I liked this book and I'm looking forward to reading the next one but this didn't knock me on my ass like Lies did. Make no mistake - Lynch delivers iI liked this book and I'm looking forward to reading the next one but this didn't knock me on my ass like Lies did. Make no mistake - Lynch delivers in the quality of his writing. But there were too many times when the story itself felt as if it were unraveling or wabling like an overly tired top....more
I was absolutely enthralled by the loneliness of the landscape. The interaction of the water and land is in itself, a main character. The actual conteI was absolutely enthralled by the loneliness of the landscape. The interaction of the water and land is in itself, a main character. The actual content of this story was like eating a sawdust potato salad in that it was a bit tough to choke down and a little dry. That being said, Swift's topographical description is haunting and well worth your time if you are looking for a slow-paced read....more
"HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!" Spear – Sword – Clang - Shield. Let the blood of my enemy quench the thirst of my blade. "HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-O"HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!" Spear – Sword – Clang - Shield. Let the blood of my enemy quench the thirst of my blade. "HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!"
Okay, okay. I got a little swept up in this, but damn it, it's good. Rosemary Sutcliff's Beowulf is a narrative retelling aimed at younger readers. Charles Keeping's illustrations are a fine compliment to Sutcliff's proficient grace with the art of story.
This is made special by the utter absence of condescension. The text isn't dumbed-down for children. Rather, it's molded into a more accessible format. Christ, I'm nearly forty years old, and I was warming up my battle cry (see above for clarification).
Any opportunity to introduce novice readers, young and old alike, to texts possessing the rigid reputation of academia, is wonderful. We should embrace the classics, not fear them. Does this come with the Norton-approved authoritative stamp? Nope, it don't. But it doesn't need to. This is a gateway book, and a damn good one! ...more
Nazi Germany, World War II, a young girl who steals, sometimes food, sometimes books. Her name is Liesel Meminger, and she is the book thief.
This storNazi Germany, World War II, a young girl who steals, sometimes food, sometimes books. Her name is Liesel Meminger, and she is the book thief.
This story is cast in the German POV, and in my opinion, comes near to capturing the inner complexity of Nazi Germany for the average citizen. Obviously if you seek a more intensive glimpse into the WWII Nazi machine, you'll pick up a bona fide text. What this book does, and does well, is to illuminate the humanity behind the swastika. It's easy for us to ascribe the label "capitulator" that all Germans were Nazis, and those who weren't party members, still raised their arms at the proscribe forty-five degree Hitlergruß, goo stepped, and burned books. Yes, it's easy to imagine that all Germans were horrible, but it would be wrong. I think this book does a nice job of showing the other side, free of Western propaganda. It does not pardon Nazi Germany, but it does provide alternative perspective. And any book that tries to dispel stereotypes is a good book.
The main "storyteller" of this book is unique. At first, I really liked how it added layers to the narrative. As the story progressed though, the "storyteller's" voice detracted from my reading experience. As you can tell, I'm being vague. I dislike spoilers, and I'm not in the mood to use the "spoiler-tag" feature in this review. It is enough to say that the storyteller is the only reason I'm not giving this a 5-star rating. If it had been used less, then it would have swung more gravity. I feel it was used too much. But still, its effect is powerful.
I listened to the audiobook. Allan Corduner is the narrator. His reading is flawless. If you're currently considering reading this book, I highly recommend listening to the Hörbuch.
Dieses Buch ist verdammt gut. Sie sollten es lesen. ...more
I don't like writing negative reviews, but sometimes they are unavoidable. Whether or not you read this book is your choice. I made the decision to coI don't like writing negative reviews, but sometimes they are unavoidable. Whether or not you read this book is your choice. I made the decision to continue after reading The Sparrow. I wish now that I had stopped there rather than forging on in blind hope. Hoping that the quality of writing would be sustained in this second installment of the story, hoping that the storytelling would sweep me up and tumble me, making time seem far off and blurred at the edges. And that hope, my hope, for this to be just as grand as The Sparrow, shattered like my boyish belief in St. Nicholas, shattered like the first time a woman broke my heart, shattered like... well you get the point. Or perhaps you don't. Shattered like a delicate teacup thrown against a stone wall, shattered like a spinning ballpeen hammer through a plate-glass window, shattered like... what? Oh, you get the point now. I understand.
