Anyone who thinks Sangamon Taylor is an asshole must be a corporate shill or working for some sort of chemical company.
Beneath the gruff demeanour of...moreAnyone who thinks Sangamon Taylor is an asshole must be a corporate shill or working for some sort of chemical company.
Beneath the gruff demeanour of the granola James Bond (or as he would have it, Toxic Spiderman) S.T., Stephenson has crafted an personality immensely interested in the well being of the common man. He patrols Boston waters in a Zodiac for corporate criminals against humanity and uses intelligent non-violent means to gain the world's attention to what is occurring. This story centers around a particularly interesting episode in his life regarding a massive PCB crisis in the Boston Bay.
A fun fast paced read, you'll enjoy it even if you're not an invironnmalist! There is a reason this story has attained cult status within environmentalist circles...(less)
Strains credibility a little bit with a highschooler being a tech wizard, but now that I think about it, it's not my generation anymore. Kids these da...moreStrains credibility a little bit with a highschooler being a tech wizard, but now that I think about it, it's not my generation anymore. Kids these days are capable of anything with the resources at their fingertips. So once I got past that point,
Liked how Doctorow cast Marcus: the kid likes Turkish coffee, makes it a hobby to subvert his school security systems, and wants to lose his virginity just as any other teenager. But he's got a bit more steel than anyone else because when he is arrested by Homeland Security and subjected to practices that go against the Constitution he wants to make them pay.
Doctorow has a way of coming up with innovative ways to use technology, and this book is no disappointment. Xboxes running an especially paranoid flavor of the open source operating system Linux. Gait recognition security systems. Arphid spammers.
The really frightening premises of this story is, as evidenced by the post 9/11 atmosphere, our rights may be taken away at any moment. Terrible things are done in the name of security, but are they really necessary? Is it really worth it, stripping the rights of a citizen to protect our country at all costs? Doctorow says a resounding FUCK NO! with this book. (less)
I wanted to like it more than I did. Coming off Weaveworld and Imajica, it was a bit of a downer. The premise is very interesting, but I don't think B...moreI wanted to like it more than I did. Coming off Weaveworld and Imajica, it was a bit of a downer. The premise is very interesting, but I don't think Barker brought it to its potential. It could do with a ton of trimming, and would been better as a slimmer volume.
Dialogue is laughable, especially when it comes to Tommy Ray. I'm not sure if Barker intended it that way, but sure as heck doesn't help.
Barker's strength lies in the descriptions, his extrapolation of local and personal histories. These portions of the novel hooked me enough to continue reading to the end.
Despite the average rating I've given The Great and Secret Show, I'm still curious enough to go on and read its sequel, Everville.(less)
We all know at least one person who is reasonably intelligent, but also is so insufferable in their unwavering possession of opinion and prejudice. An...moreWe all know at least one person who is reasonably intelligent, but also is so insufferable in their unwavering possession of opinion and prejudice. Any discourse with him concludes in a long winded and caustic battering of your own perspective with that of his unflappable, eternally proper and correct opinion used in line with a healthy dose of ad hominem. It is not unlike strapping yourself to a palm tree in a tropical storm.
That is Ignatius Reilly. He is someone we know. I truly wish to know the story behind Toole's template for Ignatius. It must have been based upon someone he knew. I can see no other means behind this literary conception.
I can see why some people don't like this book. They choose to reflect it upon American society as a whole, and it says a lot about the readers themselves.
I can see why some people like this book. Of course. If you can look past certain things, it's funny as hell. Laugh out loud funny. I'm not a chuckler. It takes a lot to make me lose awareness long enough for a shameless guffaw in public. The situations are funny because they juxtapose cultural prejudices/stereotypes. The humor leaps out in between the contrasts. I thought some of the funniest sections of the book involved Jones. Ignatius' density and blatant hypocrisy in the face of imagined and true adversity is just as mirth inducing.
The choices he makes (or the demented proddings of a downturning Fortuna, as Ignatius would say) propelled him through this cavalcade of events that took him out of that old tea smell shell of a room towards destiny. These choices drags in his wake the lives of several people, unwitting participants and beneficiaries (and not) of Ignatius' bad fortune. As horrible as his lies and hypocrisy may seem, you see that he's becoming more honest with himself. Fortuna is raking him across the coals and he defends himself the best way he knows, but by employing these tactics he is seeing what a flimsy facade he puts up.
In the end of it all, I truly wish Ignatius well. His life has lost its veneer of security and the future offers redemption. Perhaps he truly won't ever change, remaining a perverted chameleon of circumstance til the grave, but it doesn't matter. Crazy, fat Ignatius. What a character!
Hats off to Toole for writing such an irreverent and hilarious novel. (less)
I don't think I can write a review that does this book justice. Easily one of the best reads this year, and it was a really great year in books for me...moreI don't think I can write a review that does this book justice. Easily one of the best reads this year, and it was a really great year in books for me...
So God dies, falls into the ocean. An angel, shedding feathers and tears, approaches you with a mission: take God to a tomb in the Arctic Circle. What do you do?
Well, disgraced Captain Anthony Van Horne reacquires his ship and breaks south in a mad dash to bring the divine body to the North Pole before His neurons die. Thomas Ockham is a physicist priest and he is the man sent by the Vatican to oversee the operation. Ockham is also appointed by a heavenly host to discover the cause of God's death.
These two are the main characters, but a veritable sea of supporting characters carry the story towards treacherous waters. Neil Weisinger, Cassandra Fowler, and Miriam. I for one could see Sam Follingsbee's story occupying a parallel novel detailing the secrets of his unthinkable culinary magic.
Questions rise like flotsam. Why did God die? When God dies, who keeps the sinners in check? Why was God smiling when he died? What do we do now that He's dead?
Morrow deftly balances humor and religion. Some readers will be offended. That is unavoidable, but you can see Morrow is trying to contradict and contradict the belief systems of atheists and Christians alike. Approach this book with an open mind: Killing God is a delicate matter, and Morrow pulled it off.