My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tremblay’s dystopian, near-future sf novel is funny, angry, and bittersweet all at once. The setting, City, is a place of rampant bureaucracy and injustice, but Tremblay, like his windblown narrator, digs deep enough to find both the absurdity and the heart buried inside it. Tremblay has always been a writer with a deep sense of humanity that comes through in his work, and the deeper you get into SWALLOWING A DONKEY’S EYE, the more humanity you’ll find amid its sometimes slapdash shenanigans, over the top secondary characters, and fascinating details that are left frustratingly unexplored (e.g., what’s up with that magic refrigerator?). The novel takes place in the same world as Tremblay’s 2007 themed collection, CITY PIER, and though knowledge of those stories adds a nice extra layer to one’s enjoyment of DONKEY, it’s not integral to the experience. But after reading DONKEY, I would definitely recommend getting a hold of CITY PIER, if you haven’t read it already. City is a place worth exploring.