March 2018 archive

Mar 31 2018

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

This powerful book about a woman discovering her own agency through the lens of the Bangladeshi immigrant experience surprised me at how timeless it felt even though it’s set at the turn of the 21st century. It’s very much in the tradition of classics by Thomas Hardy and Willa Cather, documenting with a fine eye …

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Mar 25 2018

Spook Street (Slough House #4) by Mick Herron

I need more Slough House books. You guys don’t understand: I need them (she says, tapping her veins.) It’s so unfair that Book 5, London Rules, isn’t out yet in the US. ANYWAY, with Spook Street, the Slough House series has officially become my favorite spy series. Aside from being smart and topical, these novels …

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Mar 24 2018

Any Day Now by Terry Bisson

For a good part of the way through Any Day Now, I was fairly certain that it would turn out to be the fourth perfect book, and even now I am not entirely sure that it is not. The book won’t be for everyone, though; I bounced off of the novel completely the first time …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/24/any-day-now-by-terry-bisson/

Mar 21 2018

Consider Phlebas (Culture #1) by Iain M. Banks

My first thought on finishing this book is “That was stupid.” And maybe in the late 1980s when this was written, the concepts invoked might have been considered new and interesting enough to paper over the book’s many other faults. In 2018, however, reading Consider Phlebas was a hard, unrewarding slog. First and foremost, this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/21/consider-phlebas-culture-1-by-iain-m-banks/

Mar 19 2018

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

“There was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/19/the-dispossessed-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Mar 18 2018

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

What a terrific book. What it lacked in pathos for me, it more than made up for in the breadth of its empathy and historical vision. Structured as eight short stories and an epilogue connected by their cast and timeline, Lovecraft Country plunges an ordinary black family of the 1950s and their friends into the …

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Mar 17 2018

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I really wanted to like this more, after the strong recommendation I got for it from Saladin Ahmad, but it was so weirdly annoying! It was very hard for me to believe that a 500 year-old witch who had been instrumental in helping to maintain the health and happiness of a large populace through one-on-one …

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Mar 11 2018

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

The fuck was that?! And I don’t mean that in a bad way either, it was just weird as hell and kinda gross. Pulling my professional pants on, I’m pretty sure the greatest part of my disorientation is the fact that, while this is billed as an outer space opera, I couldn’t shake the impression …

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Mar 08 2018

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

At different parts in the Discworld books, Terry Pratchett considers what might happen when something like a modern technology appears in the magical, quasi-medieval societies of the Disc. Moving Pictures was the first of these, back at the 10th book in the set, and they become more common later in the run. The Truth introduces …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/08/going-postal-by-terry-pratchett/

Mar 07 2018

The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

I should not have taken as long as I did to get through China Miéville’s novella, The Last Days of New Paris. The main story is less than 180 pages; the afterword tacks on another 15 or so, and I mostly did not read the notes that are appended afterward. That the words “get through” …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/07/the-last-days-of-new-paris-by-china-mieville/