Tag: Doug

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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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/06/a-hat-full-of-sky-by-terry-pratchett/

Feb 04 2018

Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Beren and Lúthien mainly reminded me of why I never finished The Silmarillion. There is a paragraph late in the book that explains as well as any. Editor Christopher Tolkien is describing a misunderstanding that arose between his father and his father’s publisher after the apparently unexpected success of The Hobbit. Tolkien had sent the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/04/beren-and-luthien-by-j-r-r-tolkien/

Feb 03 2018

Berlin by Rory MacLean

Rory MacLean gave his book on Berlin the subtitle “Imagine a City.” His American publishers changed this to “Portrait of a City Through the Centuries,” which is odd because it loses the ties to MacLean’s prologue “Imagine” and epilogue “Imagine Berlin.” Further, the book is not a portrait but rather a collection of almost two …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/03/berlin-by-rory-maclean/

Feb 02 2018

California Bones by Greg van Eekhout

This was fun. It wasn’t deep, but it was fun. California Bones is set in an alternative present in which magic of various kinds works, and California is split into two independent polities — inexplicably not nicknamed Lo Cal and No Cal, although it is implied that southern California is colloquially known as the magic …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/02/california-bones-by-greg-van-eekhout/

Jan 30 2018

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

One of the things I like about middle and later Discworld novels is Terry Pratchett’s willingness to start a farce and then just keep going with it, well past the point where a more cautious or less experienced author would have reined in his plot and characters. I noted this in particular in The Fifth …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/01/30/monstrous-regiment-by-terry-pratchett/

Jan 26 2018

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Not all terrific books about Russian topics have to be gigantic. In The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes sketches the life of Dmitri Shostakovich in fewer than 200 pages, drawing mainly on three periods in the composer’s life while using those to look back on other times. In the first, it is 1937, the height …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/01/26/the-noise-of-time-by-julian-barnes/

Jan 24 2018

Goodbye, Moskau by Wladimir Kaminer

Wladimir Kaminer left Moscow for Berlin in 1990, and since then he has lived and chronicled the life of a Russian in the German capital. In roughly two dozen books, beginning with Russendisko (Russian Disco, first published in 2000), he explores with droll humor what it’s like to make a new life in a changing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/01/24/goodbye-moskau-by-wladimir-kaminer/

Jan 22 2018

The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold by Tim Moore

Tim Moore is a British travel writer, and two of his previous books involved long-distance stunt bicycle rides. One of them was a more or less straightforward ride along a route taken by the Tour de France. Fair enough, who has taken a bike tour and not wondered what it would be like to attempt …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/01/22/the-cyclist-who-went-out-in-the-cold-by-tim-moore/