Extraordinary. As always. Not a single comma to be changed.
The first person narrative (Bertie) is as always the best point of it all, when getting haExtraordinary. As always. Not a single comma to be changed.
The first person narrative (Bertie) is as always the best point of it all, when getting hands on a Jeeves-Wooster novel.
As usual, I do not try to analyse the book. Wodehouse is well beyond our human nature to be analysed. You just have to sit down, relax and enjoy the extremely fun and pleasure that just happens to jump from his books....more
I know little about all the fuss over this book. However, I think that most people try to see things that are not really there, for the good and for tI know little about all the fuss over this book. However, I think that most people try to see things that are not really there, for the good and for the bad.
For this, I have to thank Jaime de Ojeda, translator and author of the prologue to this Spanish edition. I think I would have missed many interesting things if not for his enlightenment prologue and notes.
Alice in Wonderland is just a plain and joyous imaginative tale, intended for kids and to prod the kids' imagination with the absurdity and the logic of situations you may have in a dream. And that's all, which is not a banal outcome.
Writing books for kids is not an easy task an it is much more taxing than to write for adults. Anyone who has tried to tell a story or a tale to his/her kids, will see immediately how difficult is to succeed on getting their attention or even their approval. And Carroll was and is extremely successful. You wonder why.
A book everyone should read. Preferable as a kid, although as an adult is also interesting, refreshing and highly recommendable.
Usually, those books including Death are among my favourites.
Might be I was not in the right mood (again), but this was not bad, but just OK for me.
IUsually, those books including Death are among my favourites.
Might be I was not in the right mood (again), but this was not bad, but just OK for me.
It could be that most of the references to music (and even film/comic) got a hard time surviving the translation or being directed by a not Anglo-Saxon based reader. Not that the translation itself was bad. It was (as always in the series that I have) a superb one, but there are always situations when a translator knows that the best thing that he/she is going to do is not to ruin the author's intention. [Just a remark: the translation of any Pratchett's books is always a hard thing to accomplish, so my salute to those heroes Cristina Macía, Albert Solé, Javier Calvo and Pilar Ramírez for such a marvellous work].
So, it was OK, although I feel that an original English edition would have fared better.
As sometimes happen either Pratchett fails to connect or I was not interested in the plot. However, it made an entertaining reading.
The opera plot misAs sometimes happen either Pratchett fails to connect or I was not interested in the plot. However, it made an entertaining reading.
The opera plot misses to catch your attention and is hardly interesting. The characters... well they cannot be wrong, but to make the story interesting there is something else than put them into a story.
They should truly be considered as SF, but Jack Vance somehow transcends those boundaries. I would call themQuite a remarkable collection of stories!
They should truly be considered as SF, but Jack Vance somehow transcends those boundaries. I would call them his stories as fantastic SF, as they are heavily populated with such colourful characters, backgrounds and 'fantastic' settings that the distinction is always blurred.
I guess that the setting is not what counts, but it is just the mainframe to paint the story. It could be that even his 'Fantasy' works are far less than his 'SF' ones, Jack Vance will always be a Fantasy writer for me. I can smell it and it is something as clear as saying that Arthur C. Clarke was a hard core SF writer.
As I read somewhere, Vance has "an astonishing range of inventiveness, versatility and sheer storytelling power, as well as a gift for language and world-building second to none." I think that is all to be said about a Grand Master.
In this collection we do have Vance playing with many topics, but as usual their characters plays with wits and resourcefulness to get out of their troubles rather than brute force. And always, always there are the wonderful words and societies he draw, endlessly to our amusement. I have a special place for 'The Moon Moth', for its extraordinary setting and the 'The Brains Of Earth' as an unsettling alien 'invasion'.
But do not read me wrong: all of them are terrific....more
As usual, you will get a relaxing and joyous time reading this book.
The novel evolves around the witches of Lancre (already introduced in "Equal RitesAs usual, you will get a relaxing and joyous time reading this book.
The novel evolves around the witches of Lancre (already introduced in "Equal Rites") and the troublesome succession to the kingdom's throne.
The witches are a remarkable lot and the plot is well weaved, although the end seems not to be equally high in my opinion. Nevertheless it does not make the whole novel to loose value. It is a paradigmatic Pratchett end: not truly a happy ending, but... it is just OK and saves the situation.
It was a nice reading. Sometimes it seems that Pratchett just "produces" another Discworld novel and sometimes he "writes" it. This one is from the latter....more
Humour is very hard to write and to achieve. There are many authors that try it and fail in more or less dAfter many years, I come again to Wodehouse.
