This was a highly entertaining and rather original read. I've consumed a fair quantity of sci-fi over the years, and most of what I read these days fe...moreThis was a highly entertaining and rather original read. I've consumed a fair quantity of sci-fi over the years, and most of what I read these days feels derivative, or like "more of the same," which leads me to read progressive less of it unless that's what I'm looking for. So, while I grabbed this expecting "more of the same" after reading Lord of Light, the variance in tone, plot, and style was a welcome surprise. I particularly enjoyed the somewhat sparky humor of the protagonist, and his rebellious character, and that I guessed almost none of the plot twists before their time. Everything else I can think to say beyond that, and the few quotes available here, strikes me as a spoiler, so I'll just stop there and say read it if you like original sci-fi, and don't require it to be "hard SF." (less)
This is not only a good overview of the specific case at hand, but serves also as something of an insider view on how constitutional jurisprudence fun...moreThis is not only a good overview of the specific case at hand, but serves also as something of an insider view on how constitutional jurisprudence functions in 21st Century America: the behind the scenes work that brings a viable case to the Supreme Court in such a way that a centrally important issue can be adjudicated. In this case it is especially telling in that, for Lawrence to prevail, previous precedent would need to be overturned, which is never taken lightly by The Nine, no matter where they fall on the left-right spectrum.(less)
One of the better popular-science books I've ever read, and certainly the best I've read recently. Well written, engaging, and well-referenced, it not...moreOne of the better popular-science books I've ever read, and certainly the best I've read recently. Well written, engaging, and well-referenced, it not only improved my understanding of General Relativity, but made the very concept of time—both in terms of the experience of its flow and it's scientific sense as a dimension of unified spacetime—both clearer and more diffuse: what is time after all? How can it even be defined in any meaningful way? These questions may seem ridiculous on their face, as time is measured by every clock. But what exactly is that clock measuring, and how? Once you start scratching at that surface understanding, one finds rather little substance holding it up.
Naturally, I will go on to use this as a further justification of my habit of procrastination. Eventually.(less)
Because this is evidently the most popular book of the series, and because my ejoyment of the series has been trending downward for several installmen...moreBecause this is evidently the most popular book of the series, and because my ejoyment of the series has been trending downward for several installments now, I was expecting to dislike this one. I am pleased to report that this is a rare case where popular and good intersect: this was definitely my favorite of the bunch so far, despite ramping up the explicitness of both the gore and the sex. In my opinion, the depth of characterization in this story was greatly improved over the somewhat soap-opera-meets-comic-book quality of several of the previous volumes.(less)
Should contain: Three dialogues / Samuel Beckett and Georges Duthuit -- The private pain and the whey of words : a survey of Beckett's verse / John Flet...moreShould contain: Three dialogues / Samuel Beckett and Georges Duthuit -- The private pain and the whey of words : a survey of Beckett's verse / John Fletcher -- Samuel Beckett : humor and the void / Maurice Nadeau -- The Beckett hero / A.J. Leventhal -- The Cartesian centaur / Hugh Kenner -- Watt / Jacqueline Hoefer -- Samuel Beckett and universal parody / Jean-Jacques Mayoux -- Failure of an attempt at de-mythologization : Samuel Beckett's novels / Dieter Wellershoff -- Samuel Beckett, or 'presence' in the theatre / Alain Robbe-Grillet -- Reflections on Samuel Beckett's plays / Eva Metman -- Being without time : on Beckett's play Waiting for Godot / Gunther Anders -- Beckett's brinkmanship / Ross Chambers -- Philosophical fragments in the works of Samuel Beckett / Ruby Cohn(less)
This edition is based on the translation of E. Allison Peers, itself based on the latest Spanish critical editions of the time. However, two chapters...moreThis edition is based on the translation of E. Allison Peers, itself based on the latest Spanish critical editions of the time. However, two chapters (3 and 5) pertaining directly to life in a religious order have been eliminated from this popular edition for lack of broader appeal. The present editor has further modernized the language, replacing archaic terms with modern English equivalents (e.g., Thou to You) and shifting passive to active voice.
This certainly makes for a livelier read and opens Teresa's text to a potentially broader audience, leaving it an excellent primer for those seeking an introduction to Roman Catholic mysticism in the Spanish tradition. Nevertheless, I find that the looser language is less useful for scholarship and a deeper understanding of the practices, while also losing some of Teresa's characteristic voice. I hope to have the opportunity to compare it more directly with the Peers edition in the future, and recommend that to more advanced students of religious practice in preference to this.(less)
This was my introduction to Vonnegut, and I'd say it was a good one. I've read quite a bit of 20th century short fiction, so it's hard to surprise me...moreThis was my introduction to Vonnegut, and I'd say it was a good one. I've read quite a bit of 20th century short fiction, so it's hard to surprise me since the genre is given to certain formulaic tropes, but this one managed to do so if for no other reason that the twist at the end of several stories went in a completely different direction than I expected. I suppose this is a hallmark of what people call Vonnegut's inimitable style.
It's hard to really pick favorites here, as the quality of the stories was really very consistent—nothing had that seemingly inevitable flavor of filler so common to anthologies—but some of the one's that I suspect will stick with me longer than others were the opener, "Confido;" "F U B A R," a word that should be used more often IMHO; the rather lengthy "Ed Luby's Key Club," which ends nowhere near where I expected; and the chillingly clever title story. Considerably less impressive were the now somewhat obvious Soviet tale "The Petrified Ants" and "The Good Explainer," for which I did know the ending by the third page, the only time that happened in this book.(less)