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Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Stone Gods

Winterson, Jeannette. The Stone Gods.

Six word synopsis: Future. Past. Same thing. Same thing.

Jeanette Winterson is fascinated by repetition and myths. Mankind repeats: makes mistakes, attempts to recover, makes the same mistakes. Over and over.

This a dystopian future myth that incorporates the past. It is a warning, a reminder, a lament. A tiny novel that explores man's arrogance, his tendency toward self-destruction; it raises questions about robo-sapiens and examines the power of love.

Divided into three separate satiric versions of Billie Crusoe's life (& Winterson's?), there is even a reference to the fact that the manuscript was left at an underground station, found, and returned.

This was an ARC, an uncorrected manuscript, that I only recently got around to reading. It reminded me of Winterson's Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles which I reviewed here. In both, Winterson matches style to content and provides a poetic example of the power of myth in our lives.

In The Stone Gods, she concludes with: "Everything is imprinted for ever with what it once was. (At least in the uncorrected manuscript I received.)

In Weight, Winterson says, "What can I tell you about the choices we make?" and "I want to tell the story again."

And, I suppose, she has. The choices, the mistakes, the telling, and re-telling.

Fiction. Science fiction/Myth. 2008. 207 pages.


  1. I loved Weight. This sounds like something I'd really enjoy too.

  2. Nymeth - I much preferred Weight, but this one is interesting in its dealing with specific contemporary problems.

  3. I've not read any Winterson before but I have this book just waiting for me to get to it. It's not my typical read but I'm intrigued by the plot and the author. Looking forward to it!

  4. iliana - It is strange. Strange. I did like Weight a lot better, but the concepts behind The Stone Gods are really interesting.

  5. When I read your six word synopsis, it kind of describes how I feel about her recent spate of books - "same thing. same thing."

    And yet, Winterson still remains one of my favourite author.

  6. Orpheus - I've not read any other books by her, but can certainly agree that the two I've read are the "same thing" as far as theme. A worthy theme, though, and one that she has developed in interesting ways.