Reread 7-21-11. Remember loving it more than I expected to, and still do. Find aspects of it almost painfully/nauseatingly upsetting: t...moreReread 12-26-09
Reread 7-21-11. Remember loving it more than I expected to, and still do. Find aspects of it almost painfully/nauseatingly upsetting: the anti-agnostic, anti-intellectual passages. They are mitigated, very beautifully and even truthfully, by the bigger picture of the plot and characterization, whereby logic alone can be used to justify anything, and intellect that is NOT objective is dangerous indeed, but twisted by unaccepted, repressed emotionality; and true intellectuals (e.g. characters from the previous books of the series, Issib and Zdorab and Rasa; and in this one Shedemei and Edhadeya); and by lovely passages like (p338) "The students of her school might have been caught up in the moment but they had been truly educated and not just schooled—they were able to hear something they had never before, analyze it, and decide for themselves that it was worthless…" And yet there is a sharpness to the denouncing passages, whether put in the mouths of characters who are explicitly being "wrong" or not, that… cuts. Have always said of this last book in the "Homecoming" series that it's the closest the books come to the preachiness of C. S. Lewis or Madeleine L'Engle yet strikes me so differently; more inclusive than exlusive. It's just this one aspect I find… unnerving—yes, potentially excluding. Perhaps seeking for the motive of the author behind it, or worrying about it as a rally.
But in any case, that itself is yet another demonstration of what I love about these books. How well they explore, capture, and inspire reflection, of some of the issues of humanity I find most fascinating and formative.(less)
Currently also listening to a radioplay of a Douglas Adams "Dirk...moreReread June - July 2010
Reread May 2009
Always forget what an engrossing read they are.
Currently also listening to a radioplay of a Douglas Adams "Dirk Gently" novel, so the "holistic detective" thing is likewise running through my mind and Lije Baley certainly has some of that going on. Everything is relevant to the crime, every ounce of understanding of "white knowledge"*, because everything is interconnected and sometimes it takes unfamiliarity to be able to see relevance. (See my favorite quote: "We don't know who discovered water but we know it wasn't the fish."**) And it may take exploring a robot's positronic brain to also get some pithy observations about human psychology. And Asimov succeeds where so many scifi writers toying with robots fail—Daneel truly is never more than a [i:]machine[/i:] as much as he looks like a man and we anthropomorphize, but that doesn't stop our investment and only continues to fuel fascination.
*Thanks, Neil Gaiman **Thanks, Marshall McLuhan(less)
Reread 12-15-09. Remembered past favorite moments and loved them just as much this time around -- indeed couldn't wait to keep reading to get to them....moreReread 12-15-09. Remembered past favorite moments and loved them just as much this time around -- indeed couldn't wait to keep reading to get to them. The section that stands out as now meaning so much more to me now than it did then is the Shedemei/Zdorab proposal scene. I liked and was intrigued by it in the past, but didn't quite get it. To read it now, the sensitivity, truthfulness, honesty and complexity of it, the situation it delves and the future issues it sets up, now that I've lived (even vicariously) more of the truth of it, moved me to tears and made me very grateful to and appreciative of Card. Would love to hear what some of my friends make of it.
Reread 12-12-2009. As with book #1, was fixated and devoured it, and (much more unusually for any book) was constantly impatient throughout any activi...moreReread 12-12-2009. As with book #1, was fixated and devoured it, and (much more unusually for any book) was constantly impatient throughout any activity of the day to get back to it.
Possibly most of the original three I read as a pre-teenager (I could bear to read #4 and #5 until I was older; I found them threatening just from the back blurbs) I think I missed the most in the first read, maybe even skipped things which I now find amazing and riveting.