In the future, a group of people volunteer for a scientific experiment in which they agree to immerse themselves in a community mimicking long-gone 20...moreIn the future, a group of people volunteer for a scientific experiment in which they agree to immerse themselves in a community mimicking long-gone 20th Century life. The protagonist, Robin, signs up to escape people who are trying to kill her. I mean, him. Technically Robin is a dude. But he spends most of the book trapped in a female body, and he mostly just reads as a woman—as an awesome, interesting heroine. It's kind of sad that one of the few ways we get male SF/F writers writing interesting women is when they think they're writing men, but it works to our advantage in this case, I suppose.
This was generally a quite fun "fight the power" yarn (the experimenters are up to no good, surprise surprise). I enjoyed the hints of backstory—the history of the Censorship Wars and the genesis of the very creepy (and wonderfully named) virus Curious Yellow. There were also some neat tricks worked with Robin's first person POV. The book's ending, however, was rather too rushed and pat; saying "And then we fought a big battle and kicked some ass" is really not the same as showing a big battle being fought and some ass being kicked. In general, this was interesting and enjoyable sci-fi, but it really didn't transcend the genre.(less)
Sequel to Changing Places, this book follows the same characters—and many, many more—as they travel the world for a series of academic conferences. T...moreSequel to Changing Places, this book follows the same characters—and many, many more—as they travel the world for a series of academic conferences. There is much amusement to be had in tracking the ways the various characters meet up (and often, hook up), and the whole thing is zany and hilarious and lots of fun, if a little less satisfying than Places. Note: the cover of the 1984 British Penguin edition has an illustration of a bare-breasted woman bound by chains to the 'W' in World; this will make you incredibly popular with strange men who sit down next to you on the bus. (less)
An English widow decides to open up a bookshop in her small town. That was all I knew of this book (well, and that my mom has a dozen of Fitzgerald's...moreAn English widow decides to open up a bookshop in her small town. That was all I knew of this book (well, and that my mom has a dozen of Fitzgerald's slim paperbacks strewn around her house) and that was what made me pick it up. So my reaction here is kind of a case of thwarted expectations: I was expecting something much more light and comic and—okay, I don't want to say life-affirming, because my vanity wants me to think I am not the sort of person who ever desires to read anything that could be described as "life-affirming" or "uplifting." But yeah: I wanted to read something that made me go, "Books and reading FTW!"
This is not that book. Really, it's a tiny, tightly-written tragedy, a story about how people can be really, truly awful to one another, with all the good people getting punished and bad people rewarded. It's very well-written and perfectly, plainly presented, and damn, does it hurt. I finished it just after midnight and went to bed whimpering. (less)
The first in a new series of novels by Mike Carey, whose Lucifer and Hellblazer runs I really like. The series is set in a world very like ours—excep...moreThe first in a new series of novels by Mike Carey, whose Lucifer and Hellblazer runs I really like. The series is set in a world very like ours—except a few years ago, the dead started to come back: as ghosts, as zombies, and as were (possessed and altered animals). Our narrator and guide to this world is the improbably named Felix Castor, an exorcist who's always been able to see dead people and who communes with them through music—his exorcism ritual involves a tin whistle; he's like the Pied Piper of the deceased. I'll admit I had kind of expected Felix to be a somewhat disguised John Constantine—and actually, I would have been totally okay with that, because as far as I'm concerned, anyone who wants to write a series of novels about a somewhat disguised John Constantine should have free reign (as long as they preserve the cool comics version and don't buy into that wussy movie idiocy). But Felix is actually quite different—much less cocky and confident, more a person who's just trying to survive than someone who's out there willingly taking on the world.
