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[personal profile] zeyr
We're almost at year's end now. I had intended at one point to write full reviews of the various books I've read. However, my writing muscles are just too musty and the number simply too intimidating. So, instead, I've decided to spend a little bit of time writing quick comments about the books I've read this year. Here we go:


The Gods of Mars, The Warlord of Mars, Thuvia-Maid of Mars (Edgar Rice Burroughs): A dash of ERB's usual derring do. The Barsoom series appeals to me with the taste of a simpler time when the world was far more black and white, within the limits of a simmering cauldron of violence. When men were men and women were cyphers and plot points. :) The momentum of the adventure is unstoppable, which is the whole point. Thuvia is a little weaker than the others...I think ERB was uncomfortable writing from the female viewpoint.

B is for Burglar (Sue Grafton): I can see the outline of the Kinsey Millhone formula here (one which only lasted the early part of the series, thankfully). Really, though, the endless questioning and procedure is dull (and rather accurate). To be honest, the mystery never really made an impact on me in this one. The real joy of the book is Kinsey, a unique and fascinating character. Learning about her is already difficult to stop, even while Grafton is still finding her rythym.

Fatherhood (Bill Cosby): Nice anecdotes, mostly pulled from his comedy routines. Nothing revelationary.

The Mediterranean Caper (Clive Cussler): Good, straightforward action-adventure. Reminiscent of the pulp style, but not as unashamed about it as it could be. I'll probably read more of this series in 2008.

The Cold Cash War (Robert Asprin): Not one of his better efforts, but still a readable satire of economics and marketing.

WASP (Eric Frank Russell): A classic. Psychological warfare on a planetary scale. Very much of its era in its literary style, but brilliantly put together. If you have not read this, you should!

The Veiled Lady, The Golden Circle, The Mysterious Ambassador, The Mystery of the Sea Horse (Lee Falk/Frank S. Shawn): The Phantom is good pulp. The quality is consistently high, probably explainable by the low number of books. Not as good as the best of Doc Savage, but better than the bulk of them. I don't remember details of the plot at this point, but I remember the enjoyment of the read, which is what I read the pulps for...much like the reasons for riding roller coasters.

Owlflight, Owlsight, Owlknight (Mercedes Lackey/Larry Dixon): Workmanlike, but a disappointment. I read Lackey because of the characters. The plots are complex, but thin and with a tendency to deus ex machina. In this trilogy I really never became involved with the coming of age of the main character and so was left feeling a bit unfulfilled.

Regarding Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Solar Pons, The Casebook of Solar Pons, The reminiscenses of Solar Pons, The Return of Solar Pons (August Derleth): An excellent pastiche of Sherlock Holmes. Not nearly as satisfying as the original, but with an interesting flavor of the vaguely supernatural. These are all short story collections, so are good for interrupted reading. Best read interrupted, actually, as they get a little bit overwhelmingly the same in their victorian tone when read all at once.
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