I tracked down a copy of the new Sean Stewart novel, Perfect Circle, and it’s good enough to be worth waiting eight years for, let alone the four years it’s been since Galveston. So no complaints here.
A little about the milieu, first. It’s the modern world, akin to Mockingbird, with that touch of elemental unexplained strangeness. Like Mockingbird, it’s set in Texas; like many of Stewart’s novels, it’s about family. In the author’s notes for Mockingbird, he says that “I had in mind something that would ‘fit’ with Resurrection Man, but with the quantities of light and dark reversed; a scary comedy, as it were, rather than a brooding novel with occasional jokes.” I think that Perfect Circle is a better match for those words; it echoes the relationship between death and family described in Resurrection Man through a lens crafted of punk music and Texas.
If I was going to write a cover blurb, on the other hand, I’d say something like “Perfect Circle establishes Sean Stewart as the American Nick Hornby,” which would make all the High Fidelity fans happy until they read any of his books besides Perfect Circle. This is why I’m not in marketing.
And come to think of it, Perfect Circle isn’t a comedy, either. So never mind the whole thing and just read it already. There are not one but two chapters on Salon, so you’ve no excuse not to fall in love.
As someone who’s only read Resurrection Man and The Night Watch, does Perfect Circle stand on its own?
Yep. All his novels do, really; Resurrection Man, The Night Watch, and Galveston take place in the same world but are not otherwise related.