It would be more fair to say "the show is exactly like the book" than "the book is exactly like the show"- but the former is the order it went for me-It would be more fair to say "the show is exactly like the book" than "the book is exactly like the show"- but the former is the order it went for me- I watched the show first, and then read the book- but basically, scene for scene- it's almost exactly the same as the HBO series, from whichever way you look at it.... and I don't say that as an insult mind you- it's fantastic- I loved the show so much, that's WHY I read the book- and the book was kind of like rewatching all the episodes---- only this time I was able to remember everyone's name (In a show where you may only see a character twice you get a lot more "time" to get to know them in a 700 odd page book), and experience all their internal monologues and thoughts- which was wonderful. If you like/d the show, you will almost certainly love the book. It's eminantly readable, not a literary masterwork to be sure, but that's not what I was after when I picked this book up. I wanted to be entertained, and I was very well rewarded.
The only sketchy bit is the age of his characters makes for some pretty uncomfortable thoughts- it's just a little skeevy and gross that Danerys is 13-14, but in a world as harsh and brutal as the one these characters live in, I guess I shouldn't be surprised- It definitely fits the whole theme and story- so I was able to put aside my distaste for that *almost* altogether.
All around amazing. I'm starting the second one immediately. ...more
When you read a book that's so involving that things like food, sleep, and work become *extremely irritating*, you know you have a winner. I read thisWhen you read a book that's so involving that things like food, sleep, and work become *extremely irritating*, you know you have a winner. I read this book in one day flat- nuff said. ...more
Three and a half. Very enjoyable- too short- it seemed like he might have been in a rush to write it- but very tasty for such a tiny little morsel ofThree and a half. Very enjoyable- too short- it seemed like he might have been in a rush to write it- but very tasty for such a tiny little morsel of a book....more
At 125 pages, I read this tiny book in about a day. It's not one of my favorite LeGuin books by any means; it's a predictable at times, and the charatAt 125 pages, I read this tiny book in about a day. It's not one of my favorite LeGuin books by any means; it's a predictable at times, and the charathers and story lack much depth, mostly I think, due to its brevity. I thought it was a good basis for a book, and I liked what I saw, but I saw very little. If this novella had been expanded quite a bit, perhaps it would have been more of a 4 star book, it's hard to say. Still, I enjoyed reading it, and by no means felt like I wasted my book-time on it. I am awaiting the arrival of a couple nonfiction books that' I'm *really* looking forward to, and this was a nice little tide-me-over book until they show up, but not much more than that. ...more
Three and a half stars. The main character was kind of vague and noncommital. A doormat type who really just let fate fall into his lap and did very lThree and a half stars. The main character was kind of vague and noncommital. A doormat type who really just let fate fall into his lap and did very little in the way of interacting with his world. That was part of his character, but I found it personally a little infuriating. The story was interesting, and well written, not surprising given Ursula LeGuin is pretty consitantly an excellent writer. The fact that it was set in my city gave me a feeling of affection I'm not sure I would have for it otherwise. But all around pretty good. Not great, but good. ...more
I really liked the first one of this series, but I found the characters really unlikable in the second one, which was subsequently magnified in this bI really liked the first one of this series, but I found the characters really unlikable in the second one, which was subsequently magnified in this book a thousandfold, and ultimately I couldn't finish it. I love Tim powers but the whole thing fell apart about halfway through, and I found reading it became a chore, so I just put it down. As always Tim Powers writes beautifully, but I could not find a single main character to empathize with in this novel. There's the weak, alcoholic, whiny widower who falls in love with the obnoxiously abrasive alcoholic blonde with annoying multiple personalities and the ghost of her psycopathic father living in her head- Then there's the bossy, domineering condecending psychoanalyst-turned-mexican-witch who's married to the pliant, too-cooprerative guy with Houdini's pacificst hands who can't hold a gun or stick up for himself, and then there's their "son"- the Indian-American prince to inherit the Fisher King throne, which despite the clamor to attain it, seems to be nothing but a huge pain in the ass to serve as, with no apparent advantage. I would have been sympathetic with him but he becomes less and less likable and more and more pathetic and weak as the story advances- in the last book he was a great character- but he's become a shadow of the kid who carried the ghost of THomas Edison in his head in the last book. Then there are the charachters from the first book- the bald pregnant queen who is almost a noncharacter, the "dead" king who is like the body in Law and Order- maybe someone famous but not much of a conversationalist and can't save a bad script.
Mavranos- Arky- he was my favoritefrom the first book (which I really did like a lot!)- but even he becomes more despicable- and his nonstop alcoholism is just annoying in this book. In the first novel he had a reason- he had heard that a particular brand of beer warded off the terminal cancer he was dying of- but now the self destructiveness is exactly the opposite of what he should be doing after living through the impossible cure of his brain tumour.
Anyway, maybe it gets better- but I couldn't bring myself to wad any further through it. Tim Powers- I still count you among my favorite authors but this was a real dissapointment D:...more
Classic Vance- I was apprehensive since I've only ever read Jack Vance's Sci-Fi, and was unsure how well his style would translate to pure fantasy, buClassic Vance- I was apprehensive since I've only ever read Jack Vance's Sci-Fi, and was unsure how well his style would translate to pure fantasy, but truly, I should not have doubted. As always it's filled with his wonderful florid use of the English language, and I always feel smarter after finishing a Vance novel.
In this particular story, Vance has gone to extreme lengths to be especially unforgiving towards his characters, and there is elegant and discreetly described rape, torture, murder, and various other atrocities, so fair warning to those with delicate literary dispositions.
All in all an excellent story, beautifully written, on a mythical but carefully constructed and described island to the south of England in an undisclosed era sometime in the foggy past. There are fantastical creatures one would expect, and some that are particular to this series. They are all painted in such a rich and unique way that I found myself having dreams very much reflective of the book.
Essentially the story follows the lives of the unfortunate Prince Allias and the even more unfortunate Princess Suldrun, as well as a host of others (equally unfortunate characters) whose lives intertwine and combine and smash together in convulsive disaster and victory, but when woven together turn into a truly grandiose adventure.
I've just begun reading the next book in the series, so I don't know if they will continue to be as delicious, but I suspect it would be impossible for them not to be.