11 of 52

Aug. 13th, 2013 03:05 pm
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My LifeTrue Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life by Kevin Sorbo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, confessions first. Confession One: I've always loved celebrity bios and autobios, especially the ones that are "I did this" more than the gossipy, feet of clay (themselves or others). I don't really want to know that Errol Flynn liked his women "young"--I'd far rather read Chuck Heston's journals (he always kept journals on the set, and they are chatty, about the craft, and not political). So, when this book came out, it went on my "read it some day" list.

Confession Two: I loved, loved, loved Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. I loved it for what it was--beefcake and cheesecake in nearly perfect balance; totally unrealistic, but very athletic fight scenes; campy humor; memorable characters--who can resist Aphrodite windsurfing on her seashell, Autolycus, and the venal, but ultimately moral Salmoneus?; and all the other over-the- top, we-aren't-taking-ourselves-too seriously-and-neither-should-you, plots and contrivances. And, well, the infant WETA work was fun, too ("Eye of the Beholder" and all the episodes with Typhon the Giant laid the groundwork for the LotR SFX). Moreover, the series helped me through a really dark time. Physically, 1995-January 1997 were very tough, and the wonderful distractions of silly mythology wrapped up in beautiful packages (can you say Ares? I knew you could), was sometimes better medicine than the handfuls of pills I had to consume every day.

So, with that out of the way, let me explain what finally led me to read the book. Over the last few months, Sorbo has been in the news for a number of reasons. Some are connected to the book. Some are connected to politics and faith. Like many Minnesotans, he is a real mix of conservative, liberal, and Christian philosophies. The first and third have hit the news lately, with the most recent his speculation that he is being blacklisted in the industry because of his faith. So, finally, I felt I needed to read the book, because the person coming across in the press is a right-wing, whiny, has-been.

So I read. The book went amazingly fast (given how slowly I've been reading this summer). I started it one evening, and I finished it the next afternoon. It's the length books commonly were "in the old days." But some of the chapters are rather short, and there's a lot of white space.

It has a little of the "here's how I got to Hercules" that I expected. But the bulk of the book is about dealing with the aneurysm (discovered between seasons 3 and 4) that nearly cost him his arm (really), and the strokes that nearly cost him his life, and probably are responsible for where his career is today. There are some guest-authored chapters (notably Michael Hurst and Bruce Campbell), and they give an interesting added perspective.

What I like most about the book is his unflinching self-assessment (he was NOT a good patient), his willingness to give credit where credit is due (some of the medical personnel, some of the alternative therapy practitioners, but especially his fiance, now wife, Sam), and his acknowledgement that faith was an important part of his own healing process, without getting up on a pulpit claiming "and it should be for you." Some of the book really isn't very flattering, but ultimately, I'm glad I read it. I think it does do what it sets out to do--give people suffering from an illness encouragement and an example of how it can go, and a small measure of "you aren't alone," even though, ultimately, you're the one who has to deal with it.

It made me melancholy, though. You see, he was one of those smart jocks, with little patience for people who are sick, full of drive and arrogance, and a certain "center of the universe" mentality. I know a fairly high number of those types, most of them male, but not all. Always have. I have a weakness for them. And the whiny, angry man sitting on the couch, making everyone around him miserable because he can't do the things he wants to, that he used to be able to (work out, play golf, drive, work a 12 hour day, walk across a room), is familiar. And Sorbo's most devastating injury was to his brain. I remember standing in the yard, looking at my beloved, and wondering "If he survives, will he still be him?"

I'm happy for Sam Jensen Sorbo that it looks like she got back not just the man she loved, but a better version than he was before.

But, I wish he'd shut the hell up in interviews about politics and being blacklisted. Makes him come across more like the whiny guy on the couch than the one who ultimately seemed to develop a good sense of priorities. Even if he's right about all of it, really, Sorbs--just shut up about those.

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10 of 52

Jul. 23rd, 2013 11:23 am
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
The Map of the Sky (Trilogía Victoriana, #2)The Map of the Sky by Félix J. Palma

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It is very rare that I get more than half-way through a book and finally give up.

