This is a lot better than I was expecting. King says in the intro that he edited this story since it was written in his twenties ('70s something). I mThis is a lot better than I was expecting. King says in the intro that he edited this story since it was written in his twenties ('70s something). I much prefer King's earlier writings (though his psycho porn has improved with age) so the fact that he tore out a lot of the imagery made me think this was going to be crap. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed the story. Excepting the ending, the whole thing was put together well and flowed. King may have tore out a lot of the emotion but his writing as a younger person still stands out and gives the book more flavor than many of Kings writings. King was going for a minimalist approach and feel to the words and I think it worked, conveying all the imagery with fewer words but no lack of imagination.
The ending is a bit too vague (and by the ending I mean the very last page). Perhaps King was super editing by then? Who knows. I do know that this doesn't really feel like the dark Bachman who is supposed to be writing and who penned the great and awful The Long Walk but it is a good story that doesn't feel like King's usual work. Perhaps King has gotten out of his wooden writing that has prevailed as recently as 2 years ago and has improved since Lisey's Story. The story at the end of Blaze, a short story that Duma Key is based on, has actually made me want to go find Duma Key. ...more
I am certain I bought this at a used book store at least three or four years ago. Turns out a friend just finished reading it and he mentioned I had iI am certain I bought this at a used book store at least three or four years ago. Turns out a friend just finished reading it and he mentioned I had it and was confused that I hadn't read it. Turns out it was on top of my still packed boxes of books so lets give it a shot.
For the second time I can't quite get through it. The writing just seems to drag for me even though the concepts are interesting (calling on a god in a rather inovative fashion and the gods themselves being... well, you'll find out very quickly when you read the book). I'll try again some time....more
This was an excellent book. The future is a world without humans and only the robots remain. However, the robots were designed to work for and with huThis was an excellent book. The future is a world without humans and only the robots remain. However, the robots were designed to work for and with humans. Because of this necessity to be able to interact with humans, they must be at least somewhat humanlike in their actions. So what happens when all the humans are gone and the robots must continue to function?
The book doesn't go quite as deep into the philosophy of a post human world as I would have liked but there were some poignant moments, descriptions of what happened to the humans in their travels to the stars.
However, the story is quite a lot of fun. It is a fairly basic conspriacy, who in involved, what is going to happen story but since the main character isn't human, there are a lot of twists that could not have happened otherwise. The end slowed for me so that I was a bit disappointed in the writer for not following up with the excellent writing from the beginning. But this is very much worth reading and I will be seeking out other books by this author....more
Vintage Season is a classic story about one man trying to figure out what is up with his tenants and why another is trying so hard to put herself intoVintage Season is a classic story about one man trying to figure out what is up with his tenants and why another is trying so hard to put herself into the same house. The tenants are odd to say the least with perfect clothes, mannerisms, and even speech that shows an elegance that no one else can match.
The writing is wonderfully smooth marred only my my own irritation with male-female relationships as portrayed in science fiction (though it does further the story in this case. I have just been reading too much old style science fiction where the relationship are always stylized). The story is short though it doesn't seem that way. It is complete and just great.
Robert Silverberg was charged with writing a "sequel" to Vintage Season (published in 1946). The idea of approaching a classic so many years later (he published In Another Country in 1989) is a bit blasphemous but Silvererg gave it a shot.
But it is an amazing story. Silverberg didn't try to make a sequel (which would be quite impossible) but instead wrote a story that is a companion to the first. It is the same story but from another's perspective. This follows a Traveler and how he views the world he is visiting. Many of the odd bits that the character from the first story sees are explained.
The writing is excellent. The main character of this story is the brooding type but that really helps explain and show the viewpoint. Just great, same as the first....more
My librarian friend was looking for books for me to read and this book jumped out at me. Really, I can't pass up anything by Zelazny and the additionMy librarian friend was looking for books for me to read and this book jumped out at me. Really, I can't pass up anything by Zelazny and the addition of Bester... well, I had to read it.
Bester began this book and then died. Zelazny picked up the manuscript and finished it. The beginning doesn't read like the other Bester things I have read. The flow is very choppy. When Zelazny starts up, although there is no specific point where you can tell that the authors have been switched though it is quite obvious that by the end it is all Zelazny, there is a lightness and easy flow in the prose. I was not a huge fan of the relationship involved nor the fact that many things were told rather than shown but it is a fun read.
