Tag: Doug

Apr 18 2019

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad is a hell of a book. Like Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, Whitehead’s book was published in 2016 and takes a slightly science fictional look at slavery in the United States of America. Winters’ narrative brought slavery into the 21st century and imagined what the peculiar institution would be like in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/18/the-underground-railroad-by-colson-whitehead/

Apr 15 2019

Lost Kingdom by Serhii Plokhy

Having recently written a national history of Ukraine, Plokhy turns his attention to the history of the junior eastern Slavic nation, Russia. A fair portion of Lost Kingdom describes how and why my opening sentence would outrage Russian ideologues, rulers and historians. The titles of the book’s sections reveal important aspects of his argument: Inventing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/15/lost-kingdom-by-serhii-plokhy/

Apr 07 2019

Head On by John Scalzi

Head On follows Lock In as a near-future, science fictional mystery in a world in which a pandemic (“Haden’s disease”) has killed many millions of people and left millions more alive and conscious, but with no control of their voluntary nervous system, locked into themselves. A crash research program has delivered enough advances in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/07/head-on-by-john-scalzi/

Apr 05 2019

Border by Kapka Kassabova

I’ve been to this border before, though I’ve never been to the particular corner of Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece that Kapka Kassabova visits. “But the initial emotional impulse behind my journey was simple: I wanted to see the forbidden places of my childhood, the once-militarised border villages and towns, rivers and forests that had been …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/05/border-by-kapka-kassabova/

Apr 04 2019

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

In The Color of Law Richard Rothstein lays out the case that segregated patterns of residence in every part of the United States are not the result of impersonal market forces, not just the result of patterns of individual choices among large numbers of people, but are instead the result, often the intended result, of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/04/the-color-of-law-by-richard-rothstein/

Apr 01 2019

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I nearly set this one down about a third of the way through. The violence just seemed gratuitous, played for yuks (and for yucks), divorced from anything meaningful going on in the story. I stuck with it because I was curious about some of the characters and, to be honest, because the book isn’t that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/04/01/the-library-at-mount-char-by-scott-hawkins/

Mar 23 2019

You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt

This is another novel whose story I could have easily wandered in and out of, with just a minor tweak or two. Sarah Zuckerman, the protagonist of You Are One of Them, works for an English-language newspaper in Moscow in the mid-1990s. My newspapers were in Budapest, and I didn’t relocate to Moscow for another …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/23/you-are-one-of-them-by-elliott-holt/

Mar 22 2019

Rocannon’s World by Ursula K. Le Guin

Rocannon’s World was Ursula K. Le Guin’s first published novel. It contains some of the forms of a fantasy story but takes place in a science fictional setting, part of the Hainish universe that she developed in several of her later novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness, The Word for World is Forest, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/22/rocannons-world-by-ursula-k-le-guin/

Mar 09 2019

The Bridge by David Remnick

Because I am all about timely reading, I have just finished The Bridge, whose subtitle is The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and which was published in 2010. As Remnick explains in the acknowledgments, his “hope was to write a piece of biographical journalism that, through interviews with his contemporaries and certain historical actors, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/09/the-bridge-by-david-remnick/

Feb 25 2019

All the World’s a Stage by Boris Akunin

For a number of years, I was worried that Boris Akunin’s English-language publishers (the estimable Weidenfeld & Nicolson) had despaired of finding an audience for the Russian mystery writer’s work, and I would have to read the remaining stories in German and miss out on Andrew Bromfield’s witty translations, or really really really improve my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/25/all-the-worlds-a-stage-by-boris-akunin/