Despite some (read “a lot”) of meandering and a great deal of repetition, I still have to rate this book reasonably highly, because JSF has...more 3.5 stars.
Despite some (read “a lot”) of meandering and a great deal of repetition, I still have to rate this book reasonably highly, because JSF has essentially written the book on why I continue to be a vegetarian, and I feel he does so eloquently, and with great sensitivity. I have never, as a vegetarian, believed that everyone should be a vegetarian, or even that it is a better choice than being an ethical omnivore (assuming such a thing exists). I have always believed that when it comes to ethical or moral choices, it is less about what we personally deem to be ethical or moral: that matters to us as individuals, but not as an overall response. It is that certain issues require something of us in form of an investment, both in the time we give when reaching a decision, and then the behaviour that follows decision-making. Whatever answer we come to in regards to the food that we eat needs to matter enough to ask the question, and I think that this is a book that will require readers to do so (and if you don’t ask the question, then that is your failure, not the book’s).
That said, and perhaps because I’ve read other books like this and watched the documentaries, etc., that it didn’t feel like a lot of new information, and frankly, I am so done with watching, reading, hearing about, etc. horrible things happening to animals, and it began to feel gratuitous. (Perhaps not so if this were your first romp through the park, so to speak.) I enjoyed – and found refreshing – the various perspectives. Too often, these texts are so one-sided as to be meaningless. I also enjoyed JSF’s personal feelings, especially because they were framed as such and not as be-all-end-all truths.
I do feel that it is necessary to take off at least half-a-star for the rather hilarious assertion that America is the only country that celebrates Thanksgiving (they are, however, the only ones to celebrate it on the last Thursday of November, so I guess that’s somehow special and relevant… How? I’m not sure). WELL DONE.
I won’t rate the book down for being American-centric, because obviously that is what JSF is writing about (and presumably for), however, for non-Americans, I think this is less relevant as a text. Factory farming regulations differ in various countries, as do percentages, and this book is less useful to non-Americans when gauging the state of your nation’s food and animal ethics policies. I have yet to find any book that actually looks at Canada in any depth, and I am getting pretty frustrated with this lack.(less)
When looking for some Battlestar Galactica soundtracks, I stumbled across this listing at the library and thought, 'What they hey? How bad can it be?'...moreWhen looking for some Battlestar Galactica soundtracks, I stumbled across this listing at the library and thought, 'What they hey? How bad can it be?'
Overall, the Colonial Universe did not translate well into the graphic novel format: the characters did not look enough like the actors, nor different enough from one another to really be able to distinguish when the cylons cropped up (in particular... but I really didn't recognise any of the characters unless they were accompanied by an introduction of some sort); I found that extremely frustrating. The Eights didn't look Asian, and I think the Threes might have had brown hair in an effort to distinguish them from the Sixes (?). All of the blonde characters looked alike. I couldn't tell Six from Carolanne, Starbuck, or anybody else for that matter (when Adama picks up Carolanne at the bar, I actually thought she was a Six until her name appears up a few boxes later... and I was like, holy smokes).
In terms of developing the backgrounds, I thought the storylines were weak and served only to tie all of the characters together in forced and contrived ways. Apparently Laura Roslin accompanied President Adar on a random discussion with Tom Zarek while he was in prison. Say what? Why on the Colonies would the Secretary of Education be meeting a terrorist? The random newspapers and headlines with various characters names throughout (i.e., Anders Wins for the C-Bucs!) felt further contrived and I began to believe that the billions of people who had died in the nuclear onslaught must have been, at worst, imaginary. Or at best, completely irrelevant.
The only story I vaguely enjoyed was Starbuck & Helo's. It was nice to see the origin of their relationship. It felt most true to form in that I could imagine their story playing out on screen as a flashback. Additionally, theirs were the only characters with dialogue I could actually imagine being used by the individual's in question (Baltar's dialogue was particularly bizarre, and I could not imagine James Callis saying any of it. Ever). That said, all of the stories (including theirs) have elements I have compartmentalized out of existence (i.e., Starbuck and Helo having sex - what the frak?!, and Gaius having a brother, because he will forever be an only child in my mind), and that seems an unfortunate way of building a back-story. Fans should not be disappointed or confused by how characters came to be who they are. There are also inconsistencies with the show: Gaius states that he was a 10-year-old boy when he taught himself to speak without his original Arelon accent, but in his back-story, he allegedly moved to Caprica as an 18-year-old. This doesn't gel for me, as I always imagined he had run away as a child, probably on some sort of grain freighter (this is probably far from what the creators had in mind, but still).
Overall, I felt that this was a flat attempt at fleshing out what were already fully-developed characters. We, the fans, already have a fairly clear idea of what brought those characters to the point we find them in when the original attack on the Colonies happens. Therefore, this omnibus adds nothing to the Galactica universe, and is ultimately better passed over.(less)
Edition not available – listened to this via a dramatisation by Charlotte Jones on BBC Radio 4. Not sure how (if at all) this differs from the book, b...moreEdition not available – listened to this via a dramatisation by Charlotte Jones on BBC Radio 4. Not sure how (if at all) this differs from the book, but the audio was great fun.(less)