I fully expected this to be terrible. Bad art, bad writing, bad adaptation, insulting to those of us who love M. Hugo's masterwork. I bought it and reI fully expected this to be terrible. Bad art, bad writing, bad adaptation, insulting to those of us who love M. Hugo's masterwork. I bought it and read it anyways. Because I had to know just how bad it was, and because I couldn't pass it by on the off chance that it was actually good. I know, the first step is admitting you have a problem, and I admitted that when I clicked the Add to Cart button. Imagine my surprise when it's actually... Well, maybe not good, but at least decent.
The art is fine. Not the nicest looking stuff I've ever seen, but unobjectionable. Considering that I was expecting garbage, I was quite pleasantly surprised. There was definite effort to make this look like a manga version of early 19th century Paris. Most of the character designs work, following the descriptions in the books fairly closely through a manga-style filter. I was particularly happy with Enjolras, even if I was confused by Javert's hair. Again, better than I'd expected.
The adaptation tries very hard to get as much as possible into the book, which is kind of nice, for the most part. But it does mean that there are a lot of things introduced really really quickly, so I doubt this would work very well for anyone who isn't already quite familiar with the story. For my part, I enjoyed seeing just how much was put into the adaptation, and it was always a pleasant surprise to see a part that I liked, that I didn't expect to be represented. In general, I got the impression that it was adapted by someone with a good sense of the book.
Now time for some pedantic nerdery, that probably won't be terribly interesting to anyone who isn't in love with the original. Feel free to skip it. More than once, the writer shuffled scenes around, presumably for dramatic effect. I would have much rather they'd been left in the original order. Likewise, if you're going to have to describe what happened in an important scene in any event, why skip it? The biggest offender here is Marius telling Cosette that he'll ask his grandfather permission to marry her, then on the next page saying that he'd been denied. Why not just show the scene? Likewise, if you're going to show Javert busting Thenardier and Patron Minette, why not let him use everybody's favorite book Javert line in the process? I also noticed some jarringly modern sounding line. It made parts sound like Rose's translation, which is not a good thing to me. Not sure how those crept in. One last thing, and I swear this is it. It seems the writer very much loves the line from Enjolras's description about cherubs vs. cherubim (ie, he's pretty but fierce and you can't pick him up, girls) and wanted very badly to include it. But she took it entirely out of context, putting the words in Enjolras's mouth to mean something else entirely. Not only is it weird to have a character say a line that's meant to describe himself, it doesn't make sense in the context she used it. It was a little too weird to me.
The tl;dr is that this is actually a fairly decent adaptation, for a single-volume manga. I enjoyed it well more than I had thought that I would, because the art is rather nice, the characters look basically as they should, and there was a definite effort to make it as faithful to the original as possible. But it wasn't without flaws, some of which were kind of annoying to me. I don't think this would be a good introduction to Les Miserables to someone who's totally uninitiated, but it would at least be faster than reading the real thing....more
Really not very good. I like the negative and sketchy effects he used to depict the Lear's madness, but the art was overall confusing. If you need toReally not very good. I like the negative and sketchy effects he used to depict the Lear's madness, but the art was overall confusing. If you need to put a dotted line on the page so that readers will know which panels to read when, you need to rethink your layouts. Going in, I knew very little about King Lear, and I don't feel like this take enlightened me at all, especially since it's rather heavily abridged....more
As far as the text goes, it's a pretty good adaptation of The Odyssey. Hinds hit all of the highlights, and some of the less well-remembered details.As far as the text goes, it's a pretty good adaptation of The Odyssey. Hinds hit all of the highlights, and some of the less well-remembered details. The writing is easily readable, but still feels like ancient Greece, which is a nice trick. It also looks like ancient Greece, at least to me. That said, the art is not of a uniform quality throughout. Mostly, it's very good, but there are some panels that just look rushed. It's possible that I just might not be a big fan of Hinds's style....more
I think I would have liked this adaptation a lot better if Hinds had been able to settle on either a modern or period setting for his graphic novel. II think I would have liked this adaptation a lot better if Hinds had been able to settle on either a modern or period setting for his graphic novel. I do like how he made the story more diverse than in the original play, by casting the Montagues as black and the Capulets as Indian. That was, I think, the one nice touch he brought to his adaptation. From there, he went with an odd and unsettling mix of period accurate and modern details. Picture Tybalt shirtless, tattooed, and with a modern hairstyle, but wearing 16th century breeches. Picture Juliet wearing a dress that is, from the waist up, a plain but serviceable Renaissance gown, and a skirt that ends above the knee. It's weird and a little jarring, and I wish Hinds had either stayed strictly period of strictly modern. This probably bothers me a lot more than it will most people. But I'm sure that I'm far from the only one who will notice how infuriatingly inconsistent the art quality is. Some of the panels are very nice, even lovely, and some are rushed and look like Hinds couldn't be bothered with them. ...more