Carey has an engaging writing style, full of wit and clever similes. The plot...is somewhat less engaging; it's actually a rather standard murder mystery, only with supernatural trappings. The "surprise!" bad guy is exactly who you would peg as the bad guy if you've read much of anything at all, and there's a very annoying chapter of exposition/confession that interrupts the action toward the end. All in all, I was left with the feeling that the world Carey has created is deserving of a more interesting storyline. The ending—the "Hey, in case you didn't catch it, this is the start of a series" ending—teases of one, and I would very much like to read the next book. Of course, it's not available in the States. Pooh.(less)
Vida Winter is a bestselling author—a modern day Charles Dickens—but her past is entirely unknown; she gives one interview per year and always lies....moreVida Winter is a bestselling author—a modern day Charles Dickens—but her past is entirely unknown; she gives one interview per year and always lies. Then, out of the blue, she hires bookstore clerk and amateur biographer Margaret Lea to take down her life story. The majority of the novel comprises Winter's history as transcribed by Margaret, and Margaret's own life and investigations. The mood of the piece intentionally harkens back to various gothic novels, particularly Jane Eyre; the plot involves a family in a mouldering manner house, plagued by madness, a ghost, and unworldly twins who are possibly the product of incest. This is all dynamically presented, and the twist, when it arrives, is quite clever, exactly the type of narrative trick I admire; if I weren't so lazy, I would check back and do things like track pronouns, see how the book could be reread in light of new knowledge, and I'm sure it would all work perfectly. However, despite the novel's excellent atmosphere and underlying cleverness, it failed to emotionally engage me. The ending both goes on forever and seems too pat, and I was simply never...moved? Stirred? The sweeping emotions that a good gothic novel can evoke—the kind that make you want to take a wander on the moors even if you yourself live in sunny California—were unfortunately absent. This book never moved beyond the intellectual for me; it never affected my heart. (less)
Book about a real-life serial killer Trin: I think I'll read this my first night in a strange, new apartment, in an u...moreOkay, here's how this breaks down:
Book about a real-life serial killer Trin: I think I'll read this my first night in a strange, new apartment, in an unfamiliar neighborhood, when I'm all alone, and almost all the lights are off! La la la!
Book featuring one plot thread about a man's slow descent into madness, including a scene of botched self-surgery Trin: *hides under the bed* *whimpers*
Yeah. I found this novel very hard to get through—which, if anything, should I suppose be a compliment to Haddon. As he demonstrated with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, he has amazing skill when it comes to POV: while in the head of any given character (even an autistic boy, as in Incident, or a man slowly losing it, as in Bother), the reader is fully aware not only of how that character perceives the world, but of how that perception is subtly (or not-so-subtly) off. It's an incredible balancing act, and Haddon never stumbles. Just, if you're planning to read this book, know what you're getting into. It may be a light comic novel, but it is a light comic novel that will freak you the fuck out. (less)
Ahh, how times have changed. I used to consider these books a good guilty pleasure; now I find there's a lot less pleasure and a lot more guilt. Kinse...moreAhh, how times have changed. I used to consider these books a good guilty pleasure; now I find there's a lot less pleasure and a lot more guilt. Kinsella is still an amusing, energetic writer, but Becky really grated on my nerves this time around. She's just so shallow and so frivolous, and while in the first few books she was also just a regular working girl, now that she's rich (thanks entirely to her husband), her insane overspending and materialism swiftly loses its charm and becomes...icky. It can be difficult to read a whole book about someone you would probably feel uncomfortable having lunch with.
So, while I still think there's a...certain charm to these books, and that they're in many ways better than a lot of chick lit, I also just don't think they're for me anymore. I've become too old and cranky to enjoy them. They belong to a part of my life that no longer exists (in which, for example, I also secretly owned an Avril Lavigne CD).(less)
Like Thomas' PopCo, I found this both fascinating and frustrating. Thomas definitely achieves something really special with her ability to make her w...moreLike Thomas' PopCo, I found this both fascinating and frustrating. Thomas definitely achieves something really special with her ability to make her writing intensely cerebral (some of my favorite parts of Mr. Y were the digressions into quantum physics and other brain-stretching topics) while at the same time creating very human, flawed characters. Still, there's a quality of...coldness that prevents me from becoming emotionally involved. Perhaps the whole thing seems too clever, too orchestrated? I don't know. Anyway: the plot of this novel is nominally about a cursed book, but is really much more like an alternate take on Being John Malkovich with an ending that feels like the close of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the part that's supposed to be best if watched stoned. As with PopCo, the experience of reading the novel was very pleasurable and interesting, but the final impact just isn't there; it's oddly unsatisfying.(less)
