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 Waterhiops 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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Une rencontre

Une rencontre, Milan Kundera

I always get tricked on third airport books.

I got tricked on Marguerite Yourcenar's third airport book.

I got tricked on Jean-Paul Sartre's third airport book.

And now I got tricked on Milan Kundera's third airport book.

An airport book is a book I buy at the airport, to read on the plane. I read two awesome books by Marguerite Yourcenar before I bought Souvenirs Pieux at the airport, drooling, and then it turned out it was her autobiography.

I never realized I hated autobiography.

Then I read two awesome books by Sartre (really one), before I bought Les mots at the airport,
drooling, before I realized it was his autobiography.

This time, I realized I hated autobiography.

Finally, I read two awesome books by Milan Kundera before I bought Une rencontre at the airport.
It's not an autobiography, but it's kind of an autobiography.

There's something funny about these autobiographies from great writers. They turn out to be—well it should be obvious—narcissistic, like they're welling in their words after a bit. But they start awesome.

Une rencontre's saving grace is that it has lots of munchy book recommendations in it. Only reason I forced myself through it.