After reading Dhalgren and Camp Concentration, I am giving up on books from the 70s or 80s that have made anyone's Top-X SciFi Books lists. This bookAfter reading Dhalgren and Camp Concentration, I am giving up on books from the 70s or 80s that have made anyone's Top-X SciFi Books lists. This book was kind of interesting, but not worth my time. Again, it helped me fall asleep quickly, so that's why it gets two stars instead of only one. The best thing about this book was its length.
OK, I didn't hate it. But I didn't like it at all, either. It would be cool if syphilis made you more intelligent, though; I think we can all agree on that....more
This book can be a bit of a slog at times (The same could be said, I think, of all of Powers' books that I've read.), but overall, it's a good read. IThis book can be a bit of a slog at times (The same could be said, I think, of all of Powers' books that I've read.), but overall, it's a good read. I find that I come away from each of Power's stories with a new way of looking at something. In the case of Three Farmers, it was photography and "the first Mr. Ford." Powers has a way of putting words together that--though I might need to read the sentence three times--really speaks to me. He masterfully intertwines multiple stories in a way that makes you feel the characters' yearning for a connection and their sense of an unknown future lost to them forever....more
Great intrigue. When Rebus' hands are bandaged up at the beginning of the book and is hiding from the Superintendent, I thought I'd missed one of theGreat intrigue. When Rebus' hands are bandaged up at the beginning of the book and is hiding from the Superintendent, I thought I'd missed one of the books in the series or something, but, as good reveals go, it's all explained as you work your way through the book. Like many Rebus mysteries, there are at least three stories going on here, exploring a current case, Rebus' military past, and his relationship with Siobhan. ...more
Good clean fun! Angels, demons, witches, witch hunters, possessed babies, a botched son-of-Satan switch up...what more could you ask for in a story? AGood clean fun! Angels, demons, witches, witch hunters, possessed babies, a botched son-of-Satan switch up...what more could you ask for in a story? A possessed Bentley you say? It's in there!
This book covers the history of humankind from Eden to the end of the world, and it's never been expressed quite so succinctly or humorously....more
I picked up this book because it was rated one of the top 100 science fiction books of all time and I was trying to find some more good scifi to read.I picked up this book because it was rated one of the top 100 science fiction books of all time and I was trying to find some more good scifi to read. Jeeeeezus, was this a mistake. Now, I have filed this voluminous tome by Delany under "Six weeks of my reading life I'll never get back." I've not read a book that I enjoyed as little as I enjoyed Dhalgren since Kristen Bakis' Lives of the Monster Dogs. And that is saying something.
That said, maybe I am missing some profundity here. I do admit that I am not always the most astute finder of subtext. I know it has some relation to Greek Mythology, but it's loose at best.
I just read a quote recently that said something like, Science Fiction is not about events that happen in the future; it is about what is happening on Earth today. This novel was written in the late 1960's and early 1970's by Samuel Delany, an African-American writer, so I expected it to be about civil rights and the sexual revolution. Well, "the N word" was used probably 1000 times (which truly doesn't bother me in the least. It is of an era. Like it was in Tom Sawyer before censors decided to replace it with "slave." Like that's an improvement.) and there were lots of sex scenes, many between a grown man, a 15-yr-old boy, and a grown woman, so that's certainly part of some revolution. Oh, and there are hippies and a gangbang. But as Gertrude Stein once said about her hometown of Oakland, CA, There is no there there. This book lacked pretty much everything: A plot with a beginning, a middle, and an end; interesting characters that you could care about (I think there was one, maaaaybe.); and a reason to keep reading--outside of my own pigheaded stubbornness.
After a ridiculous opening (SPOILER ALERT) where a woman he just shagged turns into a tree, the main character, who has forgotten his name but goes by Kid, The Kid, or Kidd, wanders into a town in the post-apocalyptic wasteland city of Bellona. Bellona (Chicago? Detroit? Milwaukee?) has gone to shit, but the rest of the country seems to be fine. (Never, through the entire book, do we find out why Bellona has been deserted by all but crazy people. Never.) Kid meets lots of strange characters, including a nice girl who remains two-dimensional throughout the book, and joins up with a bunch of Scorpions--sort of a biker gang with no motorcycles. Soon, for no apparent reason except that he found someone else's journal with blank pages in it--as good of a reason as any, I guess--he starts writing poetry. Yes, poetry. But we never get to read his poetry. Then he starts losing time, a day or two at a time. But we never learn why. And the ad hoc mayor of Bellona publishes his poetry. Y'know...I'm not wasting any more of my time trying to describe this silly turd.
The book goes nowhere. It has no social statement or value that I could suss. It is poorly written (including misspellings and ridiculous grammar, both of which I think are intentional) and resorts to annoying gimmickry at the end. I skipped whole pages of trite or nonsensical diatribes about words, language, and poetry. You never get the answers to the questions the book poses, and the questions may not have been worth asking in the first place. It's a meandering, meaningless mess. And, it is almost 900 pgs long.
Read Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse instead. Or the two issues of Wonder Woman that Delany wrote in 1972.
Update: This book ruined my reading average for the year. I blame this book for my reading only 19 books so far this year. Time lost, never to be regained....more
This is one of those books that I am glad I read, but I wish I wouldn't have read it. Maddow deftly explains America's drift from being a somewhat peaThis is one of those books that I am glad I read, but I wish I wouldn't have read it. Maddow deftly explains America's drift from being a somewhat peaceful country to today, where we have a huge standing army supported by billions of dollars worth of military contractors and our country can be sent to war, without a formal declaration, by a single person: our president....more
This book tore my heart out and fed it to swastikaed jackels. But at least the narrator told me in the very beginning of the book that that was goingThis book tore my heart out and fed it to swastikaed jackels. But at least the narrator told me in the very beginning of the book that that was going to happen....more