An interesting story, though it's hard to really sell time-travel without exposing yourself to glaring plot-holes. Just ask Doctor Who.
It felt weirdAn interesting story, though it's hard to really sell time-travel without exposing yourself to glaring plot-holes. Just ask Doctor Who.
It felt weird that characters that were exceedingly flushed out in the main series (ron, hermione) felt very flat; flatter characters (ginny, draco) felt far more flushed out. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.
Regardless, this seems like an excellent stage play, and I'm glad I read it....more
What a fun little story I'm actually a bit upset that it was as short as it was. I wanted more lore, more intrigue, but that's not how things go...isWhat a fun little story I'm actually a bit upset that it was as short as it was. I wanted more lore, more intrigue, but that's not how things go...is it?
There's an impressive amount of world and character-building going on within this little novelette. The characters feel remarkably flushed out given you barely get to know them.
My only legitimate complaint is that the pacing feels a bit rushed at the end. Another chapter or two to space out some of the twists would really help this story out. ...more
I wish I could be enough of an intelectual to really glean something from this book. It was a fine story, but the primary thrust of the book seems toI wish I could be enough of an intelectual to really glean something from this book. It was a fine story, but the primary thrust of the book seems to revolve around person philosophies, and the idea that no one really seems to have free choice. Or they do, but they use the I Ching as a method of validating their actions. It's hard to get my head around it.
I think my biggest issue was the almost stream of conciousness that the writing takes on. The clipped sentences; the _pages_ of rambling some of the characters go off on; the almost run-in style of a character's internal thoughts to the changing situation around them. I found myself having to re-read pages and paragraphs to actually get a grip on what was happening. Maybe that was intentional, maybe I need to attempt to be a less distracted reader.
Overall I found this book interesting but far too disjointed to me to really get a lot out of. More's the shame really, because it's such an interesting premise: Japan and Germany winning WWII and the changing of the world as a result. There's a lot of interesting world-building going on, but not a lot seems to end up happening... like a snapshot taken from a selection of people's lives and smooshed together into a book....more
Let me get this out of the way from the get-go: There are good ideas in this book. Really. There are some solid concepts and some actionable items thaLet me get this out of the way from the get-go: There are good ideas in this book. Really. There are some solid concepts and some actionable items that you can indeed take away from this book.
I hated reading this book. I completed it out of a combination of spite and obligation. My workplace has a book club, and I participate so as to read content outside of my usual streams. This is easily one of the hardest books I have ever read.
The concepts outlined in this book could be (and were!) summed up in a couple blog-posts: remove distractions, schedule time for focused work, respect your time, get into healthy start/stop habits. All great.
This book reads like a dry research paper where the author is grand-standing just how good and smart they are. Am I projecting that personality onto the writer? Probably, but it's not like the book makes it difficult to do. You are _constantly_ reminded of the writers position (professor), how many papers they wrote (nine in one year!), and how they did this while having a family ( twi children). Over. And over. And over. It felt condescending and petulant in equal helpings.
Then there's the issue where the author will pontificate over a single fact for paragraphs; talking much but saying very little. This book reads like a student trying to hit a word count requirement on their final paper rather than actually illuminating anything useful.
There is also the issue of the constant referral to other smart people who do/did a thing that is like what the author said, so he _must_ be right. It is perpetual! You cannot go one thought in the book without reference to at least two other accomplished so-and-so's being paraded in front of you. It's agony.
I hated reading this book. Next time I'll stick to the blog posts. ...more
Something about the writing of this one bugged me. I think maybe it was the method of internal monologue that was used. So many short sentences. I getSomething about the writing of this one bugged me. I think maybe it was the method of internal monologue that was used. So many short sentences. I get the idea: trying to represent actual thought patterns, but it just felt odd to me.
Putting aside my own personal irritation, it wasn't a bad book. A bit paint by numbers in my opinion, but an enjoyable read. I had the murderer figured out half way through, though the motivation didn't actually present itself until the last 20% of the book. I feel like I should get a pass for not figuring that out sooner. I was close with my assumption, but uh... not quite right.
In any case, it was a decent read, but nothing mind-blowing to me....more
I saw this series recommended by Mike Krahulik (cwgabriel) of Penny Arcade ages ago, and I popped it on my amazon wish list and promtly forgot about iI saw this series recommended by Mike Krahulik (cwgabriel) of Penny Arcade ages ago, and I popped it on my amazon wish list and promtly forgot about it. I've been trying to get myself back into a steady reading schedule this year (I used to read a book every 1.5 weeks or so, and last year I think I read ... 2?) and part of that required I get m'self some books!
I pulled a bunch from my wish list, and Wool was amongst them.
I was not prepared for how much I ended up enjoying this book. Whilst I have a couple small things that bugged me, overall I feel it was a really well-done story. The world building was shockingly thorough, the characters (most of them) seemed multi-dimensional, and the pacing for the most part was well done.
