It's like Glen Cook read all the fantasy books that had too much exposition, got upset, huddled in a corner of his apartment clutching an old laptop aIt's like Glen Cook read all the fantasy books that had too much exposition, got upset, huddled in a corner of his apartment clutching an old laptop and said "I'll show THEM".
Then he wrote a book with horrible pacing, the most jarring transitions, and empty, soulless characters. Throughout all 3 books, it was extremely hard to care about any of the characters, or understand their motivations, much less understand what they're doing.
A lot of reviews here are billing this as one of the great epic fantasy books, but I don't know. I just don't see it....more
This started out really interesting, since the author explained a lot of details about finance that I didn't understand, it started getting repetitiveThis started out really interesting, since the author explained a lot of details about finance that I didn't understand, it started getting repetitive and name droppy, and I couldn't make myself finish after that....more
An interesting collection of writing by eighty different writers (both male and female) about "how to be a man". Some of these were really good, but mAn interesting collection of writing by eighty different writers (both male and female) about "how to be a man". Some of these were really good, but most of these were just ok. Some of them I even actively disliked.
Here's what I really liked: - the essays that sum up a feeling really well (David Gilbert and Khaled Hosseini) - the essays that are one paragraph, but end up somehow being better than the long, vague ones (Ron Carlson's was my favorite) - the ones that make sure you remember that being a man isn't all smoked meats and Axe body wash (Liz Moore has a good one)
However, I think there might be something inherently wrong about the approach of getting 80 of the world's 'best writers' to each contribute one essay. It's like getting a bunch of the smartest people in the world in one room. They'd be even more insufferable than usual, because they would all be trying to show each other up.
Here's what I wish there had been less of: - essays where it's really unclear what's happening, until the very end. I get that you're going for that thing where the reader feels like the wool got lifted up over their eyes at the end, but when 1/5 of the essays try to do this (and most of them not particularly well), it starts feeling like everyone is trying too hard. - the vague 'what are you even talking about' story. Being a man is mysterious. That's part of the point, I'm sure. But do we really need essays that start like this? "She walked around me three times. Each revolution took about half an hour. On the first pass, I saw black waterproof boots and pants. Second pass, a bright orange parka, hood up." I'm sorry but what the fuck are you even talking about? - When they try to make their essay a poem. It's an essay, not a poem. There also isn't so much happening that you need to mark off sections with roman numerals so that the reader knows that a different thing is happening each paragraph. Your 300-word essay doesn't need a line break between each short , vague sentence that you wrote, just so the reader has a 'pause'. This is the essayist equivalent of how rappers drop a clever reference, and then feel the need to ask 'get it?'. We get it. Or don't.
They say that the act of great writing is subtractive, not additive (Zinsser). Cut this down to the 20 best, and I'd have given it 5 stars. My advice for anyone reading these is to trust your gut when reading, and feel free to skip ones that you sense are trying a little too hard. You're probably right....more
I found an old copy over winter break, and read it. It was pretty good! Especially for a younger kid. I do have some gripes though - mainly about howI found an old copy over winter break, and read it. It was pretty good! Especially for a younger kid. I do have some gripes though - mainly about how sparsely populated the world seems to be:
Why does his village only have 2 other people in it (one of which is a blacksmith)? Where are the farmers and shit? The mayor. The ice cream guy. Et cetera.
Later on, they run into the Prince. Where are his bodyguards? Where is his servant boy? Where is his man about town? Where are his food tasters? Where are his legions of adoring peasants? Where are the swooning, broken-hearted women he leaves in his wake? Where are his evil advisers? Where is his lovable court jester who is more than he seems? Where is his nanny who has raised him since his birth? Where is his faithful direwolf? Where is his...more
Didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. George W. obviously respects his father a lot, and intended this to write this as a tribute his fDidn't go into as much detail as I would have liked. George W. obviously respects his father a lot, and intended this to write this as a tribute his father, but the reason I (and I'm sure many others) were excited to read this book is because it promised a glimpse into a president's life from the perspective of his son.
He says things about GHWB like the fact that he never heard harsh words exchanged between him and his mother. And every story he tells about his dad is positive. I'm willing to believe that his father was a great person, but where are the stories that humanize the former president? Where are stories about the time his father did something silly, or unexpected? This made me feel like I was reading about someone out of a parable, rather than a still living, former president.
As W points out, Bush Senior never wrote a presidential memoir, and if The President's Club taught me anything, it's that all outgoing presidents care about their legacy, and how they will be judged by history. Parts of this book felt like W was trying to draw parallels between his legacy, and that of his father's. That's fine, since former presidents are so rarely given the opportunity to speak candidly about their decisions without interruption. I don't mind reading that. However, then George W. should uphold his end of the bargain, and tell us something about his father that hasn't already been said by someone who wasn't his son....more
Kind of similar to Robert Jordan's last few books in the Wheel of Time series, where he tries to write political intrigue, but doesn't do a great job.Kind of similar to Robert Jordan's last few books in the Wheel of Time series, where he tries to write political intrigue, but doesn't do a great job. I think that real political intrigue doesn't get conveyed well in a page-turner format, since the only way to explain everything is through a ton of exposition.
We're constantly being told to appreciate how smart Bean and Petra are, with no real option other than taking the author's hand waving as evidence.
I think I'm slowly realizing that despite the better writing, and the adult themes in these books, Orson Scott Card is basically writing young adult fiction here. Adults never do anything right, only children understand what's really happening, and our heroes will inevitably succeed.
This book was OK, but I think I'll skip the rest of these....more
I mean, I didn't finish it, but I'm finished, you know what I mean? Or to quote Bean, from Shadow of the Hegemon: "You don't have to eat the whole turI mean, I didn't finish it, but I'm finished, you know what I mean? Or to quote Bean, from Shadow of the Hegemon: "You don't have to eat the whole turd to know it's not crab cake."
Super bad dialogue and poor writing really makes you feel like these aren't the characters we remembered from Dune. Don't we read sequels to get more of what we want? I don't want to read about this imposter Paul, who takes everything too seriously, and alienates everyone he talks to. I know it's supposed to be the story of his journey back to humanity from the ruthless emperor he's become, but I don't think I have the patience to wait around, or the faith to believe that Brian Herbert can deliver....more