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review 2018-06-20 16:41
The Nice and the Good
The Nice and the Good (Vintage Classics) - Iris Murdoch,Catherine Bates

This might officially be my last Iris Murdoch novel. 


As with Fitzgerald's short stories, there was a time when I loved Murdoch's novels but the last couple of times I've read her books, I didn't enjoy them much at all ... Granted, the messed up relationship games in A Severed Head did nothing to endear the book to me, but even this one here (The Nice and the Good) is struggling to spark any enthusiasm in me. And I'd be happy to skip much of the relationship-babble and stick to finding out why the Whitehall official shot himself (or did he?).

The trouble is, by focusing on the mystery part, I'm going to miss Murdoch's point, which, inevitably, is not going to be about solving the puzzle. 


Saying that, will this story about a set of well-off members of a rather homogeneous section of society that is really similar to the sets of characters in Murdoch's other books really reveal any new aspects of Murdoch's writing? Unlikely.  


I've dithered for the last 30 pages whether to finish this one or move on to something I am likely to enjoy more, and I don't believe this book will ultimately hold the same magic for me as the novels that introduced Murdoch to me initially.


DNF @ 135 out of 350 pages.

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review 2018-06-17 14:03
SFional Lorentz Transformations: "Tau Zero" by Poul Anderson
Tau Zero - Poul Anderson

“Consider: a single light-year is an inconceivable abyss. Denumerable but inconceivable. At an ordinary speed – say, a reasonable pace for a car in megalopolitan traffic, two kilometers per minute – you would consume almost nine million years in crossing it. And in Sol’s neighborhood, the stars averaged some nine light-years part. Beta Virginis was thirty-two distant. Nevertheless, such spaces could be conquered.”

In “Tau Zero” by Poul Anderson.

Yeah I'm aware of the twin paradox and how Special Relativity alone doesn't account for the returning twin being younger; at the time I remember wondering specifically whether one of the main criticism of Tau zero (i.e. that the crew of the ship should observe the universe as being slower relative to them while they're accelerating, not sped up as it is in the book) was on the nose. Not that most people think that special relativity is simple, but in fact it is even trickier than is apparent the first time you meet it. 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


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review 2018-06-16 17:12
C/Fe: "The Caves of Steel" by Isaac Asimov
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov

"There were infinite lights, the luminous walls and ceilings that seemed to drip cool, even phosphorescence; the flashing advertisements screaming for attention; the harsh, steady gleam of the 'lightworms' that directed:
Most of all, there was the noise that was inseparable from life. The sound of millions talking, laughing, coughing, calling, humming, breathing."

In "The Caves of Steel" by Isaac Asimov

Set 2,000 years in the future, "The Caves of Steel" shows us contrasting pictures of Earth and the Outer Worlds - colonized planets throughout the Galaxy. Although the inhabitants of the Outer Worlds trace their origins to Earth, they are separated from it by much more than mere distance, now calling themselves Spacers and ruling the decaying mother planet as benevolent despots. In his earlier novels, Asimov mastered the translation of speech into its written equivalent; but to recreate the speech of a human being is a problem every novelist faces. 



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

If you're into Vintage SF, read on.

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review 2018-04-08 13:36
The Man Flu: "Five to Twelve" by Edmund Cooper
Five to Twelve (Coronet Books) - EDMUND COOPER

There are undoubtedly many factors that influence the trends revealed by some statistics - social roles, required sustenance levels, lifestyle, physical conflict, sacrifice, etc, as well as the fact that we already know that men have lower life expectancy. Men and women are different, but equal. It's a sad state of affairs when the idea that men die younger is wheeled out with smugness as some kind of victory, complete with a picture of a jubilant old woman (are we supposed to assume that she is specifically laughing about the death of her husband or a close male relative?). I fully and completely acknowledge that women have been, and are being, subjected to terrible treatment due simply to their gender - however I don't think the way to address that issue is to put the boot on the other foot and start kicking the other way instead. (Is the notion that your own husbands, brothers, sons, are going to die statistically younger really something to be triumphalist about? Does that make them weak?) As nice as it may be to get some payback, and I'm not saying that towards a lot of men it isn't deserved, the real problem in our society is that men and women are taught to be opposing sides and are pitted against each other; we are stuck in a conflict of men vs women. It's true that men have traditionally had the upper hand, but (some variants of) feminism seeks only to level the scores, or to give women the upper hand. What really needs to happen is that we end the ridiculous rivalry and work together to make life better for everyone. Let's end the gender pay gap, stop women being treated like objects, end the shaming of women, have women properly represented in our legislature. 