I think what strikes me the most interesting is that in sci-fi, there's always talk of a post-event society that would exist: survivors banding together somehow to fix the future. It's a great concept, but lacks any kind of social awareness. Humans don't just... act that way. We're nuanced, selfish creatures, and this book does a pretty good job at capturing all of the very real politicing that would exist in such a future. I found it interesting that the "outside" was not actually the primary focus or driver for this story. It was there, it was important to the narrative, and yet the idea of 'getting out there' and 'fixing the world' never really comes up. It's not about that, it's about the people left behind.
Really interesting read, and I'll be looking into more of Hugh Howey's works in the future....more
Not as many tools as I would have wanted or expected, and there was a lot of repetition that could have been cut outAn interesting though short read.
Not as many tools as I would have wanted or expected, and there was a lot of repetition that could have been cut out. The discussion examples also seemed... far-fetched. Not in their context, but in the literal wordiness of the responses given by the author slide into the kinds of one-sided conversations that one would have in the shower when having those pretend conversations. Also, the use of the word "triggered" was excessive. I'm not saying that it's not a legitimate term, far from, but I'm sure some varience in synonyms wouldn't have gone amiss.
For it's flaws, this book was an interesting, and at times revealing read. It got me thinking about some assumptions I had in how I could help PoC (and other marginalized groups); it's difficult to articulate those thoughts here. It helped reaffirm some things I had thought, but also expanded not just my viewpoints, but has provided at least a couple starting points to try and be a better ally as a white person....more
You know, I'm a big fan of Douglas Coupland's works of fiction. Most of his books end up being favourites of mine. His works of non-fiction are a diffYou know, I'm a big fan of Douglas Coupland's works of fiction. Most of his books end up being favourites of mine. His works of non-fiction are a different story. It's not that I find any of his non-fiction work to be bad, per sae, I just end up finding it all... boring. Boring? No. Just... not entertaining.
This book is a collection of essays and fiction work, and the works of fiction are as entertaining. The essays... while interesting just.. didn't engage me at all. I could only read this book 30 pages or so at a time, and I was hard-pressed to pick it up on concurrent nights.
It wasn't a bad book, but woof was it a slow read for me....more
I would have finished this sooner, but I found the book dragging at times, which didn't provide much of an incentive. I also found some of the writingI would have finished this sooner, but I found the book dragging at times, which didn't provide much of an incentive. I also found some of the writing to be a tad try-hard; too many quips per paragraph at times.
Despite all of that, this was an interesting read. I've not read much about people whom struggle with alcohol addiction. It's an odd one. Alcoholism tends to claw at people for far longer than more traditional drug abuse. Probably due to alcohol's prevalence in society as a whole.
Sarah Hepola lays her life out, for better or worse, in this book. There is an honestly in talking about her alcohol use that you don't often see in books these days. ...more
An enjoyable read, if a bit winding in spots. Can't say I read a lot of noir-inspired stuff, but this was fun. Really had that gumshoe vibe throughoutAn enjoyable read, if a bit winding in spots. Can't say I read a lot of noir-inspired stuff, but this was fun. Really had that gumshoe vibe throughout the whole thing. I enjoyed the blend of 'modern' life in the citadel (read: city) versus the old times that the reader would associate with traditional fantasy.
The characters felt well-defined and though a few were fairly 2-dimensional, they don't detract from the rest of the main cast. I noticed a couple spots where the author got a new word or phrase in his head, and would use it far too often. Pixie Farts, as an example.
Found the near ending exposition (which is always so common in noir works) felt very deus ex machina. Lot of things just dumped on the reader to process and accept in a very small window. Probably the weakest point in the whole novel.
**spoiler alert** This one hurt the ol' noggin a bit. It also, up until the last couple of pages, felt very thrown together.
You've got 3 major plots g**spoiler alert** This one hurt the ol' noggin a bit. It also, up until the last couple of pages, felt very thrown together.
You've got 3 major plots going on (or I guess a B plot that's introduced first, and then two contesting major plots that appear later), and there's a lot of hard cuts between them. If you don't keep your head on straight, it's pretty easy to get lost amongst the sea of characters and locations. It's not Game of Thrones hard, but for a Who novel, it's easily one of the harder ones to follow. There were certain sections that felt like they could have been cut (I'm looking at you, people and lionfolk of the Needle), but the pacing didn't suffer tremendously.
All that said, I really enjoyed the story. You don't often get to see into the life of Gallifrey, let alone learn about those that live outside the transduction barriers. Even less do you get to hear about their transcendence to Time Lord-ship. The science floating throughout the book is suspect at best, but it at least feels like Mr. Parkin tried to do his research before hand.
The weirdest thing to observe was The Doctor clearly being in honest-to-goodness love. That is a topic most authors and even show writers won't touch with a ten-foot pole. I applaud Parkin for the attempt, even if certain scenes felt a little ham-fisted, and not overly respectful of the equal rights that male and female Gallifreyans are supposed to share. A product of it's time, I'm sure.
Well that was about as depressing as I expected it to be. That said, it was very eye-opening and refreshing in a way. You hear about North Korea and wWell that was about as depressing as I expected it to be. That said, it was very eye-opening and refreshing in a way. You hear about North Korea and what people think is going on there, but to hear about it from the mouths of defectors is something else entirely.
It's weird to read about a people that are like everyone else, and yet utterly alien at the same time. ...more