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Search tags: classics-of-sf
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review 2018-09-23 08:21
Worst best luck and a tourist
The Color of Magic - Terry Pratchett

This is my first Pratchett, and I had so much fun.

 

It was all the elements: the zanny world, all the stabs at our world's and several sub-types of fantasies usual conventions, Rincewind's quality of Luck's plaything and Twoflower's perfect embodiment of the "too oblivious and exited to get it tourist". And the luggage. The luggage was awesome, and the way it kept coming back the gift that kept on giving.

 

It ends in a cliff-hanger, but I'm not too anxious over it, because I was on the ride for the humour more than closure.

 

And apparently, this is not the best to be had in the Discworld... Sold on the author.

 

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text 2018-09-19 16:06
Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 176 pages.
The Fabulous Clipjoint - Fredric Brown
Hunter and Hunted: The Ed and Am Hunter Novels (Frederic Brown Mystery Library) - Fredric Brown

@Tigus: I've finally started Ed & Am No. 1 ... and am loving every page.  Thank you so much, once more!

 

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review 2018-09-18 07:43
Rebecca
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, I saw the PBS production of Rebecca really, really late at night. I only remember enough to picture Emilia Fox and Diana Rigg in their respective roles as the second Mrs. De Winter and Mrs. Danvers. As for the story, I didn’t remember much beyond the broad strokes. I’m glad. Reading this book wouldn’t have been nearly as much torture/fun if I’d remembered more of the story.

 

In the beginning, I felt like I was reading the excruciating tale of an introvert struggling to fill the shoes of an extrovert in a position she was completely unqualified for, and I identified with the unnamed narrator on a deep and uncomfortable level. Soooooooo uncomfortable. Totally introverted? Definitely. Hiding when someone rocks up to the house, unexpectedly or otherwise? I do that. Fantasizing endless scenarios and possible outcomes? I do that too. Giving inadvertent outward signs that I’m engaging in said fantasizing? Yep, that’s happened once or twice. That’s about where our similarities end, but I saw enough of myself in her that the secondhand embarrassment was frequent and intense. I didn’t know whether I wanted to hug her or slap her. Or both. The first note I made while reading the book was “Holy Hand Grenade, am I going to cringe ALL THE WAY through this book?” with the addendum of “(Yes. Yes I am.)”

 

Boy. Did I ever.

 

The writing is fantastic. The characters on the page can be having the most banal conversation ever recorded (which they frequently do), and all the time du Maurier is tightening the screw, building tension and stretching nerves past the breaking point. It is beyond atmospheric. I know I’ve already used the word excruciating, but IT IS SO. VERY. EXCRUCIATING.

 

Ahem. Sorry for shouting. Anyway, despite the excruciating excellence of this novel, I can’t give it five stars. Spoilery reason under the tag:

 

This is very much a me thing and not a book thing, and it’s one of the same problems I had with Jane Eyre. I HATED Maxim. Just as I wanted to see Mr. Rochester die in that fire, I wanted to see Maxim done up for murder. And I never wanted to slap the unnamed narrator harder than when he basically said, “I hated my wife and I murdered the bitch!” and she responded by going “Squee! He hated her! I’m so happy!” I swear she’s the type who would fall in love with her serial killer prison pen pal. I WAS ACTUALLY ROOTING FOR SKEEVY JACK FAVELL TO PROVE THE MURDER. But all he managed to do was tip Danvers over the edge and get her to burn the house down. Or so I infer from that super-abrupt ending. Meh. Whatever. I hope the dogs made it out okay.

(spoiler show)

 

I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Terrifying Women square.

 

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text 2018-09-15 21:10
Reading progress update: I've read 233 out of 233 pages.
Seven Dead (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards,Eleanor Farjeon

wow. I’m in love with this book. I had finished my shark novel, which was very entertaining, and then proceeded to this neglected - previously neglected, thank goodness! - book by previously neglected J. Jefferson Farjeon. I just kept reading, from late morning into early afternoon, and then suddenly I was done. Seven Dead, and a few hours later I know why.

 

the book is fun in the early stages, but it was hard to tell if Farjeon could deliver something spectacular until getting deep into it. as the pieces fell into place, and the whole dreadful series of events extending from a first-time house-breaker finding seven dead bodies in the drawing room of a gloomy mansion - events extending, of course, both forwards and backwards from corpse discovery - unfolded with each exciting page, I realized I had just experienced maybe my absolute favorite British Library Crime Classic so far. can’t guarantee this will feel like a bloomin’ masterpiece to everyone who gives it a whirl, but I have no choice but to say “don’t ignore this one, don’t forget about this one”. let me finish by saying that, by the end, the book had a heavy emotional impact on my heart, as I thought about what had really happened to those seven doomed people, and why. almost shed a tear - not lying - and certainly had a lump in my throat.

 

a morning and an afternoon later, and I have a new/old whodunit to cherish, amongst my favourites.

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text 2018-09-15 14:09
Reading progress update: I've read 22%.
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

It's been ages since I've felt the need to do a progress update, but I just got to the part where the new Mrs. de Winter hears a car drive up to the house and she takes off running because she can't face the thought of meeting people and I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE IDENTIFIED SO MUCH WITH A FICTIONAL CHARACTER. I just had to mark the occasion. XD

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