Palimpsest In the Cities of Coin and Spice and In the Night Garden introduced readers to the unique and intoxicating imagination of Catherynne M Valente Now she weaves a lyrically erotic spell of a place where t

  • Title: Palimpsest
  • Author: Catherynne M. Valente
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 325
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In the Cities of Coin and Spice and In the Night Garden introduced readers to the unique and intoxicating imagination of Catherynne M Valente Now she weaves a lyrically erotic spell of a place where the grotesque and the beautiful reside and the passport to our most secret fantasies begins with a stranger s kiss Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the trainIn the Cities of Coin and Spice and In the Night Garden introduced readers to the unique and intoxicating imagination of Catherynne M Valente Now she weaves a lyrically erotic spell of a place where the grotesque and the beautiful reside and the passport to our most secret fantasies begins with a stranger s kiss Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curse a voyage permitted only to those who ve always believed there s another world than the one that meets the eye Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion priests, living kanji, and cream filled canals come four travelers Oleg, a New York locksmith the beekeeper November Ludovico, a binder of rare books and a young Japanese woman named Sei They ve each lost something important a wife, a lover, a sister, a direction in life and what they will find in Palimpsest is than they could ever imagine.From the Trade Paperback edition.

    • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
      325 Catherynne M. Valente
    • thumbnail Title: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
      Posted by:Catherynne M. Valente
      Published :2019-05-26T09:00:36+00:00

    About " Catherynne M. Valente "

  • Catherynne M. Valente

    Catherynne M Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics She then drifted away from her M.A program and into a long residence in the concrete and camphor wilds of Japan.She currently lives in Maine with her partner, two dogs, and three cats, having drifted back to America and the mythic frontier of the Midwest.


  • Did I, a brand-spankin'-new gynecologist, just read a book about a sexually transmitted city??? Yeah, I guess so much for that whole 'don't bring your work home' thing"To touch a person to sleep with a person is to become a pioneer," she whispered then, "a frontiersman at the edge of their private world, the strange, incomprehensible world of their interior, filled with customs you could never imitate, a language which sounds like your own but is really totally foreign, knowable only to them. I [...]

  • Despite everything I am about to tell you, I really had several reasons to not like this book.For one thing, the plot was really a bare excuse for one. It seemed like it was really more of an excuse for Valente to roam about at will, locking her mind's eye on new treasures to describe in the world she'd created. A search for character development yields little. The characters in this book have little 'development' to speak of. They are the incarnation, for the most part, of that Rice line-"Peopl [...]

  • A Book of Marvelous Things"I was so alone. I had only books and dreams and brushes then." The four protagonists, two male, two female, who live variously in California, New York, Rome and Kyoto, have their own separate obsessions - trains, keys, bees and books – but don’t yet know true love. They crave "the low vibratory tones of shared obsession real lovers, the kind that make coffee for each other and read the same books". In this current world, they are taught two lessons: the source of a [...]

  • It is a reverence, a sting of the holy, as rich and powerful and desired as honey, and the book rolls on the tongues of paupers and kings alike, like fire, like hard cocks, like the welcoming embrace of a whole city. Indeed, this book is a love poem written by and scratched out by the city, itself, of Palimpsest, the fae kingdom of adulthood, of loss, abandonment, of scars and mutilations, of loveless sex and all the dirty waters of the world, of the ripe and blossoming heat of four who will fin [...]

  • I laboured through this book, determined to finish it and not really enjoying much about it at all. The prose is beautiful but very heavy going and it goes on for 367 pages. It takes a lot of concentration and effort to keep on top of who all the characters are and I did not feel it was worth it in the end. This is the second book I have tried by this author and I guess I now have to admit her writing style and I do not go together.

  • Let's be honest. The reason this book has sat on my shelf for months is because it just isn't my style. Three months later and only halfway through, and I find it time to resignedly face defeat. I love Valente's lush prose; the vivid detail that appeals to all my senses and perfectly conjures a scene. I just have a hard time with the underlying sexually transmitted disease/desire imagery, and am finding the characters a challenge to care about in their obsession. She--or I--might have bit off a [...]

  • Books create whole other worlds, and nowhere is this phenomenon more explicit than in fantasy and science fiction. More than just telling a story, great books transport the reader to a new setting, one where the rules might be different. It takes impossibilities and makes them possible. The author, then, is more than a storyteller—he or she is an architect, a craftsman executing a careful and intricate design. This is what we often mean when we speak of worldbuilding.Depending upon how the ter [...]

