WAR ON SOUND is the latest from Christopher Harris, who is most well-known for being one of the savvier fantasy football analysts in the industry. ForWAR ON SOUND is the latest from Christopher Harris, who is most well-known for being one of the savvier fantasy football analysts in the industry. For anyone who listened to him on ESPN, or on his current Harris Football podcast, they know that Harris is not simply a one-trick pony. (In fact, he has a second podcast about pop culture and the things he's fascinated with.)
Specifically, it's extremely obvious from his work that Harris is a music nut. Specifically "indie" music though I'm sure his tastes are wide and deep as well. That is ridiculously obvious in WAR ON SOUND, a book that's about a group of four musicians who meet, taste success in unexpected ways and what happens after that. It's clear throughout their passion for music, not just in making it, but in listening to it, creating it, loving it, hating it...etcetera.
At times, the journeys our characters take may go a little out of the way for me (a trip to Haiti was relevant but maybe a bit too long for my taste), and in some places a harsher editor might have pruned here and there to make the novel a bit tighter, but none of this takes away from a really strong novel about music, friendship, love and growing up. The story takes some unexpected twists and turns that were really refreshing (being surprised in a novel is one of my favorite things) and I also can't wait to listen to some of the bands Harris references here as well. Definitely a recommended read....more
There's no getting around that this is the work of a brilliant writer - it is, essentially, Hamlet told in modern times from the perspective of HamletThere's no getting around that this is the work of a brilliant writer - it is, essentially, Hamlet told in modern times from the perspective of Hamlet...as a fetus.
Yep, that's right.
It's certainly tough to follow, and at times the references he makes are absurd to justify a fetus "knowing" even if we do want to grant said fetus the brainpower author McEwan gives him as a literary device. But, that said, it's a pretty brilliant (and short) novel that is resolutely clever, entertaining and gripping. ...more
This is more of a 4.5/5 stars but I'll nudge it down to four stars because, at the end of it all, there isn't all that much there there. But what IS tThis is more of a 4.5/5 stars but I'll nudge it down to four stars because, at the end of it all, there isn't all that much there there. But what IS there is simply gorgeous prose, somehow capturing a time I was barely alive for with such vivid realism I don't doubt it for a second. The disaffected youth seems realistic and tragic, and not like a trope, and the thesis of how someone essentially innocent (though flawed) could find herself with a truly horrible group of people capable of horror -- it's really compelling. (And the question of how ready all of us are to unleash a horrible side of ourselves we may or may not know exists is certainly a good and important one.)
I raced through this book and fretted when I saw I was nearing the end. My only complaint, as it were, is that it races through the finale, which we know about early on - and perhaps that's because it's not THE point. It did feel rushed though, and that's a minor flaw. Still, I can't say enough about this novel, it's really unique and lovely and horrific, and that's not a combination I've seen nearly enough. ...more
I love Drew Magary's writing and was therefore a bit flummoxed at the start as it seemed sophomoric and just ...off. After finishing the book I now thI love Drew Magary's writing and was therefore a bit flummoxed at the start as it seemed sophomoric and just ...off. After finishing the book I now think that was just table setting. The story is insane, and satisfying and surprising ... it won't make sense to recap but it's well worth the quick read and also something I will likely not forget anytime soon. Recommended. ...more
As the final part of the Brilliance trilogy - something i discovered only courtesy of NetGalley, which provided me with all three books that I devoureAs the final part of the Brilliance trilogy - something i discovered only courtesy of NetGalley, which provided me with all three books that I devoured in a row - Written in Fire is an extremely satisfying conclusion to the series. They are based on "our" world - with the exception that in the 1980's, about 1% of children born going forward were considered 'abnorms' - that is, genetically brilliant in ways that gave them huge advantageous. This inevitably leads to a confrontation between these 'abnorms' or 'twists' and "normal people."
I really liked how Sakey veered away from both tried and true tropes with subjects like this, as well as avoided being too preachy about the obvious allegories between the way any privileged majority looks at new, 'strange' new minority groups. (The point comes across without feeling as if it is being shouted down from Mount Pious.)
It's a very satisfying and engaging conclusion .. with the only complaint I have is that at the very end, it resulted in a few pages of "and here's how all the other loose ends were tied up and resolved" that was likely necessary for space (and also because it wouldn't have been as interesting to play out after the events that preceded it)....but it felt a bit lazy and rushed.
Marcus Sakey has written a LOT of terrifically engaging books and this is no exception. I really recommend the series - even if, like me, you're not particularly drawn to sci-fi or fantasy. It's well worth your time. ...more