


  10. I might have that quote on the reprint.