Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Acts of King Arthur

I just finished reading John Steinbeck's The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. I wish with all my heart he was able to finish this novel, as it took me back to my childhood and the persisting love I have for Arthurian literature. This novel was superb, and unlike many of the other noves I've been reading lately by Hemingway, Fitzgerald ad Steinbeck, this was a novel that practically turned its own pages. If you love Arthuriana and haven't read this, read it. It stops just short of the tragic aspects of the Death of Arthur.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Garden of Eden

Today I finished reading The Garden of Eden by Hemingway. This is one of the unpublished manuscripts posthumously published by Hemingway's estate. This was an interesting novel, I think Hemingway could have polished it to make it truly a great novel. As it stands, it deals with themes that seem too disparate at first look. Elements of it were surely inspired by his love of Africa, and others by the theft of his luggage - containing his unfinished writings - in Spain. The sexual and relationship elements could have worked better if they didn't dominate so much of the novel however.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Finished the Gap Cycle

Tonight, I finished reading This Day All Gods Die by Stephen R Donaldson, the final novel in the Gap Cycle. This is probably the most straightforward of the series, tying up all of the political machinations with a spectacular conclusion. If you haven't read this series, and you are a fan of sci-fi, do so. The novels are well written, though fairly heavy in terms of psychological and physical abuse. The aliens in the series, the Amnion are a frightening race, coldly logical and unemotional in their dealings wiht humanity and their desire to devour human identity into their own through mutagens which turn humans into Amnion. How a bunch of broken humans can dig past their own scars and trauma and transcend such suffering to save humanity becomes what this novel is all about. I hope readers will enjoy this series as much as I did.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

As fans of David Weber may know, his latest novel, Storm From the Shadows came out this week. I went out and picked it up right away. Knowing nothing beyond it being an Honorverse novel, I was pretty disappointed to see that it was more about Michelle Henke and would be another different viewpoint book than a mainline story novel. Happily, Weber put a nice forward into the novel explaining his vision for the series and how it would progress. That eased my worries and I was able to read the novel at my usual word devouring pace. The setup for the next phase of the plot begins in this novel in earnest, and I am eagerly awaiting the next books in the series.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Latest read

I just finished reading Chaos and Power, the next book in the Gap series. This series continues to be good, especially with it taking twists and turns that I could neither predict or expect. I like the direction of the novel, and the issues of victim and victimizer which it continues to explore and play on. Angus Thermopyle has definetely become the character that most intrigues me, as his role of victimizer in the first novel, The Real Story, has become continually a victim, depsite and physical empowerment, his character has continued to be victimized mentally and emotionally.

I'm also working my way through the Garden of Eden, and am finding it to be less interesting than his other novels. Maybe because it seems to be about a newly wed couple in the 30's. The wife has gender changing sexual fantasies and is rich, and the husband is a writer who has initial success. They are galavanting about Europe. Maybe this novel would have been better if Hemingway had lived to finish it, but True At First Light was a much better read - though it did seem to restate other ideas from his earlier work like game hunting in Africa.