Hmmm. What to say? Not a single likable character was encountered, Dear Reader, by this visitor to the pages of this tome. The author's attempts at re-creating a Victorianesque tone was only equaled in its ineptitude by the structure of the work.

Perhaps I am hampered by the fact that I have actually read a great deal of Victorian and Edwardian era fiction, and therefore know how precious (not a compliment in this context) Palma's prose is. When I found myself routing for certain characters--okay, all the characters--to die horrible, bloody deaths at the hand of the extraterrestrials I knew it was just time to step away from the book.

Fortunately, that saves me from having to read the other two volumes in the series. I win.

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9 of 52

Jul. 23rd, 2013 11:11 am
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #2)The Magician by Michael Scott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a bit embarrassed to say I'm hooked on this series. Maybe it's the puzzle of how the author is going to bring in various mythologies and historical/legendary figures. Sometimes it's the locales. I'm not saying it's high art--it's Young Adult fantasy, and not the best. But it's readable, compelling at times in its plotting (if I read it just before I start to drive somewhere I find myself wondering what's going to happen next, which is generally a good sign), and the characters are reasonably complex.

As a diversion, I really think it succeeds.

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8 of 52

Jul. 23rd, 2013 11:00 am
meirwen_1988: (table tag)
Boy, am I behind this year. Again, part of it is that the books I'm reading are LONG, except the ones that are really, really short. This one was a monster.

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time, #14; A Memory of Light, #3)A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that's done.

Because this is such a huge book, and because I know many people are waiting for the paperback, I'm going to make this as spoiler-free as I can.

It starts slow (at least it did for me), but once it picked up I found myself reading in that way that makes you resent having to attend to things like, oh, eating and sleeping, and being frustrated that I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to read "one more chapter." Speaking of chapters, the chapter "Tarmon Gai'don" is over 100 pages long--in the hardcover! And, well, it needs to be.

And so you know, in comparison to other works, the body count of friends and loved ones has been fairly light in The Wheel of Time series. Until now. People die. It's a war--these things happen.

I'm not sure the last book lives up to the promise of the first (which is on my list of top ten fantasy novels), and certainly there were dead weight volumes and passages along the way, but all in all I'm glad made the journey. There are days I wish I wore the serpent ring. Awhile ago someone asked what color my shawl is. I'm fairly certain now it is grey. But, well, one never knows until after The Trials.

I will miss these friends I've made over the years of reading the series, especially Min, Mat (though I frequently want to shake that one), Moraine Sedai, and Lan. Time to move on, though, to new worlds, new friends.

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.”

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meirwen_1988: (table tag)
Having a dialogue about replica glassware with Elizabeth Chadwick, one of my top five historical fiction authors. *bliss*

You may now resume your day.

7 of 52

Apr. 28th, 2013 04:05 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes NovelThe House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I came, I read, I slogged.

Not a convincing Holmes, Watson, nor Lestrange. Conan Doyle wrote more fully realized villains, the McGuffin that wasn't was too extreme to be credible, and the sense of "peril" was only authentic for one, minor, character.

Just say no.

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6 of 52

Mar. 3rd, 2013 01:49 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
Rise of the Darklings (The Invisible Order, #1)Rise of the Darklings by Paul Crilley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I've been spoiled by the J.K. Rowlings, Rick Riordans, and Michael Scotts of the world (not to mention C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper), but I don't expect a Young Adult label on a title to automatically mean the book will seem...childish. Unfortunately, that's how I often felt about this book.

It does have some virtues. The characters are often interesting, there are some well-written action sections, and the author's ability to create comic-relief characters who also display courage and nobility is solid. And, it's nice for a change to have Faery a place full of very dangerous creatures, not whimsical glowing beings who dance and twitter.

Still, this is definitely a book (and I presume this holds for the entire series) that is better suited to tweens than teens, and certainly not for adults.

