Becalmed, with sails limp, were my intentions on reading this highly touted series. The movie intrigued me, reviews interested me, the bits and piecesBecalmed, with sails limp, were my intentions on reading this highly touted series. The movie intrigued me, reviews interested me, the bits and pieces of the author's writings i'd previously read captivated me, but , whether because of momentary malaise or mental immaturity, I could not make headway out of these unreasonable doldrums...until now.
O'Brian's vocabulary, terminology, style, and tone are flawless, sometimes poetic, always real and clarifying. Don't let the naval terms and jargon hull you below your water line, persevere; context will give you a running gist of what's happening. Double your press of canvas and let your sails fill with the flow of O'Brian's intimate detail and expert knowledge. You'll rapidly become immersed in the naval world of the Napoleonic Era; feel emotionally for the characters both main and minor; revel in the high adventure and rebel at the low injustices; chuckle at the subtle, unexpected humor. O'Brian even captures the 19th Century sense of pacing, sometimes startling and unexpected to a 21st Century sensibility.
Take it up, feel the wind and sun upon your face, and smell the salt, tar, and 'powder!...more
The detailed descriptions and dialogue, the flow from factual and fictional, the increasing tension ticking away like the sonar altimeter that saves The detailed descriptions and dialogue, the flow from factual and fictional, the increasing tension ticking away like the sonar altimeter that saves the Hindenburg from one catastrophe, knowing the outcome on the one hand but NOT knowing the outcome on the other hand, all makes this dramatic, romantic, historical, spy mystery one of the best books I've read in years.
Ariel Lawhon's attention to each character's unique inner voice, her use of present tense, her way of circling and backtracking as she moves from one character's point of view to the next propels the story towards its ultimate conclusion in the most intimate and exquisite fashion.
Embark on this delightful novel and you'll find putting this book down as difficult as trying to tie-off and anchor a zeppelin! ...more
extremely tight, engrossing short stories from writers known for their fabulous longer-form writing. I was trying to figure what was the attraction toextremely tight, engrossing short stories from writers known for their fabulous longer-form writing. I was trying to figure what was the attraction to these stories collected under an admittedly fearful, dismal title and it occurred to me the over-arching attraction found throughout the book and in each story is...Hope. Give these 'Stories of the Apocalypse' a read, you won't be wasting your time.
(My favorite of the collection: "The End of The World As We Know It" by Dale Bailey.) ...more
Baxter has a way of focusing on the individual and the details all the while keeping a sense of dread - or hope - humming in the background. The readeBaxter has a way of focusing on the individual and the details all the while keeping a sense of dread - or hope - humming in the background. The reader feels a part of the world the author has created without necessarily knowing everything that is transpiring in that world (very much like living in our own reality). The science is tight, if highly speculative; most of the characters are 3-dimensional: some troubled "bad guys," have redeeming moments and the "good guys" show some disappointing (even appalling) traits. A good part of the middle evolves into an observation of long-term crisis leadership and its effects on the individual (both leader and led).
I found the three-way-split (so to speak) resolution to the novel - not to give any spoilers - unexpected, interesting, and mildly unsatisfying. Unexpected in that it is a risky move for an author to take; interesting in that it allowed Baxter to cover all his bases; unsatisfying for its relative lack of tension and suspense compared to the rest of the novel. ...more
Took several pages, but finally fell into the rhythm and writing of Kerouac's unique style. Once there, it was clear sailing. Kerouac's choice of wordTook several pages, but finally fell into the rhythm and writing of Kerouac's unique style. Once there, it was clear sailing. Kerouac's choice of words, sentence structure, dialogue, description of facial expressions and body language create not only the setting and tone, but the time and atmosphere. I've read a lot of science fiction where whole worlds are created through much hard work and thought; Kerouac does so as though by magic with seeming effortlessness and thrift. Much is left to the reader's imagination but, magically, we are still led to specific tableaux that Kerouac wants us to see and - without so much as a hint - leads us to the exact understanding he is putting forth. In short, never have I seen such art without any hint of the artist.
The simple man with an easy, earned wisdom; when the focal point is a recent past that isn't readily discussed and actively avoided; where a rolling sea and another dawn breaking over the swells is more than enough of a future....more