I kind of feel like a bad person because I've never the Oresteia before. I'm fixing that now, but I think it'll take awhile for me to get through thesI kind of feel like a bad person because I've never the Oresteia before. I'm fixing that now, but I think it'll take awhile for me to get through these. It isn't the story. The story of Orestes is wonderfully exciting, full of violence and intense emotion. But ancient Greek drama was different than what I'm used to, and I don't think I like the format. Sure, there are some truly great lines ("Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.") and it is a fairly quick play. I'm glad I read it, but I think I'll need to take a quick break between this one and The Libation Bearers....more
Such a lovely book that I just don't know what to say about it. The Hobbit is, in so many ways, an easier read than The Lord of the Rings, but is no lSuch a lovely book that I just don't know what to say about it. The Hobbit is, in so many ways, an easier read than The Lord of the Rings, but is no less beautiful for it. Tolkien takes a more casual, often witty tone with the narration here, which suits Bilbo and his adventure nicely. And Bilbo is himself a wonderful character, more concerned with his peaceful home than wealth or adventure. I do wish that the individual dwarves had gotten some more character development (it's very easy to forget there's thirteen of them, as they tend to melt into a mass of dwarf) but that's really the only thing I can even think of complaining about. It is, otherwise, very nearly perfect in every way....more
My first contact with Bradbury came through a high school text book. My teacher never assigned it, but I was the sort of kid who read through my literMy first contact with Bradbury came through a high school text book. My teacher never assigned it, but I was the sort of kid who read through my literature book out of curiosity. This time, it paid off, because I read There Will Come Soft Rains. And I was instantly, entirely enchanted. So much so that as soon as I could get my hands on The Martian Chronicles, I devoured it. I've read quite a bit more (but by no means all) of Bradbury by now, but There Will Come Soft Rains remains my favorite of his short stories, probably partly for sentimental reasons.
But I'm not just giving The Martian Chronicles five stars for nostalgic reasons, though I can't deny that probably plays a part in it. Now that I'm older, and more broadly read in everything, including SF, I can see the seams where Bradbury stitched together a handful of short stories with little in common to make one whole book. It isn't quite as obvious a job as in I, Robot (which, don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoyed) but it's still there. Maybe if I hadn't known that Bradbury had done exactly that, I might have minded. I did, and I don't, because honestly, it hangs together way more coherently than it really has any right to.
But what unites the stories more than anything else, including the (mostly) Martian setting is Bradbury's writing, beautiful as always. I love listening to his works as audiobooks, because there's something enchanting about his flow of words. I'm at a loss to describe it, but it's endlessly lovely to me.
This is on the very soft end of the SF scale, but it is SF nonetheless. And maybe I'm just nostalgic, but I think this will remain the work that I love best by Bradbury....more
A childhood favorite of mine, one that I'm delighted to report holds up very well. This is probably one of the things that inspired my love of speculaA childhood favorite of mine, one that I'm delighted to report holds up very well. This is probably one of the things that inspired my love of speculative fiction, so I owe it a major debt for that along. Strangely, I never read any of the other books in the series, and I don't remember why. Maybe they weren't readily available to me back then? I don't know, but I'll be fixing that....more
This is one huge chunk of a collection. There's a little over 500 pages of Silver Age Wonder Woman reprinted here, in black and white. To be perfectlyThis is one huge chunk of a collection. There's a little over 500 pages of Silver Age Wonder Woman reprinted here, in black and white. To be perfectly honest, they're only worth reading for hardcore Wonder Woman fans, or fans of the Silver Age in general. It also has the first proper appearance of Wonder Girl, back when she was still just a teenaged Diana. She must have been very popular right away, as nearly every issue after her introduction had a Wonder Girl side story. ...more
Crisis on Infinite Earths is unquestionably a landmark moment in the history of DC, and comics in general. At this point, the expectations for new reaCrisis on Infinite Earths is unquestionably a landmark moment in the history of DC, and comics in general. At this point, the expectations for new readers are either sky-high or in the basement. The reality is somewhere in between.