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5 of 52

Feb. 4th, 2013 10:16 am
meirwen_1988: (reading)
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)In the Woods by Tana French

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm torn on this book. In many respects I thought it was very good. I like the way French strings words together. She is also very good at developing clear, complex, totally believable human beings. I found that when I was away from the book I was wondering what was coming next, how things were going to resolve, and that's usually the hallmark of a good book.

That said, I had some significant problems with the it. Betrayal and desolation pervade the book--they are ubiquitous and unrelenting. And even the one note of happiness at the end seems...illusory. Perhaps I wasn't in the mood for more Irish despair (after Christine Falls), or perhaps she does have an ability to create a nearly Donaldsonian level of despair. Whichever the case, it was so depressing I felt I needed medication after some sections. And I felt that the resolution of one of the central mysteries was too pat (I honestly knew "whodunit" as soon as I met the character, with only the slightest doubt at any point), and the irresolution of the second mystery (a phrase that will only make sense once you've read the book) was completely unsatisfying and not entirely convincing.

Because I very much like how French uses words, I may well go on and read volumes 2-5 in the Dublin Murder Squad series. But I think I'll wait until I've overdosed on happy optimism, cute kittens, and frolicking puppies. At that point bleak hopelessness might be just what the doctor ordered.

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meirwen_1988: (Christmas House Mouse)
During Christmas break I gorge myself on Christmas themed novels--mysteries, period pieces, Regency and modern romances--and in that way refresh my somewhat academically bruised psyche so I can walk into the Spring semester refreshed.

For reasons I haven't quite discerned yet, that did not happen this year to the usual extent. I had the books, but the reading did not happen as much as I wish it had. However, here are the last three of this season. A very mixed bag in terms of quality. I almost want to read one more, but Memory of Light is singing a siren song, and it's time to call my Warder and get to work. (Now, where did I put that shawl....)

Snowbound Wedding Wishes: An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe\Twelfth Night Proposal\Christmas at Oakhurst ManorSnowbound Wedding Wishes: An Earl Beneath the Mistletoe\Twelfth Night Proposal\Christmas at Oakhurst Manor by Louise Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Usually romance books of this sort (collections of novellas around a shared theme) start with a strong novella, then move to a weaker one, then end with one that is either very weak, or one that confounds a convention (for example, the Regency heroine wears glasses, or is plain, or the hero is a schoolteacher, not titled, or nerdy rather than athletic, or the characters are Jews in nineteenth century England...).

This volume confounded that convention. I found all three novellas A) well-written, B) with engaging characters, and C) a pleasure to read.

Merry Christmas to me!!

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A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I came to the Anne Perry Christmas novels late, and so am reading them out of order. I look forward to them every year, and eagerly opened this one.


Of all of these I have read (about 5, including this one), this one I enjoyed least. I didn't like many of the characters, I thought the plot was "forced," and the usual sense of place and context I find in Perry's Victorian world was missing.

I am glad I came to this novel late, because it is the first, and if I had read it as my first experience of the series, I never would have read the others, and one of those became one of my favorite Perry novels. So, next year I'll hope for better.

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A Christmas PromiseA Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the premise of this book, but was less enamored of the execution.

Still, in the great, wide world of Regency romance writers, Mary Balogh is one I can rely on to respect the English language and her readers. Her prose is always good, and her plots are never stupid. She has a deft hand with giving minor characters depth, and manages to avoid getting so detailed in descriptions of the scene and artifacts that the stories leave center stage.

So, all in all, worth the time I put into reading it, but not much more.

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1 of 52

Jan. 5th, 2013 10:29 pm
meirwen_1988: (scifi)
Altered CarbonAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what I expected when I decided to read this book. I honestly don't remember why I put it on the shelf, or what mood I was in when I picked it off the shelf. I remember not being all that happy with the beginning scene. That scene felt tired, and cliche, and hackneyed.

And then the book actually started.