To everyone who was telling me I should read this: you were right, you were right, you were so so right. One of my favorite books is Kingsley Amis' ...moreTo everyone who was telling me I should read this: you were right, you were right, you were so so right. One of my favorite books is Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim, so of course I would love Lodge's academic comedy—especially since it comes with the bonus of being set in Birmingham and Berkeley. They're not called Birmingham and Berkeley, of course, but if you have any familiarity with either locale, it becomes even more amusing to "decode" the various place names (i.e., Silver Span, Cable Avenue, etc.). Further, the way Lodge plays with format (epistolary, newspaper clippings, film script) is both fun and effective, and there's a delightful amount of meta-humor. In short, I enjoyed this immensely.(less)
**spoiler alert** I was disappointed by this. It did one of my least favorite mystery things: having the bad guy die in some accidental or self-inflic...more**spoiler alert** I was disappointed by this. It did one of my least favorite mystery things: having the bad guy die in some accidental or self-inflicted manner so that the detective character will have less mess to deal with. And that happened three times in this book. THREE TIMES. Worse, as much as I really really wanted to like Cordelia Gray—James' female detective who's out to prove that solving crimes IS a suitable job for the ladies—I just couldn't get a sense of her. James gives her an appropriately weird background—Marxist father, educated in convents—but this origin story doesn't seem in any way connected to who Cordelia is now. There's no sense of how that background made her this person—or even who this person is. With only a moderately interesting mystery backed by a main character who remains pretty blank, there's just nothing all that memorable here.(less)
I hesitated for more than a year, trying to decide if I actually wanted to read this last, unfinished Aubrey/Maturin book. In part, this is because bo...moreI hesitated for more than a year, trying to decide if I actually wanted to read this last, unfinished Aubrey/Maturin book. In part, this is because books left unfinished by authors who have died make me sad just inherently, and it's also because I so liked how the 20th book, Blue at the Mizzen, ended. But eventually I cracked, as I knew I would, and I'm pleased to report that I'm very, very glad I did. The book is unfinished, true—there's less than three chapters here—but in that small space, there's more of what I love: Jack and Stephen's friendship, and Stephen being fiendishly clever, and! and! Jack and Stephen being reunited with their families, which made me so happy, and which was pretty much the only thing that could make the ending of Blue at the Mizzen any more perfect. The only frustrating thing about this edition, which reproduces both O'Brian's handwritten manuscript and the typescript he made of it, is that when the typescript ends, they don't bother (or they balked at) transcribing the rest of the handwritten stuff. I guess they were worried about making a mistake, because O'Brian's handwriting is fucking impossible. Impossible! Fortunately, I did not have to resort to beating my head against the book, or writing Norton a nasty note, because of course some kind soul on the internet had transcribed it for those of us (me!) with less adept deciphering skills. I love the internets.
And I love Jack and Stephen. They are among the all-time greatest fictional characters for me. 20 books, or 20-almost-21, can never be enough. I guess I'll just have to start over at the beginning and read the series again. (less)
This was my first Heyer, and a wonderful introduction it was. Such a romp! The central premise involves cross-dressing—a brother and sister essentiall...moreThis was my first Heyer, and a wonderful introduction it was. Such a romp! The central premise involves cross-dressing—a brother and sister essentially swapping roles to prevent the brother, who took part in the Jacobite Rebellion, being arrested—but there's also their conman father, and lots of duels, and a conniving gentleman who keeps trying to get an innocent young heiress to elope with him. It's terrific fun, and I really liked the characters, especially practical Prudence, who does very well in her adopted role of an 18th Century gentleman. The two romances—Prudence and the sleepy-eyed Sir Anthony, who actually sees more than he lets on, and her brother Robin-goes-by-Kate and the flighty young heiress—are both very enjoyable, the maturity of the former making up for the silliness of the latter. Though I do worry for Prudence, and the validity of her happy ending. To experience the freedom of living as a man and to then have to go back to being "a lady"—well, that would suck, in my opinion. But *waves hands* I shall try not to impose too much of my modern sensibility on this book, because it really was a blast to read.(less)
This is a fun faux-encyclopedic guide to fantasy conventions. Jones mostly addresses high fantasy clichés, and I actually haven't read very much high...moreThis is a fun faux-encyclopedic guide to fantasy conventions. Jones mostly addresses high fantasy clichés, and I actually haven't read very much high fantasy at all, but almost everything Jones skewers still felt familiar to me. J.R.R. Tolkien has a lot to answer for.(less)
The first Agatha Christie I've read, aside from The Mousetrap, which I acted in in 10th grade. (I played the victim, which means I got to be a real...moreThe first Agatha Christie I've read, aside from The Mousetrap, which I acted in in 10th grade. (I played the victim, which means I got to be a real bitch before getting strangled at the end of Act I. It was awesome.) This was a lot of fun—I realize I like the methodical clarity of the type of detective story where the inspector interviews all the suspects, and carefully pursues each new piece of evidence. There were also some very fun secondary characters in this, though man, was I surprised at the emphasis placed on various people from various nationalities hating each other. (There were reasons behind some of this, but honestly, a lot of it was just, "Jeeze, those fucking Italians!")
