Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2011 > Jakob R. 50 books of 2011

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message 1: by Jakob (last edited Jan 14, 2011 04:19AM) (new)

Jakob | 5 comments Here's the first book I finished in 2011

The Gap into Conflict The Real Story (Gap, #1) by Stephen R. Donaldson

It was ok. The series is supposed to get better as it goes along.

message 2: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 5 comments Here's book nr. 2

Oedipus at Colonus (Theban Play, #3) by Sophocles

I enjoyed it :)

Here's my review of it:

message 3: by Jakob (last edited Feb 10, 2011 05:23PM) (new)

Jakob | 5 comments Book 3.

Matter by Iain M. Banks

My review:
Matter is less a story than a great panorama of exotic ideas and environments. What story there is in the book does manage to keep you interested but it is totally in the background of the world making aspects of the book. Banks creates this huge interesting world but when it comes to concluding the story it feels very rushed. For this reason and because of certain unanswered questions this book, which was very enjoyable for the most part, left me annoyed at the end.

message 4: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 5 comments Book cuatro.

Gateway (Heechee Saga 1) by Frederik Pohl

Gateway is an interesting mix of Freudian psychology and Scifi. Basically you have the main character recalling the main story through his sessions with his machine brain analyst. Despite hating his Dr. Freud machine and liberally telling it so, our main character Robinette finds the sessions helpful to deal with his pain. He doesn't really know where the pain stems from since he's repressed parts of his memories. Besides dealing with this we get the occasional comments about Oedipal feelings and other typical Freudian-isms.

Despite the fact that most of Freud's methods and theories are no longer used by competent psychologists the use of his theories in this book does not detract from its quality, mostly. Generally it just feels quaint.

The story is ok but it's the characters that make it. Rob is, for me at least, a very dis-likable fellow but the author still manages to get you to feel some compassion for him. The characters all have their flaws and cracks but that is what makes us human and what makes them interesting. I'm sure that in 1978 the climax of the story and what the whole book pretty much revolves around would have been a whopper but for a semi veteran scifi nerd and (popular) science book enthusiast it was anti climatic. C'est la vie.

The most interesting idea of the book for me was the oil shale mining. Basically in whatever year the book happens in food, i.e. algae and other such things which are converted into different nutrient blends, is grown by use of oil shale - since the oil itself is long finished. This is similar to the expostulation of Michael Pollan about the modern food industry in his book The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. In it he basically explains that modern food crops are not grown on energy from the sun but from the earth, i.e. oil. He goes into it quite deeply and I recommend it to anyone interested in our weirder than fiction modern ways.

message 5: by Jakob (new)

Jakob | 5 comments Cinco.

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

Review with spoiler (more of a comment than a review though):

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