oh god. i am almost ready to give up satire and humour entirely. i adore a good quip. i love a wag, i cheer a wit (and mat johnson fits these categories) but i don't seem to have the patience for the sustained point behind it all these days. happily, there was a lot of other filling in this little debbie cake novel which has a lot going for it in terms of voice, intertextuality, intelligence, and invention: chris jaynes, an african-american professor who wants to teach poe instead of pursuing the black cannon at his disposal is fired, and puts together an expedition to antarctica to retrace the steps of a. gordon pym, the titular hero of the only novel written by edgar a. of course, he's got reason to believe that a. gordon pym might actually have been a real live boy, based on an old letter that comes into his possession, and if that's true, perhaps the black eden, tsalal, also exists. so off he goes with the team assembled (this includes the captain, his activist cousin booker jaynes, his friend garth, former bus driver and little debbie addict, and also a videographer and his partner the on-camera talent, and wouldn't you know it? the professor's old flame and new husband). things go swimmingly until they don't, and lots of strange characters, artistic, animalistic, atavistic are found out on the ice.
i gave the book four stars, because i liked it but i *wanted* to really like it, and at the end i felt like i disappointed it, more than it disappointed me.