So, yeah. Read this if you wish, but if I were you, I'd bask in the warm fuzziness of The Sparrow, and pretend that this book does not, should not, can not exist in this timeline.
"Cut bait and run," that's what I say. "As if the hounds were upon you. Run, you fool, run!"
You're still here? Oh, okay. The characters are flat, the story is without gravity, the writing is loose, and the phrase "mafia dudes in space" is actually applicable. So listen up, if you go forward, it's on you. You may end up loving this book, but I doubt it. This book begins "okay" and like a parachutist without a parachute, plunges down from there. ...more
When I first encountered this story, it rattled my brain like popcorn. It drew me tighter than piano wire, and I was taken breathless with how writersWhen I first encountered this story, it rattled my brain like popcorn. It drew me tighter than piano wire, and I was taken breathless with how writers, like magicians, manipulate time. If I recall correctly, I was in the second or third grade when our class was introduced to this story. I'm nearly forty now, and I still think about the ticking watch, a tipped plank, glorious freedom, cold water rolling, over down, escape, a family glimpsed, and...
It's funny how certain things impact us along the way. ...more
I'm not certain, but I believe I've just been Abercrombied.
This was my introduction to Joe Abercrombie. The writing is solid, polished, and shines witI'm not certain, but I believe I've just been Abercrombied.
This was my introduction to Joe Abercrombie. The writing is solid, polished, and shines with competency. Even when the story lost momentum, Abercrombie's rich style and talent for crafting sentences stole my attention. The Blade Itself is book #1 in the "First Law Trilogy," and shows all the expected trappings of a foundational story. This is not to say it is ripe with tropes or weary with jagged plot construction, far from it, but it also fails to provide any true sense of conclusion or major goal achieved. It does however set the table for the series, and it does this well.
I appreciated the growth and diversity of character. It does tip a little heavy to male POV, but maybe in future books we'll get more female characters interacting on the page. There are two prominent female characters but neither one feels like they get to have time of their own in this first book. I was flatly stunned at how quickly the character Glokta became a favorite. Glokta is no saint. He's a crippled remnant of the man he once was, yet his grit is iron. He's not too nice though. I mean he is a torturer who once was tortured and still suffers. But still, my heart went out to him. Which begs the question, what the hell is wrong with me.
I was absolutely floored by the scene in which Logen becomes the Bloody Nine. Abercrombie yanked the carpet out and I tumbled, arms and legs akimbo. I suspect this is partly because Abercrombie is just a damn good writer, but also he skilled in the craft of stoking anticipation in his readers. By the time I get to see the Bloody Nine, I'm god damned ready for it! What does this mean? It means that Abercrombie manipulated me like a puppet on a string. He told me to dance, and I danced. Only good writers achieve this without inducing gross irritation. I'm not irritated, I want more.
This should appeal to all fans of good writing, but especially those who enjoy their fantasy with a little gristle.
Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie; say he's a damn good writer.
Chapter 45 was amazing. Not in the unfolding events, but rather in its seamless continuSay one thing for Joe Abercrombie; say he's a damn good writer.
Chapter 45 was amazing. Not in the unfolding events, but rather in its seamless continuity.
The only reason I'm not slapping a 5-star rating on this? The middle sagged with too many sprawling story-threads, and the tension was lost due to the number of important characters telling their POV. But still, the ending is... is... the ending is how it ought be. And it be beautiful. I know, a gristly fantasy story possessing a beautiful ending? Yes. Yes it does, and yes it is.
I experienced genuine surprise at my emotional investment in some of these characters. And when they died, I felt sad. What does this matter? It matters because Abercrombie managed to make me feel sadness for a character he invented. That is a special talent in an author. ...more