All you've heard is true: best of the seven...amazing, if not downright inspirational. By the end of this book I was yelling at it, talking to it...cr...moreAll you've heard is true: best of the seven...amazing, if not downright inspirational. By the end of this book I was yelling at it, talking to it...crying. (Yes, Abigail Mae, I said crying. I think reviewer Tina Jordan put it best: "I wasn't just riveted, I was overcome.") Funny, sad, action-packed, romantic, mysterious...it's an amazing achievement, the best of the series, I think I already said, because as much as I enjoy postmodernism and other "pomo tricks," (as visitors to my pages well know by now) there really is something to be said for good old fashioned resolution. And on THAT count, trust me, this book delivers like Domino's. (The word closure bobs in this book's wake, and will as long as people are reading these books, which I can all but guarantee will be for hundreds of years. At least.)
Other random thoughts: Like all six of its predecessors, at right around the 2/3 mark Deathly Hallows goes from being a good story to being a can't-put-it-down page-turner • Like the recently released Order of the Phoenix movie, Deathly Hallows has no Quidditch in it whatsoever, but you do need to know about Quidditch to understand some details • A gadget that we haven't seen since—if I'm not mistaken—Book One, Chapter One, reappears in a crucial role. [I was mistaken: it shows up in Order of the Phoenix too, but only momentarily.]
Whelp, it's kind of like "The Day After Tomorrow" or other mindless entertainments; Suspend disbelief and you're fine. Take issue with things like A)...moreWhelp, it's kind of like "The Day After Tomorrow" or other mindless entertainments; Suspend disbelief and you're fine. Take issue with things like A) characters being "overwhelmed" by the odor of frozen urine (frozen things can stink, of course, but certainly not overwhelmingly so), or B) a guy who has been awake for only 7 or 8 hours riding on "no sleep" (Brown evidently forgot his protagonist had flown eastward across 7 time zones at the very start of the book) and you'll fling the sucker against the wall. I chose not to let that sort of authorial carelessness get under my skin and I had a grand time fanning my face with the rapidly turning pages.(less)
The publisher of The Easy Chain--which publisher I'm starting to think is author Evan Dara himself--shot me an email for a pre-release offer for a cop...moreThe publisher of The Easy Chain--which publisher I'm starting to think is author Evan Dara himself--shot me an email for a pre-release offer for a copy (officially released Aug 8, 2008; I got mine June 16 and read it in 10 days) I guess because I have a personal page for Dara's first novel The Lost Scrapbook. [I've since created a page for The Easy Chain as well.]
I enjoyed it a LOT and am already trying to figure out when I can get a re-read in.
The novel is the story of Lincoln Selwyn, a Briton who came to Chicago by way of The Netherlands, and who in a short time becomes the toast of the town's business and social scenes. Then something happens that blows the narrative to smithereens...
Now, I dig Harry Potter as much as the next guy :-) but my tastes can also run to the unconventional. (Not Age Of Wire & String unconventional, mind you, but House Of Leaves, Infinite Jest, Gold Bug Variations are all lifetime favorites.) Unresolved plotlines do not bother me too much, so long as I feel the writing is worth reading. The Easy Chain is not especially easy at all, and it might not satisfy readers who liked The Lost Scrapbook's satisfying resolution. (Although honestly, if a reader stuck with The Lost Scrapbook long enough to actually experience that resolution, he/she just might have the patience for The Easy Chain after all.) In this, his second novel, Dara goes nuts in eight different directions, and if you're up for it, I say DIVE IN. There's all sorts of cool fun to be had here. Stream of consciousness, whack-a-mole POV (Lost Scrapbook style), verse! (VERSE I SAY!)...heck, one section is written from the POV of friggin' dirt.
BUT...I've only read it once: there could be--I'm sure there is--much underlying structure that I missed (that big section at the end with the autistic girl??) as I did my first trip through each of the aforementioned lifetime favorites. Still a fascinating read for me. Like I said, it's already on my reread list. =-=-=- *MILD SPOILER ALERT: In one memorable scene, a guy just sitting in a restaurant triggers a chain of events that culminates with a large US town being erased from the earth's surface, person by person, building by building, brick by brick, molecule by molecule! (Even weirder for me, I happened to be visiting this very town while I was reading the book, and in fact was sitting on a bench in the very plaza I was reading about! One of the most bizarre experiences I've ever had! I mean, I'm sure that happens to New Yorkers all the time since so many stories are set there. But for a North Carolinian visiting Colorado?? What are the odds?)(less)
A mid-50's scientist was on the verge of real discovery in the realms of DNA research, and nothing happened. Decades later a librarian wants to know w...moreA mid-50's scientist was on the verge of real discovery in the realms of DNA research, and nothing happened. Decades later a librarian wants to know why. Where'd he go? What happened?
If you liked Gravity's Rainbow you might want to give The Gold Bug Variations a look. It has perhaps not quite a Pynchonian level of technical discussion and detail, but a lot nonetheless; Power's voice is hard work, but after awhile I found it growing on me. Rich characterization, imagery, and arcane references abound. (Many appear to be included to aid with chronology. The book is non-linear. Not to a fault, but almost.)
7-29-05. Just finished, and the question that keeps turning over in my mind is: so, why CAN'T this be my favorite book of all time? I think it might be. It's got music (and lots of it), it's got science (just a little more than I could get my head around—not a bad thing), it's got aching romance (I've discovered I have a bit of a taste for romance here as I plow into my 40s), it's got suspense and puzzles and art and trivia, to say nothing of just being wonderfully erudite and well-written and DIFFICULT. [The really good books that I've gotten lost in have been books that rewarded study. Like the good old Queen's Gambit back in November, I might have found myself doing an instant reread, were it not for this puppy's 600+ page count.]
14OCT12. over 1/3 the way through the long-overdue reread. Interesting how I found the science too much seven years ago...before I taught high school bio for three years! Viewed with these better trained eyes the science discussions are on the level of the stuff I taught in my honors classes.
09DEC12. Have a look at my Gold Bug Variations page. You might find it handy as a scene spotter or a reading companion, but I created to break down the chronology of the novel's three narrative time frames.(less)