I was expecting something more along the line of Pet Shop of Horrors or even Needful Things (Pet Shop is better I think if only because Needful Things was one of my least favorite by King). However, the story ends up being much more fanciful than that. The customers that come in are interesting and fun to work with but their stories are not the focus, nor are the consequences of the trades that they make. Instead the main character, Alf, is trying to learn more about the proprietors of the Psychoshop, Adam and Glory. The book unfolds to reveal that much more is involved than just a story or even how well the customers are taken care of. There are some very sci fi twists, and even some minor philosophy, mixed into the fun.
As usual with Zelazny, and even Bester, I wish some of the ideas had been more fully fleshed out but the style of the story and the writing does not lend itself to extensive detail work unless the story is to suffer. However, I am a total sucker for fanciful stories with science fiction twists. Wonderful light reading that will spark some fun thinking though nothing too deep....more
This is one of Dick Francis' best. Kit Fielding is a great character, a steeplechase jockey (where the horses jump rather than run on a flat course) wThis is one of Dick Francis' best. Kit Fielding is a great character, a steeplechase jockey (where the horses jump rather than run on a flat course) who has a strong will and a touch of telepathy. The plot has something new and interesting on every page, from a romance to falls to near murder experiences to a long run blood feud (most certainly not in that order).
This being popcorn, you shouldn't expect a Great Work of Fiction. However, it is a great read. Easy on the eyes (the edition I have has nice spacing which makes the reading go faster) and mostly easy on the brain. Francis does have a slight problem with keeping some of his characters in character, but he does it to move the plot along rather than showing what I think the character would have done. Also, the bad guys are bad but the good guys aren't always good (but you always like them). Francis also uses the technique of having the main character find a big piece of the puzzle but the only telling you the character's reaction rather than exactly what they found. Of course the information is revealed later, when it is more dramatic, but that can get a bit irritating.
There are a lot of plot points that are touched on so it feels as if the main character is well rounded even though everything is touched on lightly (making it a easy, quick read and therefore popcorn). But I always enjoy Francis' writing and I intend to read more of his stuff. Francis' books may all be popcorn and always involve horse racing, but the stories are all different and enjoyable....more
Some pleasant popcorn reading. As with all Dick Francis books, this was a quick read. Now, Dick Francis doesn't actually write anything that is bad buSome pleasant popcorn reading. As with all Dick Francis books, this was a quick read. Now, Dick Francis doesn't actually write anything that is bad but this one was just okay for me. I enjoyed all of the family politics that was the focus of the story, but I guess it just wasn't as intense as some of his other books. The big secret was pretty nuts but the build up wasn't as pertinent as other big "twists". I did want to read more about the family life as the boys were great fun. I also would have enjoyed to hear more about the architecture but Dick Francis isn't a former architect (he is a former jockey)....more
The translator of this book deserves a medal. Not only is it an amazing book, it doesn't read like a translated work.
This is not my usual fare but I aThe translator of this book deserves a medal. Not only is it an amazing book, it doesn't read like a translated work.
This is not my usual fare but I am thrilled that Scott forced it on me (though boy, did I have a hard time remembering the title which is why this review is so late). It is a beautiful work that hooked my die hard fantasy/sci-fi only self. I am disappointed that more of his works aren't available in english. It really makes me want to better my very sorry spanish understanding so I can read this and other books in the original language....more
There isn't anything particularly special about these books. The writing is okay, the characters are fairly one dimensional, and the plots are quite sThere isn't anything particularly special about these books. The writing is okay, the characters are fairly one dimensional, and the plots are quite straightforward. However, Huff puts together a pleasant read. Two of the three main characters love to scream at each other and typically lose their temper every other page. How these two could possibly function as cops without a serious list of citations is anyone's guess, but it is quite entertaining to read about how they really, really want to give into their temper and rip someone's head off (I feel like that quite often myself).
These books fall into the urban fantasy category, one that I enjoy as there are a lot of problems that paranormal creatures would have that the genre gets to address (how do you explain that you always sleep during the day without someone becoming superstitious?).
So why four stars if I am not impressed with the writing or any of my usual criteria for a high star rating? Perhaps it is my mood and my enjoyment of reading something where I don't have to think (which is infact a good thing from time to time). Perhaps it is that the stories, while not complex, are quite enjoyable. Perhaps it is that she doesn't overuse commas like many of the books I have been reading lately (I realize the comma conventions have changed but some people really just need to lighten up [/pet peeve rant]). Heck, maybe I will reread it in the future and drop a star off. Who knows. I do know that I enjoy reading Huff from time to time, as long as I mix it up with with my usual, heavier reading....more