First of all, this is such a product of its time that it's kind of funny. Lots of dated posturing, dated art, and really dated character designs. But the art really is quite good, for the time. And the concept is ambitious enough that I'm able to forgive quite a bit in execution. But it's also repetitive and neck deep in exposition. It's a long book, and it feels it. But it sure was a heck of an idea....more
Let's be perfectly honest: the only reason to read these old Wonder Woman stories is historical curiosity. Or at least the only reason for me: althougLet's be perfectly honest: the only reason to read these old Wonder Woman stories is historical curiosity. Or at least the only reason for me: although I love the Golden Age heroes, the Golden Age stories usually fall flat for me, and probably for many modern readers. In many ways, Wonder Woman is a reverse of the stereotypical Superman format: here, it's the woman who's strong, smart, and capable, and the man who needs to be rescued. That was, of course, the point. Marston's creation was pretty feminist for his day, and it's an idea that we still don't see enough of: the woman who has physical strength and power and is attractive in part because of that strength. These are the good things to take from early Wonder Woman, the character herself. ...more
The main significance of of The Vampyre is historical: this is the first published work about vampires in English. Nearly everything that followed inThe main significance of of The Vampyre is historical: this is the first published work about vampires in English. Nearly everything that followed in the English language can be traced back to here. Amazing that such a short story (20 pages in the book I read) can be so influential.
What's most important is good, very good. The plot itself, though a little slow to start, ramps up fairly quickly and ends brilliantly. (It does rely on one character valuing his word of honor above all else, including another's life, but I'm willing to accept that as an historical artifact.) Few authors would have the courage to end their story as Polidori does, which is a shame.
The vampire here is Lord Ruthven, who is everything one can ask of a non-sparkling vampire. He's outwardly cultured, dangerously magnetic, and, in the end, entirely ruthless. He's a frequent seducer of women, but only those who are perfectly chaste when he meets them, and they always vanish without a trace when he is done with them. He gives generously, but only to those who will use his generosity to put themselves in an even worse situation. And he is an enemy who is worse than deadly if crossed. It's easy to see the blueprint of Dracula and Angelus here. Of course, Ruthven is based on Byron.
The bones of the story are good, but the writing itself is less than exciting. Polidori either didn't know how or didn't trust himself to write dialog, because there's virtually none. Most conversations are recorded in narrative, in very long and tedious paragraphs. But Polidori was not a writer by profession, he was a doctor, and he cranked this out in a couple of days. For all of that, it's quite good, it just needs an extra layer of polish and a defter hand with words.
My copy includes an incredibly short (5 pages) fragment by Byron himself, from which Polidori based his Vampyre. The editor in my edition flatly accuses him of plagiarism, and it's a fair cop. Byron's version if unfinished, so it's impossible to tell how much of what eventually happened in The Vampyre is directly from the brain of Byron and how much was Polidori's invention. But there's enough to make me sad that Byron didn't finish it himself. His version is much better than Polidori's.
I read The Vampyre solely for the historical significance of the work, and it ended up being much better than I had expected. It's a chilling story with one of the most memorable fictional vampires in literature, and if Polidori had been a slightly better writer, it would still be remembered as fondly as Dracula....more
A classic of weird horror, The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories. Well, the first four stories are weird horror classics. Related only bA classic of weird horror, The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories. Well, the first four stories are weird horror classics. Related only by the existence and influence of the play The King in Yellow, the second act of which will inevitably drive mad any who read it, they're a set of nicely atmospheric set. What will really linger in your mind is the concept of the play, which we never get more than brief glimpses of. I'd say this is probably what makes the reputation of the book.
These are followed by a wistful, traditional ghost (or, perhaps, time travel) story, and an odd bit of prose that might be an allegory that only the author had a key to, or fragments of a larger work, or a bit of inspired nonsense, but is absorbing nevertheless.
