I read 2/3rds of this book and enjoyed it, but after awhile, it becomes formulaic. I'm not really into short, superficial, feel-good stories anyway, oI read 2/3rds of this book and enjoyed it, but after awhile, it becomes formulaic. I'm not really into short, superficial, feel-good stories anyway, outside of Reader's Digest....more
Galaga is divided into 255 paragraphs that have little to no relation to each other. Maybe if every third paragraph were collected, there would be a nGalaga is divided into 255 paragraphs that have little to no relation to each other. Maybe if every third paragraph were collected, there would be a narrative here, but instead, the author tries to maintain three concurrent but separate threads, jumping between them at a whim. It's lazy writing that makes no connections and no transitions, aimed at someone whose attention can't be kept longer than a paragraph.
The worst part was the times Kimball would dedicate a paragraph to an interesting fact about Galaga, then three pages later, devote another paragraph to confessing he made it all up. I've never seen an author hate his readers so much as to compulsorily lie to them. The third time this happened in 45 pages, I quit.
I've received all four Boss Fight Books via Kickstarter to date, have read three of them, and have found two of them intolerable. I've never been so disappointed to have backed a campaign....more
Abandoned on March 8, 2013, after reading just shy of 200 pages. Absolutely boring, dreadful book with a protagonist who is as flat as a pancake. A maAbandoned on March 8, 2013, after reading just shy of 200 pages. Absolutely boring, dreadful book with a protagonist who is as flat as a pancake. A marked difference from the amusing Mogworld....more
Authors writing in new universes should introduce readers to the worlds slowly, building a foundation from which the reader can learn how this fictionAuthors writing in new universes should introduce readers to the worlds slowly, building a foundation from which the reader can learn how this fictional setting differs from a known world. Yet some authors instead choose to come up with as much phony nomenclature as they can, as quickly as they can, hammering over the reader's head, "Look! We're in the FUTURE!" David Brin falls into the latter camp with Existence.
Here is a passage from page 20, the point at which I abandoned the book:
Every morning on the quay was lively as three sailers haggled with a smoke artist whose delicate portraits couldn't be reproduced by nanofax or shipped by omail. They forked over cash and watched her puff a gel-hookah... It made Tor think of Wesley, though his air-sculpts dealt with surf and waves and rising tides. Adamant forces, implacably changing the world. And cued by her subvocal thoughts, a pict image of him played in the upper left of her precept, recorded by her specs just a few hours ago...
Many of these terms are not critical to the plot, and if I give myself pause, context clues can help me arrive at their meaning. But the point is that, with every other word, the author is making me stop and think to figure out what it is he's trying to say.
A narrative that doesn't flow isn't worth pursuing....more
I know this review will make a philistine of me, but I can't help it: after reading 200+ pages of Kraken, I gave up.
My issues with the novel were threI know this review will make a philistine of me, but I can't help it: after reading 200+ pages of Kraken, I gave up.
My issues with the novel were threefold:
1) The protagonist is a wet noodle. Before his giant squid exhibit is stolen, museum curator Billy Harrow is unaware of the world of magic, demons, and the undead. As he is introduced to the true underpinnings of London, so too is the reader. But rarely in the first half of the book does Billy show anything that resembles a spine. He's yanked around from scene to scene by his handlers, who pointedly ignore any questions or protests he has. Do I want to relate to the hero if it means I too will be treated so shabbily? This is much the same problem I had with Jam, an Australian sci-fi parody I also abandoned. Give me a main character who actually moves the story forward, not the other way around! Even Harry Potter, who didn't know he was a wizard, drove the plot with his decisions and actions.
b) I realize China Miéville is British, but the book's Britishisms don't end with the dialogue. I'm not referring merely to vocabulary, like "flat" and "lift" for "apartment" and "elevator", but actual sentence structure that sometimes left me wondering, "Was that even a sentence?" I don't mean to be an arrogant American, but my lack of previous exposure to such writing styles made this book a difficult introduction.
iii) I don't know how if the author is too smart for his own good, or thinks too little of his readers, but the humor just didn't work for me. There was one joke in particular that he gave enough hints at for an informed reader to get — then, for everyone else, he spends an entire page providing background after which the joke is spelled out. Jokes aren't funny if they need to be explained. The reason why so many MST3K jokes are funny is because not everyone in the audience gets it: you feel smart and special when you do. And if you didn't get that joke, just wait a minute for the next one. Not so with Kraken.
After I finally got my first hint of who had stolen the squid, I realized I didn't care. That's when it was time to move on....more
Never have I come across a more fractured narrative. I thought EarthBound would be about the titular video game, the Super Nintendo RPG released inNever have I come across a more fractured narrative. I thought EarthBound would be about the titular video game, the Super Nintendo RPG released in 1994. But the author can't stick to a single topic for more than a page. Within a single chapter, he ruminates on not only the game, but his relationship with his brother, the 2009 book Bluets by Maggie Nelson, kidnapped and murdered American girls, his choice of college, the encoding of digital information onto DNA, the kinds of purses popular in Abilene, Texas...
The game EarthBound is the loose connective tissue among all these aspects, but they are so thinly related, and the author changes topics so frequently, that I could never tell where he was going next. I kept hoping he was simply laying the foundation to engage in some of these matters more in-depth — but no, he just kept bouncing around to whatever shiny idea flittered across his mind in the next moment. After two chapters and 71 pages — about 38% of the book — I gave up.
I received this book through my backing of its Kickstarter. I hope the next five books I receive as my reward are more focused....more
I tried reading this book, but it is in desperate need of an editor, or at least a copyeditor. Misplaced punctuation, inconsistent capitalization, misI tried reading this book, but it is in desperate need of an editor, or at least a copyeditor. Misplaced punctuation, inconsistent capitalization, misspelled words, and a parenthetical in almost every sentence constantly disrupted the flow. Shame, as the idea for the book is sound....more