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review 2017-07-03 05:03
Awards are bullshit
The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value - James F. English

That was pretty much my attitude going in, and the author seems to agree.

 

So far so good.

 

The book was an impulse purchase, which looked "interesting" because it promised to validate all my preconceptions. (I love when books do that.)

 

Sadly, the text is dry. Dry as a bone.... in a convection oven... in the Sahara Desert, so I stopped reading after 90 pages. 

 

I guess if I really want confirmation of my biases, it is best to have a meticulous, scientific-sounding, thorough, academic exploration of the subject, to give it weight.

 

But that's no fun. This isn't an important subject to me, so it isn't worth the effort. I would have been perfectly happy with a more animated and engaging, less academic screed taking down the Nobel Prizes, the Oscars, the Pulitzer, and about 100 other awards.

 

The many ways these prizes are disingenuous, inconsistent, subjective, and distorted by a host of corrupting influences are faithfully cataloged herein.

 

I hate giving low reviews to books I agree with, but there it is.

 

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review 2016-07-31 00:00
Dark Economy
Dark Economy - M. Keedwell Like other reviewers have already pointed out, Dark Economy is a historical murder mystery with little romance and even less sex getting in the way. Which was much appreciated.

The mystery is not the most gripping one: There are a lot of possible culprits, but it's not one of those books that keeps you guessing; there aren't enough clues for you to guess. Instead, you follow medical student Cadell playing the amateur sleuth and watch him solving the puzzle, in classic procedural style.
Cadell's not an instantly likeable character – thank heavens, instantly likeable characters are boring as hell. He's arrogant, a bit too full of himself, and judgemental. But he has his head on right, his heart is in the right place, and he has a fierce sense of justice. Because the story is told from Cadell's POV, police constable and love-interest Breton remains more of an enigma; which is fine, because he's kind of a mystery to Cadell, too. The secondary characters where well fleshed-out, the author created a nice, seemingly authentic atmosphere – although she might have overdone it a bit with the Briticisms.

The romance really takes a backseat here, and while this is completely fine with me, what little romance there is felt quite forced. The author noticeably wanted to create sexual tension, but maybe she wanted it a bit too much. It felt artificial. And Breton throwing Cadell against walls or on beds in outbursts of uncharacteristic passion (I assume it should signify passion) got old quite fast.

There were some unanswered questions: What did Dylan want to tell Cadell on that ball, before Dylan's dick got in the way? Why was Beth so positive about her brother hooking up with Cadell, when she couldn't even know for sure if Cadell was gay? And how on earth did Breton know that the culprits attacking Beth were the same who did... the spoilery stuff?

All in all, not bad for a début, and I actually wouldn't mind a sequel. Or a bit more about Dan; Dan was a cutie.
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