Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Terror


The Terror, Dan Simmons

Having trouble saying this: it's not very satisfying, but it's rilly, rilly good.

It's like there's a bunch of loose ends that don't get... Andy told me, just before he lent it to me, that he wished he could read it faster because he was just at the part where all the loose ends were being tied up and he couldn't wait to find out why everything happened.

I didn't find out why anything happened.

Here are my gripes: Who sailed The Terror to its final resting place? Why did C. never learn of H.’s fate? Did Lt. CdV and team make it? Why did the thing attack in the order it did? Under what conditions did the "two poisons" in the Goldner cans kill? Why were we told of the two American girls with double joints? And the quack doctor? Why was there emphasis on the food in Lt. JI.’s stomach and in the esquimaux’ stomachs, as well as insistence on the secrecy of these facts, when these facts were never used?

For every one of these questions, I was just dying with curiosity for up to 700 pages, and none of them have even the remotest hint of an answer on a silver platter.

And yet, there is nothing like this book and I am, like Stephen King, in awe of Dan Simmons. I do recommend.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Wind in the Willows


The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Graham

I thought this would be like Watership Down.

But in Watership Down... weren't the rabbits just rabbits? Like speaking rabbits, but anatomically rabbits?

Here... what are these things? They can row boats and drive motor cars. And if he puts on some rags, a male toad can be mistaken for a human woman.

And yet, they live in burrows. Although some in great houses. What size are they? How many fingers do they have? These things bothered me, because I would find my image of Toad, or Mole and things would go fine until suddenly they turned too human, and then too toady, and I'd have to stop and work on my mental image a bit. Irritating.

I didn't like it.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Handmaid's Tale


The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (x2)

Better than the first time, but not as good as Oryx and Crake.

Maddening. It doesn't "end." Nothing really happens.

But the writing is good. Kunderesque, I'd say, which is unfair to contemporaries. Kunderesque, just not tense.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Study in Charlotte


A Study in Charlotte, Brittany Cavallaro

Crude, rough edges. Kids on crack, teen rape. Story? Meh.

BUT--such good characters. Such weird tension/non-tension. Colour and angles.

Best line: Holmes looked like a weapon. Definitely reading the next one.

The Caves of Steel


The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov (x2)

I was surprised at how quaint it was, with women—this is 3000 years in the future remember—relegated to cooking and cleaning for their working husbands. You could think up domed cities and accelerating sidewalks but couldn't imagine women cops?

Ok, but it's well-imagined and a good detective story. Thumbs up.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis

Good fun, with dragons and bad kids. Bad kids that learn their lesson!

Only, I'm upset about the obvious Jesus stuff. Didn't really need to hear that. Hope it doesn't show through so much in the next books.