The last four stories are completely and entirely different. Instead of horror, they're a fairly realistic look at the lives of American art students in late 19th century Paris's Latin Quarter. One of the stories is set during the 1870 siege of Paris, but there's no action aside from that. And honestly? They're right up my alley. If I had known these stories were in here, I would have been even more eager to read the book as a whole. But if you aren't interested in the lives of 19th century Parisian students? You might want to stop after The Prophet's Paradise....more
I picked this up and started reading it the moment I finished volume 2. I hardly remember what was what anymore, and since it's all really one big stoI picked this up and started reading it the moment I finished volume 2. I hardly remember what was what anymore, and since it's all really one big story it hardly matters. I have read Sandman through at least four times (I've read individual storylines or even individual issues even more than that) and I will read it at least that many times again. It seems like I give the whole thing a re-read every three years or so. What can I say, it's pure magic....more
I read volumes 2-4 in a row, hardly stopping for breath in between. It makes it harder to review each individually, with my memories of them running tI read volumes 2-4 in a row, hardly stopping for breath in between. It makes it harder to review each individually, with my memories of them running together. But that hardly matters. I've loved nearly every moment I've ever read Sandman, from the first time fifteen years ago (or so) right down to this re-reading, which is at least the fourth. There are very few things that are truly magical reads, and Sandman is, for me, one of them. ...more
I read this based off the lovingly enthusiastic reviews of Neil Gaiman, and I'm very glad I did. It's very much a fairy tale, which I love. After I fiI read this based off the lovingly enthusiastic reviews of Neil Gaiman, and I'm very glad I did. It's very much a fairy tale, which I love. After I finished it, I thought of Phillip Pullman's equally fairy tale-like, and equally wonderful, Clockwork, and I wondered if Thurber inspired Pullman at all. Probably not, but food for thought. ...more
I've seen the movie before, back when I was binging on classic SF. I think I saw it the day after I watched 2001 for the first time. Anyways, the bookI've seen the movie before, back when I was binging on classic SF. I think I saw it the day after I watched 2001 for the first time. Anyways, the book is indeed very much like the movie, or vice versa. A finely crafted work about a thoroughly reprehensible person. It does remind me a little of American Psycho, but more topically than anything else. For one, I hated American Psycho. The non-gore segments were flat-out boring 80s narcissism, and difficult to read through, and the gore was so far over the top that it was impossible for me to read. What A Clockwork Orange has that American Psycho doesn't is Nasdat. And it's not just the barely decipherable slang, though that's obviously a big part of the book's legacy. There's something about how the language flows that keeps you going (it helps that there's a lack of loving, overly graphic descriptions of the violence- it's vaguer, and has more impact aside from just grossing you out). Burgess is just a better writer, I'd say. Oh, and a note- the final, 21st chapter is omitted from most editions, since it was gone from the first American edition and therefore doesn't factor into the movie. The movie, and most books available now, end at chapter 20. And well they should. The 21st chapter doesn't leave the reader with nearly the impact that the 20th does. The American publishers that insisted on cutting it were right. I don't often say that a book is better off abridged, but this is one....more
I like Bradbury, but from reading this book, I decided that I'm much more of a fan of his short stories. I read There Will Come Soft Rains almost fiftI like Bradbury, but from reading this book, I decided that I'm much more of a fan of his short stories. I read There Will Come Soft Rains almost fifteen years ago, and it still sticks with me. Bradbury's style, that works so well in short stories, tends to drag a bit in full length novels. I felt the same about Fahrenheit 451 when I read that years ago. That said, there's still much that's brilliant about it, and it's prodded me to (someday) make a much greater effort to read more of his short fiction....more
I had never read a book by Agatha Christie before. Oh, I saw Mousetrap when I was in London, but that hardly counts, especially since I can't rememberI had never read a book by Agatha Christie before. Oh, I saw Mousetrap when I was in London, but that hardly counts, especially since I can't remember what happened in the end. This was probably a good choice for a first Christie, since I loved it and added a bunch more of her books to my queue right away. You know, I'm not much of a mystery reader, but this one certainly worked for me. The mystery itself was engaging, and I felt like I was being lead both towards and away from the truth, both intentionally. Did she play fair with the ending? I've seen conflicting opinions, and my own thoughts on that matter conflict. I can say that, with the ultimate reveal, I was both surprised and not terribly shocked. Is that playing fair? The suspense was nicely managed throughout....more
It's a strange thing, to just now read a book that was adapted into a movie that I've practically known by heart for years. Strange, but nice, becauseIt's a strange thing, to just now read a book that was adapted into a movie that I've practically known by heart for years. Strange, but nice, because the book is really good. It is very odd, though, to have the end of the movie come before the halfway point of the book! After everything that happened in the movie is over with, we continue with Bastian's adventures in Fantastica. Bastian behaves exactly as he might have been expected to, which means, of course, that we get irritated with him every now and then.
