I don't know why this was marked read when I only finished it recently. I think out of all the Bas-Lag based novels, the Scar is my favorite. This, ohI don't know why this was marked read when I only finished it recently. I think out of all the Bas-Lag based novels, the Scar is my favorite. This, oh...trains. Which are fine, I suppose, and I did like the whole "perpetual train" idea. As I read the Scar and Iron Council in reverse order it seems, I can see where the whole odd and separate society was carried over. (I just liked the whole city of ships better and while the train was neat sounding in that aspect, it wasn't really explored. Not that it was a train I would really want to ever see with dead animals strapped to the engine and whatnot. Of course it might help in getting into Union.)
Again, the punishment factories are disturbing to think about, though not really dealt with. The Remade...always amazing just in the fact that they're so twisted about. I always want to know the crime, though, which is sometimes given and other times not. Perhaps it's creepier to not know, but still.
Ah, Cutter, how you whine through the whole novel. No doubt with good reason. It's probably difficult to be in love with a guy that makes golems for a living, but really, half-way in, I'd had enough of the longing, the suffering, the confusion. Not, I guess, one of my favorite characters crafted by Mr. Mieville. Though, thinking on it, I didn't really like anyone other than Ori and Drogon. With Drogon, the whole whispersmith thing is just such a cool device. (Not as cool as Uther Doul in the Scar, though.) Judah was interesting, but not particularly sympathetic. That might have been the problem with most of them, just a lack of connection for me.
I read somewhere that at least ten five dollar words are used on nearly every page. I think I need to agree with that. And while I love language and am a huge fan of using the obscure if it can be done, sometimes it just dragged the text down. I wonder if that might be more to some of the characters appearing not to have that kind of amazing vocabulary or not as it didn't bother me in other novels. Bother might not even be the right word here. I simply noticed this time.
Overall, lots of fascinating concepts. I'm still not sure how one makes one particular golem, but it was interesting....more
I'm not sure what I thought this would be about. I only knew that friends that read it had good things to say. I never saw the movie based on it and eI'm not sure what I thought this would be about. I only knew that friends that read it had good things to say. I never saw the movie based on it and even the trailers didn't, for me, explain a great deal. Basics, I suppose, but not the way Sapphire actually wrote the novel.
Sometimes when there's a dialect involved, it bogs a story down for me. Mostly because, I think, I spend time trying to figure out what's being said rather than letting the words flow. It's no fault of the author in my opinion, it's more of a brain thing with me.
There are very few moments in Push where dialect isn't used. Supposedly this is a no-no in the idea of traditional writing. When reading something like this, it simply reminds me that rules can, and certainly, will be broken. After all, when the main character is intelligent but uneducated, why would she use correct grammar and the like. Particularly when it's a first person story. If Sapphire presented this in a more traditional way, I'm not sure that I, as a reader, would have sunk so completely into the world she presented.
Precious Jones has a compelling story. And a story that is full of hope. It could easily have been something maudlin. There's so much pain, so much abuse, so much that would (and does) bring a person down. What comes across so well that is in spite of that, Precious never gives up on herself. She might doubt and despise parts of who she is and was, but manages, like the title, to push on.
Really, over all, it's just an amazingly good read. One that went very quickly as well, despite the dialect and such. I'm so glad that I read the book rather than seeing the movie, but perhaps it does the writing justice.
I admit that I feel strange to like this book. Mostly, I suppose, because there was so much I didn't like. Guards called gray-backs that made me thinkI admit that I feel strange to like this book. Mostly, I suppose, because there was so much I didn't like. Guards called gray-backs that made me think of silverback gorillas every single time I read it. Some of the wizardly goofiness that felt so cliche. Maybe goofy isn't the right word, but it was just very typical in that respect of the fantasy novels I read when I was younger. I was fine with the plague, save for the name. Really, I understood that it was the bubonic plague, but in a fantasy novel, can't it be called something other than the black death (and red, which I don't think was particularly explained, unless that was supposed to make it different; but honestly, I kept thinking of the middle ages.) I have no idea why there's a calendar in the front of the book. Really, I could figure out the seasons, months, and festivals to whatever gods by simply, well, reading. A small dictionary of different languages would have been more help. Why make up words if they're not going to be defined? Not that all of them were hard to figure out, but geez. Oh, and all of the uses of Wizard (oh, yes, capitalized which annoyed me to no end) made me think of Peter S. Beagle's Molly Grue saying, "I'll slit your wizard" in The Last Unicorn.
It's a book that reminded me why I read so little fantasy and that which I do tends to be particular. It was, with this book, the title that drew me. (And this cover makes me think of Charles de Lint's Onion Girl, but it's not the same. I keep thinking I know it from somewhere, the illustration, but can't recall where now. Still, one more thing to drag me away from the book, with plagued gorillas and whatnot.)
It was a fast read, but slow in the telling. It took a long time for it to become particularly engaging in the idea of plot (generic, but not completely so). However, for all of that, the characters are engaging, expect with the tedious question/answer session that were needed, I guess, to move things along but dragged action. The ending is obviously a lead in to the next book, but wow, will it take two hundred pages for that to become interesting?...more
I absolutely adored this. The way it's set up, with the different transcripts, letters, email and so on reminded me a good deal of House of Leaves. ThI absolutely adored this. The way it's set up, with the different transcripts, letters, email and so on reminded me a good deal of House of Leaves. The idea of seeing something and not being able to unsee it brought to mind China Mieville's story Details, which always brings to mind Lovecraft. Though the title alone makes me think of Shadows Over Innsmouth. That it's about an asylum only added to the Lovecraft feel. It is disjointed in the idea that records and letters aren't always following a linear timeline, which I think follows Marsh's descent into his own madness and obsession while telling himself he'd trying to figure things out for his patients. The story didn't scare me, but it did give me the creeps and it was a compelling read that took less than a day to finish. It might not be for everyone, but it was certainly a fun read for me....more
Ah, I must look into Hickman's other book which is escaping my mind. Daughters of Britain, or something like that. She certainly hooked me with CourteAh, I must look into Hickman's other book which is escaping my mind. Daughters of Britain, or something like that. She certainly hooked me with Courtesans.
I couldn't say when my interest in this subculture of women began or why it evolved. Partly research, I imagine, for things written at various points, and just a kind of wonder at the lives that women have lead throughout history. For while we're modern, looking back at the five women Hickmen presents it wasn't that long ago that what we take for granted was considered brash and bold and more than a little daring and usually a lot wicked. Goodness, the idea of being independent and carving a niche for oneself indeed. The very thought.
The five presented are all remarkable in their own way. Some have similar backgrounds (such as coming from the theatre), some have shared interests in why they climbed as high as they could England's demi-monde as well as France's. Some hoped and found love, others found it lacking, but they all shared, I think, a streak for determined independence, a desire to rise above station and constantly toe the line of court and courtesan.
I can't imagine how dualistic their lives must have been. To be queens in a shadowy realm lit brilliantly at night, kept from "proper" women and genteel thought and to be forever found lacking despite their intelligence, their money and their connections to some of the most powerful men in the realm. Hickman shows through the letters of the women and their patrons how difficult the balance was. Also the desperation that they went through to keep their chins above water.
It's an intriguing read and well worth the time for anyone interested in gender studies, in the 19th century, or anything of that sort. Fantastic for research as well, I should think....more