Category: Doug

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

Das Erwachen by Josef Ruederer

I admired the conception of Das Erwachen (The Awakening) more than I enjoyed its execution. As Josef Ruederer’s widow Elisabeth wrote in an brief introductory note, “[He] wanted to portray life — history and people — in his home city through the nineteenth century up to the present [1916] in a four-volume novel.” Unfortunately, he …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/17/das-erwachen-by-josef-ruederer/

Tales of the Squee, Pt. 2

Meddling Kids

That I am spoiled for choice among just the books that I own, to say nothing of any libraries that Berlin might have, can be inferred from the fact that in the four and a half years since I last wrote a coming attractions post, I have read north of 200 books, but only three …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/11/tales-of-the-squee-pt-2/

To the Lake by Kapka Kassabova

To the Lake by Kapka Kassabova

In Border, Kapka Kassabova traveled to the corner of Europe where Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey meet to find out how the region had changed since the Iron Curtain had ceased to divide these three countries that have so much shared history. To the Lake takes her further west to where Macedonia, Albania and Greece meet, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/10/to-the-lake-by-kapka-kassabova/

Piranesi Redux

On April 21, 1990, the second through sixth places on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart of pop music were occupied by “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child, “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield, “I Wanna be Rich” by Calloway, “I’ll be Your Everything” by Tommy Page, and “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/09/piranesi-redux/

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

I nearly noped out of Black Sun about a quarter of the way through, thinking that if I wanted to read about teachers abusing a child in supposed service to a greater cause then I would go back and read The Fifth Season and its sequels, but I don’t. I had given Black Sun a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/08/black-sun-by-rebecca-roanhorse/

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi is a scientist, working to understand the world around him. That world may seem odd, or circumscribed, to readers, but Piranesi does not question it. It is the world, after all; the House. He does not inquire into its origins, nor try to understand its supports. Instead, he maps it. The House has Halls …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/10/01/piranesi-by-susanna-clarke/

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes, Pt. 2

The Making of the Atomic Bomb turns 35 this year. My copy is a 25th anniversary edition, and it opens with the words, “More than seven decades after its conception under the looming storm front of the Second World War, the Manhattan Project is fading into myth.” The book itself was written and published in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/26/the-making-of-the-atomic-bomb-by-richard-rhodes-pt-2/

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

What would young Mexicans in the 1970s who cared about literature more than anything else be like? Roberto Bolaño gives at least one version in The Savage Detectives. The book is anything but a careful study. Over the course of its 577 pages, Bolaño pulls out nearly all of the stops (the book he truly …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/25/the-savage-detectives-by-roberto-bolano/

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, Pt. 2

Harkaway takes the epigraph for Gnomon from The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuscinski. “When the first question was asked in a direction opposite to the customary one, it was a signal that the revolution had begun.” Ethiopia, as portrayed in The Emperor is a land of whispers and intrigues, barely contending with modern technology, shaped by …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/24/gnomon-by-nick-harkaway-pt-2/

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway, Pt. 1

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Some time past the middle of the twenty-first century, Britain offers its citizens the safest, most democratic, best-adjusted society in human history. Every person under the System is encouraged — though not compelled — to spend a certain amount of time each week voting, and is semi-randomly assigned to decision-making bodies for the duration of their session. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/22/gnomon-by-nick-harkaway-pt-1/