needs more demons?

irreverent opinions on books

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Entries from May 2010

E. E. “Doc” Smith: Triplanetary; First Lensman

20 May 2010 · 1 Comment

Strange but true: I never read any E. E. “Doc” Smith before. (It was Michael Kaminski’s assertion in The Secret History of Star Wars that Smith’s Lensmen were a key influence on Lucas’s Jedi Knights that convinced me to take the plunge; mostly I hadn’t read the Lensmen books because I thought I knew exactly [...]

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Tags: f-title · s-author · science fiction · t-title

Eric Puchner: Music Through the Floor

14 May 2010 · No Comments

I usually prefer not to read a single-author short story collection straight through, but to intersperse it with other reading. Even with very good authors, I find that reading too many short stories back-to-back emphasizes repeating themes and devices. I find it often blunts the impact of individual stories.
Puchner’s Music Through the Floor is a [...]

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Tags: fiction · m-title · p-author

George Saunders: The Braindead Megaphone

12 May 2010 · No Comments

The least of the essays* in The Braindead Megaphone are “merely” entertaining and informative, even enlightening. But the best, with “The United States of Huck” at the top of the pile, are flat-out magnificent: beautifully clear-headed thinking, elegantly expressed, and driven by a passionate need to make the world a better, more humane, place. (The [...]

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Tags: b-title · nonfiction · s-author

Stephen White: Kill Me

11 May 2010 · No Comments

I stumbled across Stephen White’s thriller Kill Me when I was looking for something else, and found myself intrigued by the premise, and the many pull quotes asserting that White writes unusually substantive and literary thrillers. A thriller for people who don’t really like thrillers? Could be for me.
Kill Me’s nameless, rich, extreme-sport-loving, narrator doesn’t [...]

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Tags: k-title · thriller · w-author