Category: Doug

Apr 20 2018

Thud! by Terry Pratchett

Thud, like The Last Jedi, was much better than it had any right to be: deep into the series, with the previous outing in need of tightening up a bit (Star Wars: The Third Death Star needed much more than that, but nevermind). Thud also embodies a particular hazard of a long-running series: an item …

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Apr 17 2018

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

I read The Gatekeepers, a book about White House chiefs of staff, like the grad student and extremely minor Washington insider that I used to be: acknowledgments first, then scan the bibliography, then a look at the notes, then the main text. In this case, I also read the last chapter, which is about the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/04/17/the-gatekeepers-by-chris-whipple/

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 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 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/

Feb 26 2018

The Naive and Sentimental Novelist by Orhan Pamuk

If I had read The Naive and Sentimental Novelist before reading Orhan Pamuk’s novels, I probably would not have bothered with them. That would have been a pity because most of them are very good, and one, Snow, is among the best I have ever read. So there’s a considerable gap between this collection of …

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Feb 13 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

When it was built, the House of Government — maybe better known in English as the House on the Embankment thanks to the book by Yuri Trefonov — was the largest residential building in Europe. With The House of Government, Yuri Slezkine gives the building, its people and its first era an equally enormous treatment. The main …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/13/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine/

Feb 10 2018

Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich Schiller

From the subtitle, “A Bourgeois Tragedy” to the Romeo and Juliet references that crop up in discussions of the play, it’s clear that Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love, although I am glad to see that at least some translators go with the better order of Love and Intrigue) is not going to end well …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/10/kabale-und-liebe-by-friedrich-schiller/

Feb 06 2018

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

The second Tiffany Aching book, A Hat Full of Sky, picks up right where the first one left off. The Lancre witches have arranged for Tiffany to learn from a witch, in something like an apprenticeship. This matches with traditions in the Chalk, Tiffany’s home region, in which girls often went “into service.” Pratchett explains, …

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