  • There is a subgenre of fantasy (although some people would try to kill me for that classification) called "New Weird". In my experience what this means is "interesting ideas executed in the most boring fashion possible." Palimpsest is exactly that. In particular, New Weird authors seem to get so caught up in their world building they forget to develop any kind of a plot, or at least spend so much time describing said world building that the plot doesn't appear until well into the book.I don't li [...]

  • July 2010Palimpsest. What a city. Entered only in dreams, its streets and districts are marked in the flesh. Its maps appear tattooed on the skin after sex. Copulation with other people (victims? sufferers?) who bear the marks grants more access; every orgasm is a ticket to another street corner, another station. It is the strangest of venereal diseases: the city as STD.What I want to know is, how did Catherynne M. Valente get to this before China Miéville?It’s probably for the best. Where Ne [...]

  • It's odd that, in trying to figure out how to explain this book, I first have to figure out exactly what is the sexually transmitted disease. It's not citizenship in the strange city of Palimpsest - that has to be earned. It's not passage to the city, as that has to be achieved, every time someone goes. It's the passport, I guess. The black markings of the city streets on the skin that never leave, that mark a person as someone who could go to Palimpsest, if they choose. Tattoo as sexually trans [...]

  • 3 and a half stars, rounded to 4.The first thing you need to understand when you crack open a Catherynne M. Valente book is that she is a poet who writes novels. Her sentences and descriptions are dreamlike, her words carefully chosen but often surprising. I would personally like to find a good seat in that woman's brain and just watch her thoughts fly by because the images she conjures are often some of the most beautiful ones I have ever read.A criticism I have often read about her is that the [...]

  • The first thing that strikes you about this book is the gorgeous prose. Every sentence is crafted with the utmost care, resulting in a novel that almost reads like poetry. It simply begs to be read out loud. I've read many books that attempt this kind of lush prose, but Palimpsest is one of the most successful and most beautiful.Palimpsest is a sexually transmitted city. People who have been there have a small tattoo - a piece of the city's map - somewhere on their body. Sleep with them and you [...]

  • Anything I say about this book just will not do it justice. It can't describe how I found myself holding my breath at writing that felt so intimate, almost like I shouldn't be reading it. Completely immersive and beautiful and disturbing and I can't wait to go back and read everything else she has written.Kind of like if Jeanette Winterson and Neil Gaiman wrote a book together, after reading The Pillow Book. I hadn't heard of Valente yet, and only read her because this book was nominated for the [...]

  • This is urban fantasy where the main character is a "fantasy" city. You can't get to Palimpsest unless you've slept with someone who's been there. You can't get to any other parts of the city unless you sleep with someone else.It's an intoxicating read. For the continuing presence of sex in the narrative, this is not a romance. It's mentioned, even described, but it's a vehicle by which the human characters are able to find their way around a city where they seem to be meant to be.Like The Orpha [...]

  • Definitely not for everyone, but read this if you want incredible, fanciful prose and entrance into a world defined by Valente's capacious imagination. An incredible journey to a city real and unreal.

  • I have to think about this one a while. What a weird experience.9/21 - after mulling a while, I decided on 3 stars because I both loved and hated it. I decided I had to read it almost stream of consciousness as it's written, since stopping to ponder the words detracted from the mood. At times I was annoyed, irritated, aggravated by the characters. At other times I felt an almost unbearable soaring of spirit and longing along with the characters. At times I almost stopped reading wondering why I [...]

  • Palimpsest is one seriously weird book. Consider the concept: If you have sex with someone with a map tattoo, you will "dream" that you are in the city of Palimpsest. Palimpsest is a really f'd up place, but people are desperate to go back. They are so desperate to go back and visit other parts of the city that they will have sex with anybody who has part of the map tattooed on them, sexual attraction and orientation have nothing to do with anything. While there are a lot of sexual encounters in [...]

  • I finally finished this. I've been reading a little here and a little there for weeks and I finally finished this. I think it took me so long to read for the reasons Nataliya described in her review, the book alternately pulls you in and pushes you away. It is so filled with loss at times it was unbearable to go on. But I'm glad I did. For one thing the writing in this book is exquisite. Catherine Valente is a poet and it shows:"She had dreamed heavily and the dream clung to her still-November h [...]

  • To summarize: Pros: Crocodile conga lines. Logophile’s dream. Rampant potential for “that’s what she said” jokes. Rampant potential for terrible puns. Barry Manilow. Euphemisms. So multicultural. Pirate frogs. Rum. Talking animals. Taking everything out of context. Cons: Frog psychic wrapped in ragged fox fur - PETA cries, foxes die. Bugs. Gregor Samsa. Ear sex. No lols. Strange analogies. Train vagina visuals. Sexually Transmitted Tattoos. Elitism.Usually book cover summaries are so tri [...]