This was a strange ride, in a future universe where the roots in our own are clear, but where the unintended consequences of our technology and philosophies have led to a world that never entered my mind, yet now, having read this book, will never leave it.

This is a futuristic noir detective novel, and I figured out the central "whodunnit" very early, but that doesn't matter, because in the scheme of enjoying the novel that is as ultimately irrelevant as it is to the larger plot itself. This book is about the nature of "self," the value of the individual human life, and the limits of longevity. It is compelling, and complex, and has some very memorable characters. I am immensely glad I read it.

There are more books with this protagonist, but I'm not sure I'll read them. I want this book to stand alone in my memory--a perfectly cut diamond solitaire of a book.

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37 of 52

Dec. 28th, 2012 07:47 pm
meirwen_1988: (Christmas House Mouse)
Cat Deck the Halls (Joe Grey #13)Cat Deck the Halls by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a light, fluffy little mystery.

I haven't read any of the other Joe Grey books, so I have no idea if it is typical. The characters are under-developed, the writing is repetitive, the mystery, with nearly no mistakes, I figured out about halfway through.

But it doesn't matter. My standards for Christmas-themed books is that they not offend me (either in content or skill), don't require much attention, and cause me to be pleasantly diverted. This succeeded on all counts.

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36 of 52

Dec. 28th, 2012 07:35 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
Mr. Churchill's SecretaryMr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was torn between a 3 star and a 4 star for this book. When it was good, it was delightful. It got much of the incoming "tide of war" feel beautifully. The sense of living on the edge of a cliff, and then falling over as the first wave of the Blitz happens. The changes in aspiration that the war brought to both men and women, in terms of work, romance, promise. So much was beautifully done.

And the mystery itself was interesting, especially in how it took up a thread of intrigue that wasn't the least bit overdone and, at least at the outset, handled it well.

But then it all fell apart. The first half of the book was a delight. The second half devolved into something about as realistic as an episode of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. I was very disappointed in how what seemed to be the author's sensitivity to the mores and customs of the time just seemed to vanish and instead the book became an implausible mess.

I originally picked this up because I saw Princess Elizabeth's Spy and nearly bought it at Barnes and Noble, until I saw it was the second in a series. So I picked up this novel first. I'm now torn. As I said, the parts I loved, I did truly enjoy. Which part will the more mature writer embrace--the wonderful sense of character and place, or the more cliched action and mannerisms that are exhibited in the second half of the book? And do I want to spend my spare allotment of reading time to find out?

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35 of 52

Dec. 2nd, 2012 10:38 pm
meirwen_1988: (embroider)
The Goldsmith's Daughter (Roger the Chapman, #10)The Goldsmith's Daughter by Kate Sedley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's been a long time since I've read any of the Roger the Chapman books, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy them. I need to go back and find the ones I haven't read (5-6 by my count), and there are more after this.

I like middle-class Roger's take on the world of late 15th century England, and I like how Sedley spools out her mysteries. She doesn't have the complex world of Sharan Newman or Candace Robb, let alone C.J. Sansom--in fact her books are far more like those of Ellis Peters or Margaret Frazer. But sometimes I don't want something so complex, and Sedley's careful enough with historical details to keep me happy, with characters I feel engaging.

But, I must confess, part of the attraction is her sympathetic portrayal of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Yes, I'm one of those.

So, Roger, I apologize for my long absence. I'll try not to be gone so long next time.

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33 of 52

Dec. 2nd, 2012 10:15 pm
meirwen_1988: (alter ego)
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)Sovereign by C.J. Sansom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy the Matthew Shardlake series, in part, perhaps because as the series has progressed Shardlake's dissolving respect for the Tudors mirrors my own passage from starry-eyed attachment to that dynasty to sheer, unadulterated disgust. I'm a proud Welsh-American in many respects, but I constantly feel it necessary to apologize for the Tudors, whose Welsh ties besmirch a noble people.

