Tag: Meh

Feb 10 2019

The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross

I suppose The Labyrinth Index marks the time in the Laundryverse when horror overtakes humor, and the combining apocalypses leave the characters nothing to do but get on with it in the face of diminishing hope for the human race, but honestly it makes the book a bit of a slog. The Laundry is, or …

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Feb 04 2019

The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Tower of the Swallow is what happens when an author wrestles with the middle-book problem, and loses. Nothing happens, or rather, a great deal happens but none of it matters a dickie-bird until the last 30 pages or so (out of 400), at which time Ciri, the child of destiny, definitively escapes the several …

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Jan 10 2019

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others left me cold, which surprised me for two reasons: first, because he has a reputation as an excellent writer, few stories but nearly every one a contender for major awards and often enough a winner; second, because I had enjoyed The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate so much. (That …

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Dec 24 2018

Don Karlos by Friedrich Schiller

The first thing to note about Don Karlos is that I noped right out of it somewhere in the middle of the second act. My disbelief had wavered early on when Don Karlos, the crown prince of Spain, unburdens his soul to his childhood friend the Marquis of Posa. Karlos (Carl in English) says he …

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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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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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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 10 2016

The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein by Thomas Ligotti

One of the advantages of picking up twenty books for about twenty bucks in a Humble Bundle is the chance to get to know new authors at low cost. (I’m a long way from a good lending library in English, so no-cost is not much of an option for me.) The Bundle that I picked …

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Nov 03 2015

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book wasn’t for me. I thought it might be — 10 million fans can’t be wrong — I had heard good things about it, the title stayed lodged in my brain suggesting, and I thought about buying the book several times over the course of this year. So I picked it up, not entirely on …

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May 14 2015

What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg

I skipped a good sixty or seventy pages of this book in the hope that jumping ahead would prevent me from pronouncing the Eight Deadly Words, but in the end it didn’t. As the copyright page tells any reader, “The novel What Makes Sammy Run? was originally published by Random House, Inc., in 1941. Copyright …

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