Ok, have you signed up for MotherReader's 48 hour challenge yet? Because I'm laying down my own challenge. I'm donating $1 to Bridget Zinn for everyone who completes the challenge (that means you need your starting and wrap-up posts and something in between!) I'll also donate another $1 for everyone who spends at least 20 hours reading.
The Dragons of Babel Michael Swanwick
I blogged last month about difficulty in reading. Will is a war refugee who eventually makes his way to the capital city of Babel, where he learns to trick and steal, plot and execute, and deal in the shadier side of politics, all setting him up for one big score. Of course, Will is a faerie and the upper class are elves and the story is told in an odd hybrid of high fantasy and steam punk.
In the end, I loved it, and here's a perfect example of why:
A train whistle at night was a word that meant the same thing in all languages. It was compounded of loneliness and otherness and the futile desire to be anywhere but here, anybody but one's own wretched self. What made the heart ache at the sound of it was the knowledge that the locomotive was pulling out without you and always would. You were never going to catch that imaginary train that would carry you to the faraway land containing the solutions to all your problems. You were never going to arrive at the impossible city where all the things for which you secretly yearned were given away free in the streets.