This book, in particular, is hard on the dynasty, and the portrayals of the members of the English nobility, and the royal family, are scathing. Set during the time Henry shared the throne with young Catherine Howard, the action takes place primarily in York, during the great pilgrimage when Henry was attempting to re-establish a proper relationship with the north. Sansom continues to have a deft hand presenting some of the hard realities of Tudor England, both in the physical realities of day to day life, but also in the tangled loyalties and priorities of people still bitterly torn by sectarian conflicts. It is that, more than any other aspect, that attracts me to the book. The people struggle to find a way through a moral and ethical minefield, with varying degrees of success in the moment, and in general. They make mistakes, innocent people get hurt, the venal and vicious sometimes win, but people keep trying, keep striving, to do more right than wrong.

I don't want to live in Shardlake's world, but I'm happy to visit it from time to time.

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32 of 52

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:48 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first saw the book come out in hardcover I read the jacket and put it down. Vampires. Again. I grew out of vampires decades ago, working my way through the classics, then getting scared to death by King's Salem's Lot, then falling a little in love with Lestat, and then falling out of love with him. Then I met the vampires of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, but that was my last flirtation with blood sport in literature. The only thing I know about vampires that sparkle in sunlight is what my friends tell me.

Then my friend Kathy, whose standards are high, and whose taste is excellent, recommended this book. I used my Nook's free sample feature, and that was that--I was hooked. I devoured this book. That part of it is set only a mile from where I grew up was just an amusing detail; seriously--how many books are set in little, rural Madison, NY?

The characters are round and fascinating, the world the author has created is just enough different from our own to be interesting, and the "mystery" is actually compelling. If I have a complaint it is that the last chapter seems to be leading toward a Galbadon-esque turn, which I really have reservations about. But friends who've read on encourage me to stick with the series. I found the rest of the book such a delightful surprise, that I will take their advice.

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31 of 52

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:28 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
Christine Falls (Quirke #1)Christine Falls by Benjamin Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a bleak, bleak book. That said, I really enjoyed it.

I've read a number of books lately all set between 1920 and 1960--it's apparently a trend right now, and I must say I'm reveling in it. The protagonist is a flawed, broken detective (aren't they all), and the supporting characters are everything from megalomaniacal to ingenue. Each, with the possible exception of one of the villains, feels real and possible.

Set in an Ireland that has more of Dubliners and Angela's Ashes than An Irish Country Doctor or Born in Fire, this isn't a book for someone looking for sunshine, brogues, and a happy cuppa tay. It's grey, and grim, and sad. But the author has created people I'm glad to have met, and who I'll seek out again.

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30 of 52

Sep. 27th, 2012 11:53 am
meirwen_1988: (tea comfort)
When Darkness Falls (Obsidian, #3)When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've only given this 4 stars (which may be unfair) because I was disappointed by the too tidy ending, but otherwise I would have given this a glowing 5 star rating. As it is, I can only give it a four--but that four has brilliant, radiant stars, and its own fireworks display.

When Darkness Falls is the third book in the Obsidian Mountain Trilogy, and all of the disaster, despair, and danger of the first two volumes does come to a head here, in mostly satisfying ways. The characters continue to develop and grow, the secondary characters become essential parts of the fabric of the world, the strong and beautiful begin to crumble. At times the mood and tone rival Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books for sheer hopelessness, and the Battle for Armethalieh rivals, even exceeds, the Battle at Pelennor Fields for sheer devastation of what is good and true.

Since there is a trilogy set after this one I don't believe I give much away when I say that our heroes triumph at a terrible cost. And that was satisfying. But the cost is very high.

The book has some profound flaws. Lacey and Mallory are not particularly good at sustained battle sequences (a problem when so much of the volume is about, well, battles, both massed and single combat). They are much better at the magic--making it feel real, in all its varied forms. And they are good at putting us inside the consciousness of very different characters. There, nuance and detail abound, which makes the paucity of those same elements even more conspicuous in the battle scenes.

