Je m’appelle Cédric Bozzi et ceci est mon blog. Enfin, ceci est surtout la reprise de tous mes tweets et de mes photos publiées sur Instagram, mais parfois il peut aussi y avoir de vrais articles.
I decided today that it was time to flush all the unfinished book reviews that I never posted, and I should just write one big post listing all the books I hadn’t mentioned because tweets are too short to review 600-page novels and I can’t be bothered to write full posts anymore.
Then I went through my blog drafts and realized that there were review drafts dating back as far as 2008, so I’m going to split them in two posts; one for the books I read in 2008, and one for those I read in 2009. (In the future I’ll try to post for each quarter or something. One can hope that I might find the courage to write real posts once in every three months. While we’re at it, one can also hope that I might find the cure to world hunger.)
While it’s certainly well written, I can’t say I’m a fan of the story; in fact, there are several points of that story that I don’t like at all, because they’re gross, and the whole thing isn’t all that original or imaginative.
There’s definitely a Stephenie Meyer in there; Anne Rice just has enough talent to be slightly more subtle about the whole Mary Sue aspect.
The part that’s interesting, though, is how masterfully she leads you through a detailed account of 300 years in the history of a sprawling family of witches, keeping it captivating and inspiring throughout.
But not to the point of buying the other books in the series.
Written like a (good) TV show, and even extremely reminiscent of Dead Like Me. The story itself isn’t the strongest point, but it’s a really enjoyable read, and Moore is a very, very funny writer.
The humor goes beyond politically incorrect to reach borderline racist at times, but it works — and I hear that San Francisco is a really special place, and maybe a Muslim will really dance around you, chanting “Death to the infidel!” because you named your dog Mohammed. And maybe Chinatown residents really cook every single animal they can get their hands on. Then again, maybe not.
When I heard about 1984, the story’s description always conflicted with my long-standing idea that having every fact of our life be public should mechanically breed democracy and tolerance rather than despotism. (A theory we’ll soon be able to test unless our governments manage to censor Google and Twitter off of the internet.)
Well, it turns out that Orwell has a trick to make his own idea stick, and that trick on which the whole Big Brother thing hinges is a magical self-hypnosis device called doublethink that, unlike every other political device in the book, he never actually justifies — he describes it, but never explains how it might be possible. Because, really, it’s not, and that proves my point.
1984 is a really good novel but, no, it doesn’t present a valid political theory, and you might as well stop quoting its vision of the future.
Funny: reading the plot summary on Wikipedia, I don’t remember that one at all, even though, according to my notes, I seem to have enjoyed it.
But, clearly, I didn’t enjoy it to the point of buying further books in the Ender series. They’re rather interesting, but ultimately a bit too naive for my taste, and of course (like most cycles) they’re rehashing the same themes a bit too much over and over.
Well, that was a voluminous read, with a rich, memorable environment. Rather comparable to the Golden Compass trilogy, actually, only a little more arid. But still worth a read.
I have a bone to pick with the science in this fiction, though, on two points. One, minor: if your body can’t process foreign food, how can it process foreign oxygen? And one major: how is it that all the clever people go to cloysters, and regular people are all hooked on Prozac, yet the secular world looks exactly like ours? Shouldn’t the seclusion of intelligent people have more consequences on the state of the world?
Hyperion was a little too literary, obsessed with poetry, but the universe and story were fascinating; The Fall of Hyperion was too long, wasting the first half (of 500 pages) to re-establish the universe and story for no good reason, but the ending was strong, and didn’t make me regret the time it had taken to read both of the books.
The Endymion part of the cycle, however, involves some bits of insulting retcon and nonsensical sci-fi (how does the Thetys still flow? and how does it include an ocean?), and eventually boils down to a rehash of Terminator 2.
And much of it is not very interesting. Stephenson can be just as boring at times, but a) even when it was boring and too detailed, it was relevant to the story and b) the writing was better by several orders of magnitude.