Doug Merrill

Writer, editor, translator, project manager, reformed bookseller. Currently based in Berlin, following stints in Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Washington, Warsaw, Budapest and Atlanta. Also blogs at A Fistful of Euros, though less frequently than here these days.

Most commented posts

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison — 7 comments
  2. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments
  3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  4. Midnight at the Pera Palace by Charles King — 5 comments
  5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments

Author's posts

Jul 16 2018

Die Jungfrau von Orleans by Friedrich Schiller

At the opening of The Maid of Orleans, as Schiller’s five-act verse tragedy is known in English, France is divided among three parties: English troops who have taken Paris and the north in pressing their king’s dynastic claim to the French throne, southern lands held by the Valois king Charles VII, and Burgundy in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/07/16/die-jungfrau-von-orleans-by-friedrich-schiller/

Jun 26 2018

Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

Abe, a cranky retired history professor who’s pretty good on the harmonica. Joanna, a flight attendant who’s logged plenty of miles but still has a ways to go before she can stay on the friendly ground. They’re an unlikely pair, and they maintain their separate residences, separate worlds, but sixteen years together have been good …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/26/summerlong-by-peter-s-beagle/

Jun 17 2018

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Just in time for World Cup, I have finished Unseen Academicals, the Discworld book that takes up soccer — football, as it is known in some places, or foot-the-ball, as it is generally called in Ankh-Morpork. I had not been looking forward to this particular book on my trek through all of the main Discworld novels. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/17/unseen-academicals-by-terry-pratchett/

Jun 15 2018

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

War for the Oaks had a band-naming scene before the name of your next band became a Thing. It had fantastic conflicts in a downtown setting before vampires were ever thought to be sparkly. It has strong female protagonists as if that is the most natural thing in the world, which of course it is. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/15/war-for-the-oaks-by-emma-bull/

Jun 12 2018

Making Money by Terry Pratchett

Like Going Postal, Making Money starts with a deus ex Vetinari. Moist van Lipwig has brought the Royal Post back to life, but the operation is running so smoothly that being in charge no longer satisfies his urge to take ridiculous risks. Lord Vetinari, the Patrician who rules the great city of Ankh-Morpork with a …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/12/making-money-by-terry-pratchett/

Jun 10 2018

Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

Everything I said here about the greatness of the first half of Life and Fate holds true for the second. What strikes me most is how consistently he captures the contradictions of humanity, in situations both mundane and extreme. Some people are pitiless one moment and turn around and show great compassion the next; they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/10/life-and-fate-by-vasily-grossman/

Jun 09 2018

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

I am sure that I picked up The 13 Clocks because of the positive things that Neil Gaiman said about it among his reviews in The View from the Cheap Seats. I don’t have that text to hand just now, but I do have the introduction that he wrote to Thurber’s tale, even though he …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/09/the-13-clocks-by-james-thurber/

Jun 06 2018

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

Sword of Destiny collects six stories that take place early in the personal history Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher; that is, a human who has gained supernatural fighting abilities through a combination of training and magic. He is the central figure of four previous books by Sapkowski: The Last Wish, Blood of Elves, The Time …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/06/sword-of-destiny-by-andrzej-sapkowski/

Jun 03 2018

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente — The B Side

In her “Liner Notes” to Space Opera, Catherynne Valente thanks, “however obliquely … Douglas Adams, or at least his ghost, who looms somewhat benevolently over all science fiction comedy.” He did more than just hover over my review, he provided the framework of the lead paragraph and set the tone for much of the rest …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/03/space-opera-by-catherynne-m-valente-the-b-side/

Jun 02 2018

Silent House by Orhan Pamuk

Silent House, Orhan Pamuk’s second novel, tells some of the stories of three generations of an extended family. Pamuk rotates among five narrators, each of whom tells their part in the first person. Published in 1983, the book’s main action is set in 1980, just before another military coup shook Turkey. The house in question …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/06/02/silent-house-by-orhan-pamuk/