I'm also puzzled by the common "well, I know you did it, but I am going to let you get away with it/not punish you in the traditional manner" wrap up of so many mystery stories. This happens often in the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers...does no one ever get arrested? Y'all are conspiring to put ordinary policemen out of business, aren't you?
But, tangents aside: this proved a very fun way to spend a couple hours; I'm looking forward to reading more. (less)
The Doctor Who novel that was recently adapted as 'Human Nature/Family of Blood.' It's available free online [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classi......moreThe Doctor Who novel that was recently adapted as 'Human Nature/Family of Blood.' It's available free online [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classi... convenient. I was unfamiliar with both the Doctor (Seven) and the Companion (Bernice Summerfield) the novel is about, and to be honest I'm really mostly invested in Ten (although now also in Martha. Martha is amazingly awesome. *beams*) so this was really mostly intriguing in terms of what had/had not been changed between book and screen. The only other thing that really struck me was that the Doctor stated unequivocally that he's not capable of "small" love—"big" love for humanity, yes, but not romantic love. That's certainly something to ponder (especially since I don't think it's true).
Anyway, I suspect this is only interesting if you are really into Doctor Who right now. Which I am.(less)
I’d heard good things about Thomas’ The End of Mr. Y, so when I saw PopCo at the library I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did, although I fo...moreI’d heard good things about Thomas’ The End of Mr. Y, so when I saw PopCo at the library I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did, although I found a lot about this book unsatisfactory. The story combines two narratives, the first about Alice, an “idea” person for a British toy company, going to a company-sponsored retreat/brainstorming session, and the second about Alice growing up with her cryptoanalyst grandfather and mathematician grandmother. There’s a lot of stuff about code breaking and making, and coolness with prime numbers, and that’s all a lot of fun. Alice’s attempts to fit in with her peers as a teen and how that relates to her obstinate uncoolness in her adult life are also explored in a really interesting way. But the underlying mystery(ies) of the book—who is sending Alice secret messages at the PopCo retreat, and why? Does it have anything to do with the famous code her grandfather claimed to have cracked but never told anyone the solution to?—have sadly dull conclusions, which also involve rather too much preaching about the virtues of vegetarianism. This was still, for the most part, a really engaging read, but the build-up was better than the follow-through.(less)
I loved the recent film version of this (which should have gotten WAY more Oscar nominations, dammit!), so of course I had to read the book, which I’d...moreI loved the recent film version of this (which should have gotten WAY more Oscar nominations, dammit!), so of course I had to read the book, which I’d been told was very different. Is it ever! While the basic premise remains the same, many of the events—and pretty much the entire meaning of the novel—were altered for the film. While the movie is LOUD and VIOLENT, the book is quiet and desolate and lonely. The book explores themes of guilt and how men (er, mostly I mean humans here rather than males, although all the examples given in the text are male) abuse power; the film is about governmental abuse of power far more than individual abuse, and about post-apocalyptic violent desperation rather than quiet despair. It’s interesting, in light of the recent debate about the film adaptation of 300; one of the issues raised there is, Can an adaptation contain meanings not present in the original text? Watching Children of Men and then reading the P.D. James novel provides loads of evidence that the answer is yes. The novel was written in 1992 and expresses, along with universal concerns, others which are specific to its time. (After the superficial ‘greed is good’ ‘80s, have men and women stopped knowing how to love each other?) The film, made in 2006, is about things James couldn’t have dreamed of in 1992; it’s definitely an allegory for our time (as the truly frightening visual allusions to Abu Ghraib towards the end of the film make all-too-clear).