Still, this trilogy is one of the best fantasy sets I've read in a very long time. When I look around after I have been reading these for awhile I'm a little startled that I'm not in The Wild Lands, or the streets of the City of a Thousand Bells, or the Flower Forest of Sentarshadeen. I want to be back there, in the story. I keep reaching for the book, only to remember I've finished it, and that provokes a sense of loss. I want to go back, and be with Kellen, and Cilarnen, and Jermayan, and Idalia. I miss them already.

Thank Leaf and Star for bringing these books into the world. They gave me joy.

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29 of 52

Sep. 4th, 2012 12:02 pm
meirwen_1988: (reading)
The ShootersThe Shooters by W.E.B. Griffin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoy The Presidential Agent series by Griffin, for all its flaws. It has many of the same characteristics I don't like in Tom Clancy novels (too much throwing away of names and specifications of various hardware), and the agency infighting can get a bit tedious in both. However, I enjoy them both for some of the same reasons--active story lines and interesting characters.

I could have done without the soap opera sub-text in this one, and all of the city hopping struck me as...not helpful in achieving the goal (i.e. it took way too much time to mount a rescue). But, even with its flaws, I'll pick up the next one and see what kind of fallout there is from this that Lt. Col. C. G. Castillo will have to make right now.

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28 of 52

Sep. 4th, 2012 11:52 am
meirwen_1988: (reading)
Life ItselfLife Itself by Roger Ebert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since I read this for free, and now intend to buy it, I suppose that's a strong endorsement.

The book itself is uneven, and as is true of memoirs, occasionally comes across as self-absorbed, but Ebert writes well, and his memories come across with strong senses of place, and at times you can almost hear the voices of the various, very diverse personalities whose lives have intersected, or run beside, his. Martin Scorsese jumps off the page, the wonderful woman who helped his get sober, the friends who stayed with him through the years.

If you love films, read this book for the insights on how to watch films and the people who make them. If you love babyboomers read this for a snapshot of life at the beginning of that group.

(Oh, and how did I read this for free? In one hour increments at Barnes and Noble on my Nook. I never would have borrowed it from a library, or bought it, but being able to open it up and read it over lunch or tea, a bit at a time, I found a book to treasure that would have slipped past me unremarked. Thank you, Barnes and Noble.)

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27 of 52

Aug. 15th, 2012 09:40 pm
meirwen_1988: (Default)
American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have friends who worship Neil Gaiman. Before this, the only one of his works I had read was Good Omens, the book he wrote with Terry Pratchett. And I must confess I hadn't picked that up on my own--a friend handed it to me and said "You want to read this."

So I did, and I loved it. Most of the things I disliked about Pratchett were missing, and there was a...layer...that was very different that I ascribed to probably being Gaiman.

For years I'd been hearing about American Gods, and, finally, this summer, decided to "bite the bullet." Or, maybe, the bullet bit me.

I'm torn between a 4 and 5 star rating on this. Given how my mind is whirling because of the book, given how immersed I became in Shadow's experience, I'm leaning toward a 5. But I saw so many of the "big reveals" coming chapters in advance (perhaps because I'm fairly widely versed in the sacred literatures and figures of many world religions), some moments that were clearly supposed to be "revelatory" didn't pull it off. So, the leaning towards a four. And though I doubt it's the case, I was constantly asking myself how many times Gaiman saw "Who Mourns for Adonais," which was one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek. So much of this book reminded me of that incredibly sad episode.

Apollo: I would have cherished you, cared for you. I would have loved you as a father loves his children. Did I ask so much?
Capt. Kirk: We've outgrown you. You asked for something we can no longer give.
[Later, after they've destroyed Apollo, and he has "spread himself on the wind"]
Dr. McCoy: I wish we hadn't had to do this.
Capt. Kirk: So do I. They gave us so much ... Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?

I may never read Gaiman again. I'm not sure I want to hear his voice doing anything other than the two works of his I know now. I'm fairly certain that like War from Good Omens, Shadow, and Wednesday, and Mr. Nancy, and Zorya Polunochnaya will stay with me forever. Gaiman makes my head hurt--in all the best ways.

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