So here is what I’ve been reading recently, with some thoughts
Boy Roland, whodathunk? susan dies needlessly, could have easily been prevented, but I suppose that is the point. It was ka! Hah. About time Alain and Cuthbert are fleshed out, and I really like them. it saddens me that they will die soon enough, but they are already dead.
The scope is impressive, so many threads but the writer doesn’t let them drop or tangle, something if you’ve read the later parts of A Song of Ice & Fire you will identify with, and it really irritated me. The narrative is loose and flowing which is good for a book which is nearly 800 pages long. You do wish that the writer had hurried it up a bit in some places, the scene on the train, the description of the Cathedral but overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Things that bother me about the book 1) The fate of the King & the Queen and a bit more about the Pooka Goodfellow, he barely had ten lines but his character is instantly likable 2) The future of the Clover Effect. I kinda dislike when books end on a you-can-never-go-back/off-to-the-land-of-no-return note, Lord of The Rings and the Inheritance series e.g. 3) Wish the hero was a bit less irritatingly stubborn, one of the characters in the book told him that he was like a modern American, I guess in that light it might make sense but doesn’t make his sense of ‘entitledness’ any less irritating.
“Conor” …. “Conor” … “Conor”… The narration is like a heartbeat, staccato and rhythmic. An everyday tragedy but can’t ignore the matter of fact humour, no good naturedness?, of the dialogue, consider the exchange between Conor and the monster during stories, conversations between Conor and his Americanized dad. The illustrations seem made out of lime and ink and smoke, beautiful. I found myself going through the book twice, once reading the story then looking at it. Will jerk a tear out of even the more jaded reader.
Consider it Foucault’s Pendulum of the 20th century. Organized as a collection of loosely collected stories (and lives), with chapters named after a slightly modified Major Arcana, the writer charts human progress in the last 100 or so years as it moves from magic to science fiction to reality. It is not a story with a beginning and an end, it’s an exercise in assumption, how things are, were or will be. Focused more around the world war, occult mixes with rocket science, fiction with precognition. Unlike Belbo of Foucault’s Pendulum, the narrator is not aware of his own folly, but then again he’s not actively trying to unmask a great historic conspiracy, he’s just a thread in many with some consciousness of the divine plan that links everything.
Closing the year at 15,261 pages, soon we will be setting new targets for the new year. Finally, this is what I’m reading next, starting sometime tonight:
This is part of my plan to slowly read all of Discworld, P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie. Quite looking forward to this one.