Is one better than the other? I felt the film more strongly, possibly because it is so timely. But the book is incredible in its own right, chilling in different but no less effective ways. I’ll be thinking about both for a long, long time.(less)
A really amusing anthropological look at the English by an Englishwoman. Fox’s sense of humor is what really makes this book; it’s a bit long and repe...moreA really amusing anthropological look at the English by an Englishwoman. Fox’s sense of humor is what really makes this book; it’s a bit long and repetitive at parts—skewing too much toward being an academic text when what I want (need) it to be is a work of popular science—but Fox’s own innate “Oh, come off it!” reaction always pulls through in the end. Somewhat frightening: how much of Fox’s “grammar of Englishness” I find applicable to myself—social awkwardness, humor, cynicism, belief in fair play… Bloody hell! Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks… Oh, God! I’m English!(less)
Shockingly, I hadn’t read this before. And actually, what really surprised me about it was how creepy it was. I read it right before bed and ohhh, tha...moreShockingly, I hadn’t read this before. And actually, what really surprised me about it was how creepy it was. I read it right before bed and ohhh, that was a mistake. Other than that, I’m afraid that I don’t have anything terribly interesting to say, at least not without sounding like a bad high school English essay. Shall I talk about fate? Wordplay? Metatextuality? Um. I don’t want to. I’m tired and my analyzers are broken. This tends to be the kind of time when unfortunately I utterly fail to be deep. But at least I liked this rather a lot more than Waiting For Godot.(less)
Appropriately after reading Watching the English, here’s a murder mystery that revolves around queuing. I adore Tey’s The Daughter of Time, but I’d...moreAppropriately after reading Watching the English, here’s a murder mystery that revolves around queuing. I adore Tey’s The Daughter of Time, but I’d never read any other books by her. This is her first novel (originally published under a male pseudonym; ‘Tey’ is actually a pseudonym, too) and it introduces Alan Grant, who’s the detective in Daughter of Time, too. He’s an enjoyable, if not especially vivid character to me—Time is fantastic because of its plot, which involves an investigation of whether Richard III was framed—but here, where the plot is less solid, the fact that Grant is (to make the obvious comparison) no Peter Wimsey is especially and unfortunately apparent. The ending was additionally disappointing—an unprompted confession? Lame! All in all, while this was a light, quick read, it was not an especially memorable one.(less)
I feel weird critiquing this, as it's something O'Brian wrote when he was 12 and which was first published, under his birth name (Richard Patrick Russ...moreI feel weird critiquing this, as it's something O'Brian wrote when he was 12 and which was first published, under his birth name (Richard Patrick Russ), when he was 15. Because, wow, for a 12-year-old it's remarkably good—already you can see the smooth beauty of his prose. It's also, for a story with an animal (specifically, a panda-leopard—more on that in a minute) as its protagonist and narrator, refreshingly unsentimental and even quite brutal—Caesar's mother and siblings are quickly dispatched by various harsh acts of nature, and Caesar spends a lot of time calmly killing other creatures of the world. It also has moments of being emotionally affecting; when Caesar is captured and "tamed" by humans, I was really quite desperate for him to kill everyone and escape. Yet the tone remains flat and the narrative doesn't amount to much; it goes out on sort of a "huh" note, if you know what I mean. Plus, the aspect that I kept waiting to see explored—that Caesar is a panda-leopard, an essentially fanciful creature whose father is a panda and whose mother is a snow leopard—is never touched on at all! In the end, this is much more interesting in light of O'Brian's later work than on any merits of its own. (Though he did write remarkably well for a 12-year-old!)(less)
Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite writers, so when I heard that she'd written a play, I decided to track it down. It's nice that it is available, e...more Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite writers, so when I heard that she'd written a play, I decided to track it down. It's nice that it is available, even if it's published with one of the most hideous covers I've ever seen. Look! What the hell is that? It makes the play look like an episode of Dynasty. Which it absolutely is not. Like much of Atkinson's work, the story is about a family of women with complicated pasts and various secrets, and there's a wonderful historical aspect, and a mystery, and ghosts! It's really clever and interesting, and if you can find it anywhere, I really recommend it. Don't be scared off by the cover.(less)
Third in Lodge's loosely-connected trilogy, following Changing Places and Small World. I loved this. It's a study of opposing characters—opposing fo...moreThird in Lodge's loosely-connected trilogy, following Changing Places and Small World. I loved this. It's a study of opposing characters—opposing forces, almost—wherein factory manager Vic Wilcox and academic Robyn Penrose are brought together and forced to intermingle by bizarre political maneuverings (a governmentally-mandated "Industry Year" to breed understanding among different sectors of Lodge's fictionalized Birmingham; I think I just took more time to explain that than Lodge does). The culture clash is incredibly amusing, poking fun at both sides, and I love the way Lodge slowly draws out the growing understanding between the two parties. (AKUKORAX STOP READING THIS NOW.) Unfortunately, Lodge is rather more cynical than I; I of course wanted those crazy kids to make it work. But despite the absence of my longed-for, if unrealistic, happy ending, this book was a total pleasure; it even made me newly glad that I had read North and South. Quite a feat.
