I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 stars, rounded up because of Booklove.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
It's an odd thing to begin a review with a sonnet, but therein, you get insight into the theme of this book: things that are lost, forgotten by time. Willis offers us a story about books and bookstores and searching for things you've lost. This novella is built on an interesting kernel of an idea but honestly, I felt it might have been better edited at novelette or even short story length. The last twenty-five pages of Jim's searching for what he couldn't find seemed to stretch as long as the corridors of Ozymandias Books. That said, I enjoyed the novella in spite of this, and found myself with the desire to run my fingers over the spines of all my childhood books that I still have, and whisper that they, unlike Ambush in Apache Canyon are not yet lost to time.
I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from the kind folks at Subterranean Press via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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