Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Automation (Circo del Herrero series, #1) by G.B. Gabbler

The Automation
by G.B. Gabbler

My rating: 2 stars

The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…

The novel calls itself a “Prose Epic,” but is otherwise a purposeful implosion of literary clich├ęs and gimmicks: A Narrator and an Editor (named Gabbler) frame the novel. Gabbler’s pompous commentary (as footnotes) on the nameless Narrator’s story grounds the novel in reality. Gabbler is a stereotypical academic who likes the story only for its so-called “literary” qualities, but otherwise contradicts the Narrator’s claim that the story is true.

THE AUTOMATION is a this-world fantasy that reboots mythical characters and alchemical concepts. Its ideal place would be on the same bookshelf as Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN and Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS—though it wouldn’t mind bookending Homer, Virgil, and Milton, to be specific.

 The Automation (Circo del Herrero series, #1) 
by G.B. Gabbler 

The Automation (Circo del Herrero series, #1)It can never be said that I do not like to step outside the box of mainstream reading. The Automation by G.B. Gabbler was more than just a step for me, it was like a trip into the Twilight Zone. Except Rod refused to give the controls back to me.

I see this becoming a cult classic as people attempt to read and understand the ebb and flow, the ups and downs and the quirky footnotes in a banter between writer and narrator, who by the way are one and the same?

From the strange set of twins to the suicidal old man, escaping his soul-sucking, god-sent Automaton. Each page is like that ball of yarn the cat got hold of, and following the loose end to the conclusion is not an easy feat.

When a reader picks up fiction, they read to be entertained, to escape and fall into another world. Falling into this world for me was like falling into the wrong rabbit hole and instead of finding Wonderland, I found Bizzaro world, although I have to admit to laughing a few times. Certainly unique, in the plot, the delivery and the characters, but for me, there was no glue to hold it together, which is NOT to say there isn’t a place in reader world for this read.

I received a review copy from G.B. Gabbler in exchange for my honest review.

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