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text 2017-11-12 05:24
November Read: Grass
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper

I'm taking time to re-read some of my favorites, like I need an excuse to re-read Tepper.  I haven't read Grass since high school, so it should prove interesting what I remember and what I missed.  I know there are layers and connections I didn't see on my first read, including the connection between Grass and Raising the Stones and Sideshow.  It goes without saying that there are likely nuances I'll pickup on as an adult that I missed as a teen.

I'm a few chapters in already, and may need to go on and finish the trilogy once I'm finished up.

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review 2017-09-08 19:27
Grass / Sheri S. Tepper
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper

Generations ago, humans fled to the cosmic anomaly known as Grass. But before humanity arrived, another species had already claimed Grass for its own. It too had developed a culture......

Now a deadly plague is spreading across the stars, leaving no planet untouched, save for Grass. But the secret of the planet's immunity hides a truth so shattering it could mean the end of life itself.


There’s a lot of things going on in Grass. Religion, tradition, health & illness, education, relationships—all these things get batted around during the course of the book, and that’s a big load for just 500+ pages, but not unusual in a planetary romance of this sort. However I liked the main character, Marjorie Westriding, with her love of her horses, her ability to ask the right questions of the right people, and the willingness to put herself in danger.

As in her book The Gate to Women’s Country, Tepper explores human relationship territory in which men and women seem to talk past one another, with Rodrigo not taking Marjorie seriously enough and Marjorie taking him way too seriously. They do approach mutual comprehension several times during crises, only to back away quickly.

Also explored is the issue of who is worth caring for. The church of Sanctity has decided to let the plague run its course and the resurrect only a chosen few (although they refuse to admit publically that there’s a plague at all). Marjorie has done charitable work, helping the people who have run afoul of Sanctity, and wonders why they are treated so unfairly, even if it’s according to the church’s rule-book. When she & Rodrigo change planets, she begins to wonder if the native creatures of Grass give or receive consideration? What about the noble class on Grass, who believe themselves in charge but are actually humoured by the so-called lower class who run the planet’s economy and are much more educated than the aristocrats? When aristocratic children are abducted and abused by the mysterious Hippae on Grass, are they heartlessly forgotten by their parents or are their minds being controlled? And ultimately, are the people of Grass, who are immune to the plague, obliged to do anything for the rest of humanity?

Unsurprisingly the aristocrats and the priests come out of this tale looking poorly and I can’t help but think that Tepper had colonialism in mind as she crafted this tale. I can see where I’m going to get thinking about this tale for several days to come. Also, I’m disappointed to note that the following two Arbai books follow different characters—no more Marjorie.

Book 262 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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text 2017-08-25 21:24
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 544 pages.
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper

It feels good to be getting back into my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project again, after 3 months of impulsive romance & urban fantasy choices.


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review 2017-06-21 02:30
The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough
The Grass Crown - Colleen McCullough

Series: Masters of Rome #2


Boy, that felt long!


I don’t know my ancient Roman history very well, so I can’t judge how faithful McCullough was to all the facts, but she makes Roman politics sound absolutely mad. Well, all politics are a bit mad, but this runs the gamut from simple bribery to murder in the streets plus all sorts of machinations. I’m only giving it three stars because it oscillated between absolutely riveting (and sometimes comical) scenes, usually involving Sulla, and parts where the narrative lagged. I’m not sure we needed to see that much from Mithridates point of view, for example.


Sulla’s still a terrible person but awesome to read about. Reading about Marius’s downfall was disturbing. Roman politics are mad….oh, and there’s a civil war with the Italians. So lots of exciting happenings, interspersed with some dull bits.


Reading about the Roman politics made me think of some of the current news headlines, actually. I read this for the More Historical Than Fiction June read as well as for booklikes-opoly square Main Street 11 “Read a book written by an author born before 1955”. Colleen McCullough was born in 1937. I started this book before the booklikes-opoly shake-up so it’s only worth the original rewards but I’m counting it as being 815 pages (after that it’s the author’s note, a list of consuls, and the glossary), so I’m adding $10 to my bank. New total: $126.


Previous updates:

777 of 894 pages

493 of 894 pages

431 of 894 pages

103 of 894 pages

74 of 894 pages

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text 2017-06-21 00:39
Reading progress update: I've read 777 out of 894 pages.
The Grass Crown - Colleen McCullough

I think I've lost track of which is supposed to be Rome's "true" government at this point. I mean, we have consul against consul and all sorts of stuff going on.


It's madness, I tell you.

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