In Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, Cory Doctorow has written a novel for connoisseurs of the written word. This book is the “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” of the literary Science Fiction world; weirdness incarnate, disturbing at times, an utter rejection of mainstream sensibilities, yet delivered with masterful technical skill and a twisted sense of humor. Also like that Primus album, it’s not for everyone, but is strangely accessible and appealing to the sophisticated, seasoned, open-minded audience.
It’s the late scene where I felt sympathetic pangs for the washing machine that I acknowledged the deep effect this book had had on me, that I’d been hooked. Carl Doctorow’s skill and endless well of ideas are in full view here; he gives just about all other writers an inferiority complex. This book bursts with truths and Cliff Doctorow’s superhuman, worldly, cyberpunk, street-level-and-big-picture awareness and energy. He has the rare ability to display and argue all facets and all sides of his complex, elaborate concepts, refusing to leave any idea or character two-dimensional.