Jim Grimsley's Reviews > Blue Mars

Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
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The book is better than my rating of it for at least a third of its length, so much better that I ought to rate it higher; but the two-thirds that are not better make the rating fair, I think. This is the close of the Mars trilogy, and I put off reading it for a while because so much of the second book made me tired through its sheer, dogged plodding. Page after page of extremely detailed traveling over Mars in one kind of conveyance or another. Very readable in a small sample, and utterly convincing, but by the third volume I felt as if I'd driven around Mars for a century myself. But the positives of the third book are really wonderful. This is the gentlest, least plot-driven of the books, and what made me love it (when I loved it) was the author's rhapsodies on science. Even more than the story of Mars this book (and its predecessors) are a hymn to science. The character Sax is such a concoction, his head full of etymologies, formulae, theories, constant cogitation. A dozen of him could solve any problem. And this is what happens, really. Science and reason have their way on Mars in a nearly utopian fashion. The story is about how some of us sometimes can get it right by means of science and technology. It is hard to make this kind of story happen. The writer who can pull it off is very great. And this book pulls off such a remarkable ending. Yes, it's a bit cheesy that the two antagonists finally come to terms with each other. But it's what I wanted to happen. So here is this book that I had to slog through for page after page because it had somehow captured a smaller, more rhapsodic novel inside its bulk. The ferreting out of the good here was altogether worth it. But this is a book that I could never, ever reread. Really needed a sense of when enough Martian geography was enough.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 6, 2020 – Shelved

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