Humour is very hard to write and to achieve. There are many authors that try it and fail in more or less degree. Few, very few succeed. From them all, Wodehouse is the great master-writer, second to none, that the rest can only dream to match. Without success.
These nine stories around golf are simply delightful, full of brilliant moments, witty comments and those special nuggets so specific from Wodehouse. The background revolves around golf, obviously, and even if you are not a player yourself or even like it at all, you might want to jump off your seat to the nearest golf course and put your hands on a mashie. And around golf comes a full set of typical Wodehouse characters.
And there is no need to say anything else.
This is Wodehouse at its best. As always.
I think it is time to get my hands again on "Joy in the morning" again......more
As it happens sometimes, this is a book I wanted to read, but I did not manage to have the decision to open it. I was in fear to find it not as good aAs it happens sometimes, this is a book I wanted to read, but I did not manage to have the decision to open it. I was in fear to find it not as good as I was expecting, because I like both Pratchett and Gaiman.
And finally I have found that it is a good one. Might be not exceptional, but good enough to make me pass my U-bahn stop while reading in the subway.
The story (obviously) borrows the plot from "The Omen" but changes it in wonderful ways. Another nice point is that it introduces a terrific pair of characters (angel and demon) who do not really want the coming of the End of Days, as they enjoy the world and humanity as they are.
My guess is that Pratchett weights more in the authorship, buy it would be not so good book if Gaiman were not there.
Even if Pratchett will never disappoint you, it is certain that some books will be more likeable than others.
Discworld is a wonderful mirror of our oEven if Pratchett will never disappoint you, it is certain that some books will be more likeable than others.
Discworld is a wonderful mirror of our own and here we have a mirror of a country very close to Australia, as close as the Pratchett's magic can get. And this is the main "handicap". If you are not familiar with Australia, its people and way of thinking, you will find this book amusing (as I did), but will not enjoy it at its full extent. And this is doubly true for a spanish-translated version, when the translation kills the subtle speaking meanings and ways, rendering the interesting twists of language in something... just funny, but completely strange. Then, it is clear to me that this is better for a British reader.
Pratchett is like a pair of good old house slippers.
I always come to him just for relaxing and enjoying a nice and comfortable time.
He always finds aPratchett is like a pair of good old house slippers.
I always come to him just for relaxing and enjoying a nice and comfortable time.
He always finds a way to satirize whatever he feels needs it. OK, it is true that there is little not worthy. However, although as incredible as it may seemed to me at the beginning, Hollywood and everything around movies has found a place in Discworld. He makes it happen and the reasoning is not bad. But it is true that hardly anything cannot find a place in Ankh-Morpork or Discworld...
The book is not bad. It is nice, but that's all. Might be I lack the attachment to Hollywood so to feel it better.
Anyway, the unavoidable trillions of references appear and you just better try to enjoy to discover them (not big deal here) and smile.
That's what happens on books including tales from different authors. Some you like, some you do not... and at the end the final rating goes to all ofThat's what happens on books including tales from different authors. Some you like, some you do not... and at the end the final rating goes to all of them.
In this case I have enjoyed quite a lot some of them (the ones from Pratchett, Silverberg, the Andersons, Brunner, de Lint and Tarr), but as a whole they did not touch anything within me. A warning for the Spanish readers: there is not a single tale set in The Middle Earth. These are tales inspired by Tolkien. This inspiration is usually subtle, but it s there, although I must confess that some tales just puzzle me on what they have to do with Tolkien...
Anyway, not a bad collection of fantasy stories, but nothing outstanding to remember....more
This is a children's book, but this fact does not minimize its value. I rather say that it makes it even better, as iAnother unexpected nice surprise.
This is a children's book, but this fact does not minimize its value. I rather say that it makes it even better, as it is really difficult to tell important things to children without being overly dramatic or shallow. This book makes it quite well.
This is the (autobiographical) story of a Jew family forced to flee from Germany when Nazi party sized the Government, saw from a 10 year old girl. How she realizes that being a refugee is more than a great adventure as many things are left behind and many more (not all nice) comes instead. The importance of the family, the reality of being different in an alien country where you do not know the language...
Perhaps I have read it with a soft heart, as more than once I have felt very close to that family, perfectly mirroring some of the feelings.