  • This book is REALLY interesting, and a lot smuttier than I expected. The sense of all these people with a collective obsession that pierces the normal bounds of sexual decorum, and the way that such a bond DOESN'T necessarily mean they treat each other with understanding or warmth or kindness--now THAT is an interesting set of ideas. Separately, this first book of Valente's I've read has some fascinating language. I definitely see what people are saying when they put her in the "really out there [...]

  • Do you guys know that I almost missed out on this wonder? Somewhere, and I can't find where, I saw it labeled as erotica and I have a very strong aversion to that genre. But then this came up in a book group and I do really love Valente's work, so I decided to give it a try.This is a long way of wandering around the fact that I almost missed out not on a book, but an Absolutely Phenomenal Experience. I loved it. I loved every single second of this book. The prose is gorgeous, lush, and evocative [...]

  • "Sei pressed her cheek against the cold glass; strips of black mountains tore by under latern-blue clouds beyond her wide window. She knew a man was watching her - the way men on trains always watched her. The train car rocked gently from side to side, hushing its charges like a worried mother. She chewed on the ends of her dark blue hair. A stupid childhood habit, but Sei couldn't let it go. Her skin prickled as the man's eyes slid over her back."The poetic prose is so beautiful that Palimpsest [...]

  • So 4 people have random sex with people they don't know. In doing so, each contracts an "STD", a piece of a map tattooed on their body of a city existing in some parallel universe. They each discover that through sex with other people with this same sexually contracted tattoo, they can visit (in their dreams) whatever parts of the city are tattooed on the other person's body's never explicitly stated, but apparently only unprotected sex will lead to dreams that will take them to the parallel cit [...]

  • This book is very, very strange, and very, very wonderful---but from Valente, how could we expect anything less? It's the sort of book that begs you not to pick up another one immediately, and I fully expect myself to stumble over things and walk into walls as I try to figure out what I just read. Palimpsest is a city of living trains, animal/human hybrids, and mechanical bees; those lucky enough to visit believe they have dreamt it, but wake with strange map-like markings somewhere on their fle [...]

  • Intriguing idea and beautiful prose that borders poetry. Also fascinating concept. However, I don't get much mileage from Palimpsest-there's just not much re-readability in it.Valente's style of writing is dreamlike, floating on its own wing of metaphors and elaborate description. This is enhanced by (or exacerbated by, depending on the style of writing you enjoy) the presentation of scenes, which cuts in and out of each character's life, rather than coherently connecting them until later. By th [...]

  • A Fascinating and surreal book about a world you can only enter by having sex with someone who has been there. Valente is a powerhouse of a writer, her prose are dense and complex. A dreamy, haunting, and fantastical tale. Highly recommended.

  • My book club selection for the month.I'd heard Valente described as a steampunk author, but I reallywouldn't classify this as being in that genre. I've yet to acquire herother books, but I'm on the lookout for them!Outside of our reality, there is a city called Palimpsest. Those whohave visited the city mysteriously acquire a tattoo-like marksomewhere on their skin - and an inexplicable desire, almost anaddiction, driving them to return. The only way the city can beentered is through sex with an [...]

  • Oh, Palimpsest. I still don’t think I can pronounce you correctly and this book left me exhausted, a bit confused and more than a little disturbed. Another review described Palimpsest as “clockpunk” which I misread as “cockpunk”. Honestly, I think cockpunk is fitting for this book. A dream city that haunts the days of its visitors, sexually transmitted tattoos of a maze of city streets that grant access only to what’s pictured, leading those addicted to the dark mysteries to seek out [...]

  • I usually love Valente's books. They're not for everybody, of that I'm sure, but they usually work for me. Not this one. I actually liked the idea, even if it might sound a bit too bizarre, but I think that it shows that this is one of Valente's first works. Basically the only way to enter the city of Palimpsest is to have sex with strangers. That's how you get a mark on your skin, which portrays the part of the city you were in and that you have to pass onto other people. However that's not eno [...]

  • This is exquisitely gloriously beautiful. Valente manages to capture the seductive horror that faery used to have. She writes like a poet; and it’s easy to just get completely caught up in her imagery. On one level this is a novel about the “otherland,” that place where humans go at their peril, the land of faery, with all of its horror and seductiveness – the way it has historically always drawn humans, lured them, but always at the most horrific costs. And on the other hand it is a nov [...]

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