Another delightful David Lodge book. The paradise of the title is two-fold: the tropical, Hawaiian variety, and the kind where you get to meet the man...moreAnother delightful David Lodge book. The paradise of the title is two-fold: the tropical, Hawaiian variety, and the kind where you get to meet the man upstairs. I think I’ve run out of ways to express how Lodge is such a funny, interesting, dynamic writer. If you like books containing academic humor or featuring somewhat sorry smart people, you should just read him. This book is a nice stand-alone; I can’t decide if it’s a better entry point to his work than Changing Places or not. Oh, whatever. Just read both.(less)
Another fantastic, funny Lodge book, this one about two old friends' attempt to take revenge on a journalist who wrote a nasty piece about the more fa...moreAnother fantastic, funny Lodge book, this one about two old friends' attempt to take revenge on a journalist who wrote a nasty piece about the more famous of the two. This is based on Lodge's own play, and possibly the only criticism I could level at it is that it on occasion seems too play-y, with scene breaks and patches of prose that read like stage directions. Still, it's incredibly enjoyable; I'm loving Lodge a lot of late.(less)
I’m running out of new ways to talk about how much I enjoy David Lodge. This is another funny, bitter, hopeful book, told with some interesting stylis...moreI’m running out of new ways to talk about how much I enjoy David Lodge. This is another funny, bitter, hopeful book, told with some interesting stylistic/narrative choices, which is typical of Lodge. The stuff about the British television industry was especially a treat. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Paradise News or the Changing Places trilogy, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t enjoy it a lot.(less)
Most fandom people I've talked to either love or at least rather like this book, but it seems it's my turn to feel all "bwah?" and left out, as Punk d...moreMost fandom people I've talked to either love or at least rather like this book, but it seems it's my turn to feel all "bwah?" and left out, as Punk does with The Dreyfus Affair and Siria does with Swordspoint. I hated it. I despised pretty much all the characters, other than Hugh and Rupert—Leonie was irritating, and Avon was just creepy. I know he was supposed to be "Satanas"—the devil of a man who isn't really that bad, but I found him neither enjoyably naughty nor charming; he was just kind of slimy. The idea of him and Leonie being together really skeeved me out, not because of the age difference—I actually like an age difference, when it's done well—but because of the power dynamic, I guess. All the power was Avon's, both practically and emotionally, and throughout the whole book Leonie was worshipful of him and he condescending towards her. Ew. I also didn't see the slash at all; Hugh was one of the few nice characters, as I said, so I guess it could be construed that he put up with Avon because he was in love with him, but Avon didn't seem particularly gay to me—he was just an 18th Century dude who lived in France and was a bit of a vain ass. The overall package was not appealing, and neither was this book, which is too bad, because I really enjoyed the only other Heyer I've read, The Masqueraders.
Before I read These Old Shades, I was planning to read The Grand Sophy soon, but now I'm not so sure; Shades turned me off, and I also heard that Sophy has a really ugly Jewish stereotype in it. Those of you who've read it: what do you think?(less)
For a while, this was my favorite of the Narnia books, but it has not aged well for me. Putting aside (or trying rather desperately to put aside) Lewi...moreFor a while, this was my favorite of the Narnia books, but it has not aged well for me. Putting aside (or trying rather desperately to put aside) Lewis' religious views, the plot of The Silver Chair ends up being rather disappointing. I love the underground city and Rilian's enchantment, and I adore Puddleglum, but Eustace and Jill don't really do anything. One wonders why they're even there.
Still: Puddleglum rocks.
(Side note: This is NOT book six. It is book four. Stop re-ordering these books, my childhood has been messed with enough!)(less)