If you're into Vintage SF, read on.

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review 2018-03-25 07:03
Rezension | Vintage von Grégoire Hervier
Vintage - Grégoire Hervier,Alexandra Bai... Vintage - Grégoire Hervier,Alexandra Baisch,Stefanie Jacobs



Der junge Journalist Thomas Dupré lebt in Paris und träumt davon eines Tages ein erfolgreicher Musiker und Gitarrist zu werden. Bisweilen jobbt er in Alain de Chévignés Laden “Prestige Guitars”, in dem alte Vintage-Gitarren zum Verkauf angeboten werden. Bei einem außergewöhnlichen Botengang macht er die Bekanntschaft mit einem reichen Lord dem die legendäre ›Gibson Moderne‹ gestohlen wurde. Das Angebot den Spuren dieser sagenbehafteten Gitarre nachzuspüren und dafür noch eine Menge Geld zu bekommen kann Thomas nicht widerstehen…


Meine Meinung


Grégoire Herviers Roman “Vintage” hat mich sozusagen auf den ersten Blick wie magisch angezogen. Denn ich liebe alte Dinge und auch Geschichten die mich in eine andere Zeit entführen. Herviers Geschichte spielt nicht nur in Paris, sondern nimmt den Leser mit auf einen spannenden Roadtrip durch die Vereinigten Staaten Amerikas.


"Für mich ist Prestige Guitars der schönste Gitarrenladen in Paris. Um nicht zu sagen der schönste Laden überhaupt in Paris." (Vintage, Seite 12)


“Vintage” ist der erste Roman den ich von dem mir bisher unbekannten Autor gelesen habe und ich muss sagen, dass mir sein Erzählstil auf Anhieb zusagte. Schritt für Schritt lernt man die agierenden Persönlichkeiten kennen und während Thomas Roadtrip spinnt sich ein immer weiter ansteigender Spannungsbogen fort. Hoch anrechnen möchte ich dem Autor, dass er mich für etwas begeistern konnte mit dem ich bisher überhaupt keine Berührungspunkte hatte: alte Gitarren! Seine Liebe zu diesen prachtvollen Musikgegenständen funkelt durch die Zeilen mindestens genauso stark wie seine Liebe zu Musiklegenden wie z. B. Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix und Co.


Die Mystik die diese Personen und vor allem ihre Musikinstrumente umgeben kommt wunderbar zum tragen und hat mich vollkommen in den Bann gezogen. Es kommen zwar einige für mich als Laie unbekannte Namen (vor allem von Gitarrenmodellen) vor, aber das fand ich überhaupt nicht störend, es bietet vielmehr die Möglichkeit diese Stellen nochmals nachzuschlagen und sich genauer mit den einzelnen Modellen zu beschäftigen. “Vintage” ist daher ein Buch für Gitarren- und Musikliebhaber und solche die dies vielleicht erst werden möchten.


"»Muss man sehen, um zu glauben, oder glauben, um zu sehen?«"  (Vintage, Seite 33)


Sollte man kein Interesse an dem ganzen Gitarrenkram haben, bietet die Handlung jede Menge Verstrickungen und eine gute Portion Spannung. Außerdem strömt aus den Seiten das Lebensgefühl der Rock ‘n’ Roll- und Bluestage über die Buchfläche hinweg direkt aufs Lesesofa in das Ohr. Obwohl mich der Roman wirklich begeistern konnte fand ich den Plot zum Ende hin nicht mehr ganz so realistisch und passend. Trotzdem gibt es von mir eine Lesempfehlung mit guten 4 von 5 Grinsekatzen.




Dieses Buch macht Lust auf längst vergangene Tage, gute Rock- und Bluesmusik und auf einen spontanen Trip in die USA!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-vintage-von-gregoire-hervier
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