This book actually reminds me a little of the Oz series, because of its episodic nature and the immense imagination that went into all of these separate little story. This is a good thing, I love the Oz books. It's a little darker and a little more grown up, though. No darker than the movie itself, so you can use that as a guide.
And speaking of the movie, I now have an absolutely burning need to see it again. It's been far too long....more
I expected to like this, and I did. I was pleasantly surprised by how much more nuanced the book is than the many movie versions: the cardinal is notI expected to like this, and I did. I was pleasantly surprised by how much more nuanced the book is than the many movie versions: the cardinal is not unmitigated evil and the four protagonists are not always noble. I'd never read anything by Dumas before, and I'm sure I will again. ...more
On balance, I do like Ringworld, or at least the concept of the ringworld. The idea is that a forgotten race of wildly talented engineers have built aOn balance, I do like Ringworld, or at least the concept of the ringworld. The idea is that a forgotten race of wildly talented engineers have built a complete ring around a star and outfitted it with gravity, atmosphere, vegetation, animals, and even sentient life. The scale is so vast that it's nearly impossible to comprehend. (The ring, Niven tells us, has the surface area of roughly three million earths. There are mountains thousands of miles high.) I give Niven a lot of credit for the thought he's put into his concept. It seemed, to me, that he had thought through nearly every implication of the ring, what it would require to work as he needs it to, and how it would look. It makes the concept strangely believable, even as it's difficult to envision (again, the sheer scale of the thing gets in the way) and very, very memorable.
The plot, on the other hand, was somewhat weak. Really, the book is just a sightseeing tour of the ringworld. And that's fine, because the ring on its own is fascinating enough to carry my interest. But not enough to get me well and truly invested so that I want to read on with other books set in this universe.
I have a quibble about the characters, too. Not the male characters, as Niven did a fine enough job fleshing them out and making them living parts of the book, regardless of species. The female characters, on the other hand... They're shallow, shells of characters compared to the males. Teela is on the mission to sleep with the main character and because she might be a good luck charm. That's it. She has no useful skills to contribute, nor is she asked to. Sleeping with Louis is enough. And her personality is exactly as bland, shallow, and borderline dim as you'd expect, given that description. (view spoiler)[Her bland personality might be partly explained by her supernatural luck running interference and protecting her from all harms. But wouldn't it also be lucky for her to be skilled in exactly the ways that would be useful for the mission? Seemingly not. (hide spoiler)] The only other woman in the book, Prill, is met on the ringworld. Her ship crash-landed on the ring long ago. And as a woman on a ship full of men, obviously she must have been the ship's prostitute, right? I mean, why else would there be a woman on board? Logic that's fully accepted, never questioned, and is ultimately proved absolutely correct. Yes, this doesn't take me by surprise in a book written in the 70s. But it's still irritating.
As a concept, Ringworld is one of the greats. The execution is lacking in plot and, especially, female characters. While I like the idea, the casual sexism left a bad taste in my mouth.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Jason Taverner is a famous entertainer, instantly recognizable worldwide for his long recording career and hugely successful TV show. And then, suddenJason Taverner is a famous entertainer, instantly recognizable worldwide for his long recording career and hugely successful TV show. And then, suddenly, he's not. All of his identification documents have gone missing, nobody recognizes him or the name of his show, and, most disturbingly, there isn't even a record of his birth. Taverner has simply ceased to have ever been, in one of the worst possible times and places to do so.
It might help to note that this book was originally published in 1974, written, I would guess, the year before, just a few years after the shootings at Kent State and the massive student uprising that followed it. It filled in some blanks in the underlying premise, that there had been a civil war between college students and the American government, leading to the current, restrictive police regime, blanks that I imagine somebody actually reading this book in 1974 wouldn't need filled in. But that really is backdrop. It's easy enough to understand the central premise (that losing IDs can be catastrophic, and in unexpected ways) without that bit of background information.
Taverner floats from one mostly unlikeable, damaged person to the next. And since I never felt like I was supposed to like them, I was able to enjoy their personalities and conversations as presented. That said, much of the book is made up of conversations, and there's little in the way of true excitement until the end. But they're very absorbing and well-written conversations, and the action at the end is riveting.
