“Fear the Worst”

October 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Fiction | 1 Comment

Fear the Worst, by Linwood Barclay, is a terrific thriller.  While the plot – dad searches for missing daughter – is rather common for an action story, the character development is impressive.

Product Details

Tim Blake begins the story as a feckless, naive man.  Gradually he wakes up to the complex web around him.  Again and again, tangential people in his life turn out to be integral to events of which he was completely oblivious.  I found the tightly paced plot to be something of a vehicle for the awakening of Tim Blake.

I read this thing in, I think, 4 or 5 hours.  I carried it around the house when I had to do other things so I wouldn’t lose track of it.

“El Cid”

October 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Classics | Leave a comment

You may know of El Cid as an example of early medieval epic poetry.  At the Rocket Scientist house, we know it as our new best friend.  You see, we do medieval reenactment.  Yes, you knew we were nerds before, but you might not have realized just how nerdy we really are.  I read El Cid aloud on the way to and from a tournament this Saturday.

Product Details

The only thing missing from this fantastic and lively translation was the poetry.  A few rhymes snuck themselves in here and there, but we couldn’t help but wish for more.  We read Beowulf on one of our last road trips, and that translation was in blank verse, also losing the complex internal rhyme scheme of the original.  There’s probably some polyglot out there who can read all these things in the original, but it isn’t me.

El Cid is packed with action and drama.  My man RS claims the battle scenes amped him up when he put his own armor on.  Now he can’t stop talking about “souls flying out of bodies” and “blood running down his elbow.”

Attack of the Giant Books

October 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Posted in Book Blather | Leave a comment

Did you realize Stephen King has a new book coming out next month?  And that it’s over 1000 pages?  I just pre-ordered it on Amazon because it’s only $9.  Inside, I was cringing.

You see, I’m trying to read 500 books this year, and included in my list are several lengthy challenge books.  Yet I couldn’t resist 2666 (912) or The Kindly Ones (992) or Anathem (960), and I’m on the waiting list for Imperial (1344) too.  Now Stephen King has to come out with another doorstop as well!

Don’t get me wrong; the moment I get a new SK all other plans are immediately cancelled until I’m finished.  I’ve been reading his stuff nearly my entire life, and I have no plans to stop.  It’s just… Couldn’t it have come out, say, 6 weeks later?

The other “problem” is that this has been a banner year for many of my favorite authors to have published new books.  We’ve had new works from Nick Hornby, A. S. Byatt, Alice Hoffman, Alexander McCall Smith, Stieg Larsson, Chelsea Cain, Suzanne Collins, and Louise Rennison, and we’re waiting on Anne Tyler, Douglas Coupland, and Barbara Ehrenreich.  Never before have I had this combination of elation and depression.  Yay!  Finally I can read this terrific book that will satisfy all my desires and… slow me down as I try to reach my greatest reading challenge ever.  Get back, temptation.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.