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Advent by Michael Kamakana


Advent is not an alien invasion book like any other I have ever read. For a start, most of them fall back on cliches shared with many other genres, like paragraphs and named characters. Kamakana eschews all that. Each chapter is a single, multi page paragraph, packed with declarative sentences that are, depending on the chapter, devoted to either he, she, we, they or, eventually and for a short period, I.

For example:

He is the man who does not exist and a man who not does exist, he is the man who does exist and does exist, he is the man who neither exists nor not exists, he is the man who both exists and does not exist.

(p. 100)

The result is a very alien experience and, I suppose, that could be the point. There was an impression of structured artifice to the flow of words and themes. However, without contextualising appurtenances like a detailed forward or even a short preface, I was left feeling that it might be very clever but that I was failing to grasp it.

As a consequence, while I would agree that the work is intriguing, that wasn’t enough to pull me into enjoying it.

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