It's more like a 3.5, because I still love the authorial style.
But the plot meandered and there didn't seem to be quite as much point to it.
...I feelIt's more like a 3.5, because I still love the authorial style.
But the plot meandered and there didn't seem to be quite as much point to it.
...I feel really stupid for saying that about a Hitchhiker book.
Anyway. It just wasn't quite as enchanting as the first three. Still definitely reading Mostly Harmless because I just can't get enough of these characters. Especially Ford. (Though I want Trillian and Zaphod back.)
(This is my first Pratchett book. I feel like a bad nerd.)
While most of this book was absolutely hilarious (minus the rather hamfisted environmentalis(This is my first Pratchett book. I feel like a bad nerd.)
While most of this book was absolutely hilarious (minus the rather hamfisted environmentalist stuff) the best parts were definitely the parts with Aziraphale and Crowley, and the best of the best was definitely when they were together. Since this book had a lot of POV shifts, Crowley and Aziraphale were sadly out of the picture a lot, and I wasn't nearly as connected to the other chars as I was to them. Hence the four stars instead of five.
Still, it's more like 4.5, and it definitely goes on my favorites....more
More like a three and a half, considering I read it in one sitting, though it was occasionally awkward and pointless enough to keep it from a four. ItMore like a three and a half, considering I read it in one sitting, though it was occasionally awkward and pointless enough to keep it from a four. It did make me put the book down at a few points, just to think over the concepts, and of course the main great plot 'twist' is amazing, artistically speaking....more
I'm confused, which is not a bad thing because I'm fairly certain I'm not supposed to know what actually happened. Which is good, bec[More like a 3.5]
I'm confused, which is not a bad thing because I'm fairly certain I'm not supposed to know what actually happened. Which is good, because I certainly don't know what actually happened.
Don't get me wrong, it was... good? interesting? a trainwreck I couldn't look away from? pleasantly pointless or disturbingly attractive? I'm not sure. I think I need to read it again a few times to see if I can track any definite symbolism throughout the book that would tie it together better.
I'm not sure what to think about Haze. Or Enoch. Or Asa or Sabbath or Shoats or the Prophet or the (mildly creepy) landlady... or any of it. They're grotesque and unpleasant and not exactly role models (gosh, Sabbath). But at the same time you like them. I'm not sure why. You just do. Haze - especially towards the end - has a pathetic, wistful, broken quality that you just want to fix (even though you're fully aware that he murdered someone in cold blood [no pun intended]). Enoch... you just feel sorry for Enoch. (What was with the gorilla suit? I need commentaries.) And why Asa and Sabbath are so likable, I have no idea, because they are scum, but still very... human scum.
I've said before that reading Flannery O'Connor gives me the same feeling that reading Eliot does, though not as powerfully - it doesn't really matter that you understand what you're reading, as long as you get the atmosphere/undercurrent of meaning. Which doesn't make it much less frustrating when everything seems so incredibly pointless and random, but it still helps a little. I do think I'll need to read it over a few times with the advantages of others' analyses and commentaries. It's intriguing enough to pull that off....more
I'm not usually into "a book has to mean something to be good" because I don't believe that's true. Books can be good if they're just a big heaping meI'm not usually into "a book has to mean something to be good" because I don't believe that's true. Books can be good if they're just a big heaping mess of fun. They don't have to have any overarching theme to really be good.
But I'm not really sure what to do with The Brief History of the Dead because it doesn't... mean anything.
I give it three stars because the writing is good, the kind of adult fiction indie-esque artsy-fartsy style with strange sensory details and a pervasive air of cynically distant observance. It's overwrought and (in my humble opinion) a load of pretentious hogwash, but it reads well, more like a painting than a book. Hence three stars. On any other count, though, it would have gotten a two.
I don't know the characters. They're just... there. They're not really people, they're just /there/ to call for a story. But there's not really much of a story, either, because it's just... there. Laura does dangerous stuff and everyone else does boring stuff and it's just... there. There's no sense of urgency or goal. There's the thing about Coca-Cola, but that's just another snapshot that's never explained or concluded.
It's just frustrating because nothing happens! There are 252 pages in this book and it just felt like... a 252-page description. Laura just gets more and more miserable and then she's not miserable for a chapter but that's even more boring because there's no /point/. There was no MEANING to it.
I feel a little cheated because it took me longer than it usually does to finish this book and I wanted some kind of... reconciliation, some kind of closure to this bizarrely begun story and I didn't really get anything out of it. It just sort of stopped and I want to know why I bothered in the first place but Brockmeier doesn't tell me that....more
Two stars, according to the little pop-up thing, mean that "it was ok[ay]." Which it was. I guess it's really more 2.5.
Basic gist of the story is: PatTwo stars, according to the little pop-up thing, mean that "it was ok[ay]." Which it was. I guess it's really more 2.5.
Basic gist of the story is: Patroclus falls in love with Achilles because Achilles is perfect. Achilles falls in love with Patroclus because that's what the story calls for. Patroclus is a wimp and doesn't learn how to fight because that's totally what a young Greek boy (a young Greek prince) is allowed to do during childhood and during learning under a famous hero-training centaur. Patroclus and Achilles have to keep their love a secret because those darn conservative Greek mores about homosexuality between two young beautiful soldiers! Achilles does whatever the story calls for because what personality? Patroclus worries and stares at Achilles's [insert beautiful body part here]. Patroclus dies and yet continues to narrate. Happy ending.
I mean, I didn't hate it, and no one can say that the writing was hard to read. It was just sort of... pulpy. 2.5 stars....more
Wow. Great book - definite recommendation. It handles a lot of tropes, subverting a few and playing others straight. It was good, really solid, with aWow. Great book - definite recommendation. It handles a lot of tropes, subverting a few and playing others straight. It was good, really solid, with a lot of trappings of greatness. I wish I could give it five stars, but it didn't quite have the depth for that kind of oomph. It is a 4+ though, maybe 4.4? 4.6?
Kel is great. Lila is great. The various Londons are delicious - not anything spectacularly original, but they have plenty of life and atmosphere and there's a breath of new excitement about them. The magic system, delectable. I sincerely hope the Kel/Lila relationship doesn't go down like it seems aimed to - they're better than some off-the-cuff romance. (I have other hopes for Kel, in any case.)
Very, very good. It's really not that long for an "adult" book, but the short chapters and many Parts make the book fly by - sort of like Maximum Ride except quality and sans bird kids. Her writing is fluid, too, easy to read, easy to absorb. Not too flashy, but far from boring. Strong recommend....more