Hopefully @Lemex will swoop in and take me under his wing on this one with some terms and such that explain more concisely what I am asking. My question is, do you ever feel that after having read a novel that contains information about which you are familiar, that maybe, as a novel, you've missed the forest for the trees? I'm reading a set of sci-fi books now that were suggested to me by a fellow interpreter and linguist. He said I would enjoy "both the story and the story". He talks that way. We're all weirdos in my field. The story turned out to be great. Well written, very character driven, and the first of the three novels is a delightfully concise 200 pages in length. Imagine that. 200 pages. Halfway through reading the first of the trilogy I realized that the writer clearly either has a degree in linguistics or perhaps communication, possibly anthropology. Lots of linguistic theory is presented concerning signifiers, what they signify, the validity or need for signifiers, blah, blah, blah. Suffice to say, it goes into some esoteric territory. But it's territory I know, and as I read, I feel the characters fade in and out a bit until we get past the esoteric part and back to the story. Reading the second novel now, and it dives even more heavily into esoteric realms, and I'm still not out of my depth, but I'm wondering if the writer is selling me a story, or his CV in linguistics. I'm also wondering how someone else, not versed in these things, would read this novel and digest it. Am I unable to see the forest for the trees? The same happened when I read China Miéville's Embassytown. Again, a sci-fi novel soaked to the bone in language theory, theory of language acquisition, how these create the venue for Theory of Mind to blossom. And I loved that book. I was like a raving Beatles fan-girl at a concert about to pass out from my near religious ecstatic moment at being this close to Ringo and John. But, again, were I to have been someone else who doesn't know those things, what novel would I have come away with instead, after having read Embassytown? If I had the chance to talk to China, would he himself say to me, "Look, mate, you seem like a bright enough lad, but you've missed the point, haven't you?" Thoughts?