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Showing posts from June, 2014

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

I hesitate to review authors I truly and profoundly enjoy. I know, I’ve mentioned this before. I probably will do so again. The ubiquitous and latent fear provoking procrastination is unlikely to dissipate any time soon, as I’m happy to be blissfully ignorant of literary theory, trends in literature throughout the ages, and the exact definition of “comedy of manners” which other reviewers* have decided that this book must be, instead cosy in the realms of my experience and the book and / or author’s place therein, therefore risking exposure of this ignorance in an hubristic fashion by expounding at length and in arrogance about me me me and without putting everything into a more suitable context. Plus, I probably will have missed something dreadfully important and make myself out to look quite the fool**.
Nonetheless, here I go once more, into strange and disturbing lands with only a wry grin pasted on my face as defence against the zombie hordes of public opinion***, this time to butt…

The New Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

It's a funny* thing, but I was certain I'd read and reviewed all of the previous novels in the "... Watch" tertralogy (as it was before it became a pentalogy without warning) on this blog at points over the years. It seems I haven't, or have failed to accurately label them. So it would seem I have limitless scope to rehash several old, bad reviews into one, new, bad review for your reading disapproval. What an opportunity! I shall therefore waste said opportunity and approach this afresh and with a degree of structure.

Back story first - there are two worlds occupying the streets of Moscow, and indeed the world, wherein live us norms, the regular humans, and the Others, the meta-humans, beings of power loosely organised into two warring but controlled factions, Light and Dark. Then there is the Twilight, another stratified world below or inside or on top of the tactile through which all Others can move - a mystery without solution. The factions are patrolled by te…

The Turquoise Lament by John D. MacDonald

To give John D. MacDonald his due, his entertaining and quixotic detective fictions have certainly kept my attention for longer than more challenging and potentially rewarding works from chaps like David Foster Wallace and John Barth, for whom I need to build up a tolerance in the intervals between bookswhich is depleted during the reading so that I might have the courage to finish them in a less than diabolically lengthy period and so that their influence on my own writing has the opportunity to wane and diminish. I am a terrible, terrible mimic of other peoples' styles. MacDonald provides a salve to a disquieted mind, something chewy but not strongly flavoured - no, sorry that's not quite accurate. Travis McGee has a very distinct flavour, a cherrywood smoked, Plymouth ginned, sun lotioned and salt tanged flavour. What is missing is the active involvement of the reader, making it all so much fun and fluff, pretty pictures with primary colours. It's easy just to read and …