Verging on the Pertinent Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Verging on the Pertinent

This 1989 collection of stories is spare in style but rich in imagination. Emshwiller tries to minimize character, plot, dialogue, and many other conventionalities of storytelling; there's something Kafka-esque in her largely first-person tales of a woman deserting her husband to live in a cave with a bear ("Yukon"), a goddess creating the perfect man to worship her ("If Not Forever, When?"), or human females finding themselves making do in an alien culture ("Escape Is No Accident" and the title story). There's even a tale in which Rochester's first wife from _Jane Eyre_ flirts with Joseph K. outside the castel ("Expecting Sunshine and Getting It"), and another in which a giant woman who the World Trade Center with a male executive in hand ("Queen Kong," naturally). Very distinctive work!
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Verging on the Pertinent

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   cynical or dry-wit FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   part earth & part fantasy world Romance    -   Yes Romance plotlets:    -   destined love (dream or prediction)    -   falling in love with the enemy Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   feelings of a human growing up among aliens    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   20th century    -   near future (later in 21st century)    -   current (early 21st century) A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   humans in a contemporary society    -   inhabited by friendly aliens Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   description of breasts    -   descript. of private male anat. How much dialogue?    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Verging on the Pertinent

Carol Emshwiller Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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