As far as history goes, Temples & Tuk tuks: Travels in Cambodia does a fine job in presenting parts of Cambodias struggle torn past. As far as wri...moreAs far as history goes, Temples & Tuk tuks: Travels in Cambodia does a fine job in presenting parts of Cambodias struggle torn past. As far as writing and narration goes: too many paragraphs on ravaged roads, a few similar meals too much and definitely too many 'loos'.(less)
So I'm a bit disappointed. I remeber my Frank W. Abagnale as a childhood hero of sorts, not as an actual person but rather as an embodiment of the soc...moreSo I'm a bit disappointed. I remeber my Frank W. Abagnale as a childhood hero of sorts, not as an actual person but rather as an embodiment of the social prodigy child. This picture came to me from the movie based on the novel as well as further reading through the internet. While the novel certianly lives up to the picture and more, I was sad to find that the appeal I felt then now have faded into a slight admiration shared with other people. The prodigy status were much more impressive at a time when I thought every skill were able to be taught and learned and it now felt as just another determined man in a past, never-to-come-again time.
There was unfortunately little to hold in high regard aside from my personal disappointment in the character of Abagnale. The writing by Stan Redding felt repepatitive and even though several years passed there seemed to be essentially the same person in the end of the story as in the beginning (something I'm sure isn't true when it comes to the moral and physical development of mid-teenaged Abagnale). I felt intrigued by the thought that Abagnale was an actual, and succesfull, conartist and that thus parts of the story might be fictional and there certainly were doubtful episodes which fueld my suspicious interest. There's no denying that Redding had a good story to work with and while I feel that he wasn't really up for the task, it's a fascinating story well worth reading for anyone interested in the practice of confidence tricks. (less)
**spoiler alert** The Magician is the first book in Raymond E. Feist's epic story about the natives of Midkemia and the continents mysterious surround...more**spoiler alert** The Magician is the first book in Raymond E. Feist's epic story about the natives of Midkemia and the continents mysterious surroundings. It was written as Feist's first attempt to put into words the story of a young magician growing up, "breaking numerous rules of plotting along the way" and in the process creating a beloved and equally massive fantasy story spanning over several years, involving numerous characters and several continents.
I enjoyed the Magician throughout most of the book. Feist's strength is in his amazing ability to juggle the many sub-plotlines, sub-characters and background details that makes the Riftwar Saga universe what it is, all while the main, gruesome story progress straight towards an end not clear but never doubtful. I felt that I as a reader had to adapt to the Magicians broad time frame (twelve years pass through the story from beginning until end) which at first felt slightly alien but, when combined with detailed descriptions of medival logistics and the vast distances covered, soon enough felt very natural. It seems logical that tales of noble families, kingdom intrigues and epic warfare should be portrayed to a fair extent.
Where the Magicians timeline is well suited for the set age of the story, it is less so for the characters development. All of the major characters change in major ways when looking at traits in terms of rank and title, subjective understanding of their position in the world/kingdom/home, but seem to stay with their essential outline as portrayed early in the book. I felt that this caused the characters to feel very predictable and at times, a bit boring. Something one might think would be avoided with so much time spent describing their lives. And as much as I could learn to like wars fought on harsh frontiers being covered in a paragraph or two, it just is not as easy to grasp a five year gap in a main characters life with the blanks being filled in later, or even assumed.
The Magician is an extensive piece of fantasy work, complex in its progressive development yet very characteristic as would be expected of a epic fantasy story. I deem it a very good novel, well worthy of the epithet "epic"!(less)