A nice little retrospective; not as in-depth as I'd have liked (then again, to successfully meet that criteria IMO you'd have to have released a 900-pA nice little retrospective; not as in-depth as I'd have liked (then again, to successfully meet that criteria IMO you'd have to have released a 900-page tell-all, but I digress). Nevertheless it contained several funny and interesting stories about Richard, James and Jeremy.
I think the real gem in this book, though, is its insight into the process of how the show was made; behind the scenes in a literal sense as Porter explained how he was involved in the day-to-day machinations of making a multi-million-dollar BBC ratings powerhouse. Additionally, this book was very well-written and very readable, exceeding my expectations....more
Listen. I've read a few novelizations in my day, and I'm only moderately ashamed to admit it.
This, however, takes the top layer of the crap cake. FirsListen. I've read a few novelizations in my day, and I'm only moderately ashamed to admit it.
This, however, takes the top layer of the crap cake. First off, Brooks has absolutely zero insight into how a child's mind works, and therefore absolutely slaughters any chance of having rendered the young Anakin into anything resembling sympathetic or well-characterized. Even a brief look at the child psychology wikipedia page is enough to call into question the motivations he ascribes to Anakin in the first ten pages.
That aside, I expected better writing from the famed Terry Brooks. (Although looking back at my one-star Sword of Shannara review, perhaps this is a personal bias.) Everything is flat and one-dimensional, which is antithetical to every reason someone would normally pick up a novelization (and this one in particular, seeing as how flat the characters already are in the movie).
If you're looking for a decent SW novelization, pick up Attack of the Clones. It is superior in every way, as is (according to rumor) Revenge of the Sith. Please stay away from this one....more
Generic three-star rating; aka I enjoyed it thoroughly but it didn't knock my socks off. Solid characterization and solid writing; immersive enough thGeneric three-star rating; aka I enjoyed it thoroughly but it didn't knock my socks off. Solid characterization and solid writing; immersive enough that it kept me from my homework for several hours. The thing that really impressed me about this book was how well Luceno manipulated the reader's sympathy. I really felt a kinship with the Sith POV, and I silently cheered Palpatine's gradual rise to power. I'd read an EU novel by Luceno again (this having been my first by any author)....more
I'm about 2/3 of the way through this book, but I already know how to rate it. Even though Amazon advised me that this book was low on the Top Gear beI'm about 2/3 of the way through this book, but I already know how to rate it. Even though Amazon advised me that this book was low on the Top Gear behind-the-scenes anecdotes I was hoping for, I bought it anyway, ready to be satisfied with some rather than none. I thought it was a good read-- a bit repetitive at times when retelling his early races, but also (unpopular opinion) genuinely gripping at times, a view I'm sure can only be shared by someone who watches Top Gear as avidly as I do. And of course, there were anecdotes: not as many as I would have liked, but combined with the light and quick read in a book that isn't my usual genre, it made it worth the 6.99 I paid for the ebook....more
How do I describe this book? The best metaphor I can come up with is that of a glacier faced with global warming: slow-moving for most of its long lifHow do I describe this book? The best metaphor I can come up with is that of a glacier faced with global warming: slow-moving for most of its long life, and then catastrophically quick at its end. The same goes for this book. Even in its most glacial and irrelevant passages (of which there are surprisingly few for such a brick-- nearly every scene is relevant or in some way serves to progress the journey of the characters) you may find yourself putting it down out of boredom only to take it back up minutes later, too intrigued to leave it alone for long.
And this takes us nicely from progression of plot to progression of characters. Rarely have I witnessed such radical character arcs so subtly defined. You will barely notice the changes that Norrell and Strange undergo until practically the end-- but by then they will be entirely evident, and if you chance to glance back at the last 600 pages or so you will see that they have been building all along, right in front of your eyes.
If you're looking for something to tide you over before The Winds of Winter comes out, this book is not for you. I have read ASoIaF, and I dearly love it, but this book is a different kind of "fantasy" epic. It is fantasy for literature buffs. It is fantasy for those who want to chew over what they're digesting instead of hurling themselves pell-mell through swordfights and battles. But it will engage you with its characters just as deeply as GRRM can, and if you have half a heart, you will feel the ending just as deeply as I did.
If you find yourself struggling to complete this book, I encourage you to persevere. Skip the footnotes if you must, as they are interesting but not imperative to the understanding of the story, but if you can make it to page 600 or so, it is in the last 180 pages that you will see Clarke's simmer turn to a boil. ...more