But there are a few plotholes here. Perhaps the most noticeable one happens at the very beginning of the book. Just as we've gotten a decent introduction to Taverner's life and lifestyle, he's suddenly attacked by a former lover. And then... nothing. His ex, the attack, and any consequences related to it are never really mentioned again. I kept waiting for her to pop up again, to have some meaning in the overall narrative. She doesn't. I also felt like the ending was a bit neat, presented in the style of a "where are they now" clip show at the end of the movie, and it didn't feel like it meshed with the rest of the book. I think I might have been happier with the book as a whole if it had ended before the epilogue....more
The basic plot of The Fountains of Paradise can be summed up with two words: space elevator. Yes, it's something of an architectural procedural, and mThe basic plot of The Fountains of Paradise can be summed up with two words: space elevator. Yes, it's something of an architectural procedural, and much of the story is taken up with the events of the project lead (Vannevar Morgan) to get the thing started. Luckily, this is also terribly interesting, far more so than I ever would have guessed. Morgan wants to build his elevator on the fictional island of Sri Kanda (essentially Sri Lanka moved to the equator), but there's the small problem of an ancient monastary in his way.
I did take a little issue with how easy Clarke made the construction look. It's all dully smooth sailing, save for one incident near the end. Because while Clarke at least addresses most of the issues facing space elevators, he tends to gloss over them very quickly, and there's little trial and error or mishap involved. The cast is also almost impossibly small, with only four or five people appearing in more than one scene.
There's also an odd bit with a robotic probe from another intelligent civilization. This probe is intelligent enough to completely refute Aquinas, which somehow leads to the vast majority of the world's population completely abandoning all religions. And this is, essentially, a side note that didn't seem to serve any purpose to me. Aside from the believability factor, it's inessential to the storyline and actually serves as a distraction.
All that said, The Fountains of Paradise is, for the most part, engaging to listen to, and the few characters are mostly interesting people. The concept of a space elevator is fascinating to me, and the science is pretty close to hard, and makes it look like both an appealing and a potentially near project....more
I love this book so much I really don't think that I can be that coherent about it. This is, hands down, my favorite book, ever. I've read it four orI love this book so much I really don't think that I can be that coherent about it. This is, hands down, my favorite book, ever. I've read it four or five times now (and considering the length, it can be quite a project to read it all) and I'll read it at least that many more. And I am not a re-reader by nature. There is so much that's beautiful in here: the story itself, which is about so much but nothing more than redemption and mercy. The characters, so many that I will love for the rest of my life. And politics. Is it strange that a book that was already nearly 150 years old the first time I read it changed my own political beliefs forever? I have never read a book that affected me as strongly as this one has.
Like I said, not exactly coherent, and probably not helpful to anyone who hasn't read it. But I love this book too much to do any better than that....more
There are so many paranormal romance vampires floating around that it's nice to read some real, vicious vampires again. Even if they do act more likeThere are so many paranormal romance vampires floating around that it's nice to read some real, vicious vampires again. Even if they do act more like zombies through most of the book. There's good dramatic tension throughout, and a great ending. I read an edition that came with ten short stories tacked onto the end, most of which I didn't read....more
Dune is more than a landmark science fiction novel at this point. It's more like a monolith. This may be why I've hesitated to read it for the last feDune is more than a landmark science fiction novel at this point. It's more like a monolith. This may be why I've hesitated to read it for the last few years. There are certain books whose reputations make them intimidating, and this is one of them.
Dune is written in a very particular style, and you need to be in the right mood to appreciate it. Much in this book is internal. Herbert spends a lot of time in various characters' heads, because nobody shows anything. It's the culture of the greater world Dune is set in. This can take some getting used to, to be honest, and I can see where some people would find it off-putting. I wouldn't say that I loved that style, but I did feel like it worked, and that it was necessary.
I've seen some complaints, here and there, about being thrown into the deep end with this book. And in a way, that's true. You are not eased into the world of Dune. There's a certain amount of culture shock at first. And the first 75 or so pages are on the slow side, but that gave me plenty of time to get acclimated. Once I had settled in to the Dune world, so to speak, it all started to make more sense.
Now, the story itself. It has very mythic overtones, very intentionally. And it certainly doesn't feel like a standalone work. It left me wanting to at least read the books Frank Herbert wrote himself, though I'll probably skip the ones his son wrote.
In the end, I did feel like this book lived up to its reputation. I'd hesitate to recommend it to a lot of people, though, because of that very particular style. Not everybody will like it, and some may be actively put off by it. For me, it worked, and so did the book as a whole....more