A morning conversation alerted me to Timothy Leary’s concept of set and setting – which mostly relates to some philosophical thinking about the way one’s mind-set and the environment affect a hallucinogenic experience.
The conversation was in relation to this book which I had just read. I had also watched on TV Nicki Caro’s film Vinter’s Luck, which I found perplexing, shallow and just plain confusing.
The point of all this is that I loved Angel’s Cut and that it made much more of an impression on me that Vinter’s Luck which I also did enjoy.
The writing in both is delicious even when describing scars and poetic when describing flight. The perceptions and details are the usual fine ones we expect from Knox, and I enjoyed the background of film/editing and jazz.
But three things stood out for me: allowing myself to accept that this was a story of an angel enabled me to follow the story (I don’t usually read fantasy), I felt I knew and understood Xas better than before and I found fascination with the theosophy that involved descriptions of Hell and explanations of Fall.
The world Knox paints involves gardens in Hell, a Lucifer who helps and gives advice and converses with God, as well as a god who has negotiated a treaty with Lucifer that involves Xas. Relationships of brotherhood, fatherhood and love. Now that is great writing and great thinking.
I guess the set and the setting were just right for me on this one, but the quality of the writing and thinking stands beyond those two requirements for appreciation.