Incisive and painful ... The nonlinear narrative moves back and forward and back again, showing how the characters’ stories could have ended before 'resetting' to explore other outcomes. Each episode stresses the interconnected nature of all: whether an individual likes it or not, their lives and actions affect not only themselves, but their friends, their neighbors, and their planet. The suggestion is sobering: while the world in My Volcano may proffer second chances, the real world does not ... My Volcano is a captivating novel about the consequences of letting obvious dangers fester and grow.
A fever dream that whirs together homicide statistics from 2016 with an array of outlandish science fiction tropes. An allegory about the mutability of all things. An unsettling meditation on the 21st century’s strange reality. An apocalyptic phantasmagoria where bizarre kaiju roam the lands and wreak havoc. A lyrical treatise on volcanoes as metaphors. A wild ride ... Stupendous ... The unfettered abundance, uniqueness and irreducibility of Volcano will likely encourage as many interpretations as the book has readers ... Stintzi’s kaiju creatures are anything but run of the mill ... My Volcano is gripping, of course. Monsters, time travel and super-volcanoes seldom fail to impress. Stintzi juggles seriously unhinged plot elements with an impressive verve, but the thoughtfulness of the characters...as the world they know faces unprecedented crisis is an abiding pleasure.
Have you ever read a book that was so off-the-wall bizarre that you thought, I can’t read this anymore, it’s too ridiculous, but it was also so compelling that you had to keep reading just to see what happens? John Elizabeth Stintzi’s harrowing novel My Volcano is one of those books ... The novel’s narrative scope is tremendously broad.
A wide-ranging narrative ... That Stintzi keeps all these plates spinning is a wonder; that they transform the chaotic present into a fiery, transcendent vision of the future is even more impressive. It’s a brilliant achievement.
Genre-bending ... At times, this ambitious novel can feel unwieldy, with its weighty subject matter and complex, formal innovation. However, Stintzi has a gift for meticulously crafted worldbuilding and captures the tender drama of human (and, in this novel, extrahuman) relationships. Patient readers will be rewarded by their arrival at the book’s dazzling conclusion. A vibrant ecosystem of a novel that deals honestly with the beauty and horror of human and ecological connectedness.