Whatever a very nice book for the children and recommended to any adult, too. ...more
This is a thorough and in depth study of the events that put into an end the last Hundred Days of Napoleon. It recounts the last battles fought by theThis is a thorough and in depth study of the events that put into an end the last Hundred Days of Napoleon. It recounts the last battles fought by the Allies (at that time, mainly Great Britain, Prussia, Austria and Russia, plus the more or less independent and German states that populated the today Germany and the Netherlands which also played a very important role).
There are many works devoted to Waterloo and the role of the Duke of Wellington (and therefore, the British) as becoming the hero of the day.
This book, this thesis, approaches those events by researching the "German" sources available, so bringing some new light upon those days and battles. And by doing so, a new reading of the History is made.
Many years ago, when I had the time to play war games extensively with my friends, we came across a simple but very addictive one: Napoleon's Last Battles (from NAC, if I remember correctly). It covered the battles of Ligny-Quatre Bras, Wavre and Waterloo, but it could also be played as a campaign starting on June 15th 1815, with the Ligny-Quatre Bras engagement. That was my first approach in detail to Waterloo. And the most revealing part (if you only have a very shallow knowledge on History as I had at that time) was that -actually- the British were very few and that the main part of the forces involved were Prussian and a long list of small units from strange origins as Nassau, Hannover...
Playing once and again that war-game I become fond of the Prussians and of Blucher, the old general that despite being beaten at Ligny made the ultimate effort to join Wellington at Waterloo and, by doing so, to incline the balance on the allied side.
Some years later I have the opportunity to visit the Waterloo battlefield. I spent a happy and sunny day on Eastern holidays just going around there. And I could not help to present my respects to the memorial to the Prussians at Plancenoit, which is as far from the main points of interests as could be, mostly forgotten to the standard guides to the main site and almost unkempt. But it was just right to visit.
The book (the thesis, actually, two volumes merged in one big book for this edition) reviews and confronts the established view of the events by adopting a the Prussian (mainly) and German point of view. The sources were the original reports and documents of those days and all the events were meticulously and scrupulously reconstructed. Besides, the political background is given and also the aftermath, with the race to Paris and the sizing of the remaining Napoleonic fortresses.
The main conclusion, for me, was not surprising at all, although it might be so for someone not familiar with the events or heavily relying on the British account of the campaign: the Prussians and Germans endured the worst of the battles and marches, accounting for the 75% of the total losses and they were the real ones who stop the French.
But there are also another (mostly known and accepted) conclusions...: * That the Duke of Wellington did not react promptly and effectively against the thrust of Napoleon against the Prussians around Charleroi; that he dismissed their first reports thinking them to be a distraction, waiting for a main move on the Duke's right; this was a wrong judgement from his part;
...and revelations that did surprise me: * That the Duke of Wellington cheated his allies the Prussians by assuring and re-assuring them a help that he knew was impossible to reach the battlefield on time; therefore, the Prussians presented battle at Ligny on the hope of Wellington appearing on the left side of Napoleon's forces, which obviously did never happened; * that the Duke actively lied, cheated and deceived his fellows and historians by omitting facts (position of forces and their timing) and even producing false reports and -presumably- make some original and enlightening reports to disappear, in order to cover his faults and lies during the campaign.
The author went to any length proving them to be right conclusion under the light of the available information, profusely presenting and comparing multitude of sources.
However, this is not a book against Wellington (as the author mentioned a behaviour like his on trying t,o protect his reputation, is not unknown for the historians and was not worse than many others). It did just dismantle the myth of Wellington and the British winning the battle and being the saviours of the day. But, again, this is not a book written against them; it is a positive book, which carefully reconstructs the events in order to reveal the true heroes hidden in the mud of the myth and placing them to the light for all to see and praise.
Because, at the end all is about placing everyone in the place in History they deserve. And the role of the Prussians is usually belittled and minimized.
I am quite happy to come across this book. It was not writing for the mass public, because the lengthy and exhaustive details given are able to promptly discourage anyone not having a real interest, but are presented for the scholar in History so it can be checked and reviewed. However, the reading is easy enough.
There were, however, some petty details that annoyed me, although that did not spoiled the book as a whole: * Maps are many and mostly enlightening true; however, the big maps that comprises two side-by-side pages have the real interesting topics right in the centre, where the binding is, making it difficult to see what you want. * Sometimes, the operational maps lack the desired annotations of troop movements. * The narrative assumes that the reader is well acquainted with the position and names of the towns, villages and terrain all around the area, so sometimes (if you are not so well familiar with them) you can get lost when the maps do not cover them. * The occasional dramatization of some fights concerning actual people is not well obtained. Happily there are few of them.
Summarizing: a very interesting reading, worthy to be reread carefully in detail.