Before reading this, I had the same relationship to m/m romance that Archie Curtis had to his prior encounters with other chaps. A few indul*spoilers*
Before reading this, I had the same relationship to m/m romance that Archie Curtis had to his prior encounters with other chaps. A few indulgences back at University and a few since then doesn’t make me a romance reader, does it? A fellow has needs, that’s all.
Then I fell so hard for this book that I was forced to confront the truth. I can’t get enough of the stuff. And KJ Charles writes a particulary literate and enjoyable version of it.
I have long loved Victorian-Edwardian pulp fiction in its own right, especially King Solomon’s Mines, so I was admittedly primed to love this book.
But seriously, Charles has cooked up a perfect fantasy. Da Silva gets the man of his dreams, and by proxy, so do I. But I also get the book of my dreams. A ripping tale with all the charm of the British Empire before World War I, but without the authorial classism, sexism, racism, and homophobia, and with two lovable leading men who happen to be gay for each other. Not to mention numerous scenes which made me blush to read on the train. This book even makes me like King Solomon’s Mines more. I'd say why but I don’t want to spoil it too much for you.
A delight from start to finish.
So, GoodReads crew, where can I get more like this while waiting for Ms. Charles to pen the sequel?...more
Even if it is well below the standard of Crichton’s solo novels, MICRO is a competent thriller that has some great moments. Like Jurassic Park, the coEven if it is well below the standard of Crichton’s solo novels, MICRO is a competent thriller that has some great moments. Like Jurassic Park, the concept is simple: a group of humans have to make it across a lush, hostile landscape filled with monsters, and time is running out. In this case the monsters are not extinct dinosaurs but the living insects and other small creatures that populate a small nature preserve in Hawaii. Through a cutting-edge industrial process gone wrong, the humans in the book are shrunk down to half an inch in size, and this fuels Crichton’s trademark combination of fear and wonder. When relatively enlarged to the size of a house, a wolf spider can be just as fearsome and fascinating as Tyrannosaurus Rex.
MICRO has many of the great Crichton trademarks. There is the slightly preachy, sensationalist forward that starts like a newspaper editorial and ends as a tacit invitation to believe the impossible. There is the evil industrialist using powerful scientific processes for his own selfish ends. There is the stand-in for beliefs Crichton disagrees with who suffers horribly, and the long passages of fascinating scientific factoids inserted into the dialogue.
My favorite Crichton trademark is the feeling that the story is like a dream vacation gone horribly, wonderfully wrong. Crichton’s work has had this element all the way back to his pseudonymous Jong Lange thrillers and 1970s film and TV work, and it’s one of the things that makes his stories so effective. It activates the wish fulfillment part of the brain, which ushers you into the world of the impossible more quickly and efficiently. It also makes Crichton’s books somehow more at home in the airports, beaches, and resorts where I, like millions of other readers, were so fond of reading them.
It’s a shame that Crichton wasn’t able to finish the book himself. Preston, who took over the project after Crichton’s death, fills in the gaps without taking too many missteps. The concept is so strong that it carries the book in the end, but in Crichton’s hands alone MICRO could’ve been perfectly crafted pop entertainment. Spielberg has bought the rights and in his hands the strengths of the story might shine through more clearly. We can hope, because this is the last of Crichton we’re ever going to get. ...more
This isn't trying to be a "grown-up" version of Harry Potter or Narnia. It's something else. It's that delightful union of genre readability and gorgeThis isn't trying to be a "grown-up" version of Harry Potter or Narnia. It's something else. It's that delightful union of genre readability and gorgeous style that is such a rare and wonderful thing: Hannah Tinti, William Gibson, Susanna Clarke, Jeff Vandermeer, John Crowley, Ursula K. LeGuin, Michael Chabon. This is the real thing, people. It's storytelling that ignores the bounds of genre and just is. It also has a lot of really, really cool magic in it.
I have the urge fend off this book's critics the way I'd protect a friend from mean people. But instead I'll just praise it. It is a fluidly told tale that will take over your imagination. It has heart, and will move you if you let it. It's full of beautiful, haunting imagery. It takes risks. It's funny. The plot and its characters go to deep, unexpected places. It's a radiant book. It is the granting of a wish I was delighted to discover I still had. Read it....more
That's right. No stars. This book should be retitled "Trixie Belden and the Creepy Cold War Propaganda Mystery." Trixie comes across as a stubborn, diThat's right. No stars. This book should be retitled "Trixie Belden and the Creepy Cold War Propaganda Mystery." Trixie comes across as a stubborn, dim, kittenish brat. This is an infuriatingly bad book, that is irredeemably racist, sexist, corny and at times just inexplicable. Other books I loved as a child reward adult rereading, but not this one....more
And so ends the six volume history of Corum. Like all the others in the series, this books seesaws between almost successfully concealed laxity of imaAnd so ends the six volume history of Corum. Like all the others in the series, this books seesaws between almost successfully concealed laxity of imagination and passages of delightful visual intensity and weirdness. The characters tumble through sometimes hallucinatory and sometimes mundane landscapes and situations, enacting grand patterns that are just unpredictable enough to keep me reading, and just familiar enough to comfort and sometimes bore me.
Moorcock is a virtuoso, and these sword and sorcery novels of the 1970s (often written over a matter of days) come across more like brilliant improvisations than orchestrated pieces. As improvisations, they are enjoyable, even brilliant. As finished novels, they are just good enough.
As period pieces and artifacts of charm, they are priceless. I have a rule with old sword ans sorcery novels. I can never purchase reprints--only the old covers and yellowed paper will do, and if I am purchasing a series, I prefer to have different, psychedelic or horrifically bad cover art on each book. Without the groovy old covers, the prose inside would be diminished somehow....more