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Search tags: post-apocalyptic
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review 2018-10-15 03:03
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
All the Birds in the Sky - Charlie Jane Anders

This is in a lot of ways a fun, quirky book, but somehow I managed to not realize going in that it’s ultimately about the effects of catastrophic climate change. So I wound up finding it too depressing, for real-world reasons, to really enjoy.

 

The book starts with the two protagonists, Patricia and Laurence, as kids, both outcasts at school who happen to be unusually gifted (Patricia with magic and Laurence with science) and who become friends. Usually I don’t have much to say for child characters, but the third of the book following their childhoods was my favorite part of this one. It’s fun and quirky, vividly over-the-top in a Roald Dahl kind of way that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And the pair as kids are fun and relatable.

 

Then they grow up, and the middle third of the book sags a bit, as the characters meander through a near-future San Francisco without a particular sense of urgency. The characters aren’t especially deep, but they do feel like real, weird people, speaking and thinking like actual millennials; for instance, Laurence worries that he’s not good at active listening, while Patricia is concerned that she’s too self-centered (when she’s not). Then at about the two-thirds mark, we get a chapter straight out of On the Beach, and this became “that horribly depressing book that I have to finish because I’m most of the way there” for the remainder; even when depressing things weren’t actually happening, it was still a climate change book. The ending isn’t a total downer, but only because of

a fantastical solution with no real-world application.

(spoiler show)

 

And yeah, it’s important that people think about this stuff and take it seriously, but I’ve done that for years with no effect; in the end I’m one person with no particular power to effect change, and exposing myself to this kind of material depresses me without doing anyone any good. Real power is in the hands of corporations and the politicians they fund (supported by a public who will believe any message they want to hear that lets them claim moral high ground while requiring nothing of them). And the powers-that-be don’t care much about anything beyond this quarter’s profits. So, too bad we don’t have the level of magic and science that exist in this book to solve our problems for us, I guess?

 

God, this was depressing. I would read something else by this author on a different topic though.

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review 2018-10-10 00:45
Downer
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories - Stephen King

My PC heat-quited on me while writing my review, so take two.

 

This was a bit of a let down.

 

First of all, it's such a depressing collection. I looked forward to the horror bits because they were at least lively (and even those were a lot more scarce than usual).

 

Second, because I had already read some of the longer stories, and none was that worthy of a second pass. Well, maybe Morality, but hell.

 

If I had to list the ones I really liked, I'd go with Drunken Fireworks, because while predictable, it made me laugh and I needed it; Mr Yummy, because it touched an odd bittersweet chord; Green God of Agony was very neat; and Under the Weather because it was so gruesome to see it coming, even if it was another depressing one.

 

No, seriously, this is not a happy collection. Or even an exiting one. Pick another.

 

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review 2018-09-25 13:45
Don't Know What I Was Supposed to Take Away From This One...
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

I tried to get into it, but Robert Neville in "I Am Legend" kind of sucks. You feel sorry for him for losing his wife and daughter, but then Matheson will have him talk about how the vampires that are women are trying to seduce him and a few times he has to talk himself out of going outside to them. I am guessing rape? Cause they seem to fall down as if they are dead during the daylight hours. Eh. I don't know. Spoilers: There's also a dog and it dies and I was mad so there was that.

 

"I am Legend" has Robert Neville as it seems the sole survivor of a vampire virus. Neville spends his days hunting vampires and also trying to find out a cure. You (and me I guess) start to feel sorry for Robert as you realize he has nothing to break up his days and his nights are spent drinking himself to oblivion to block out the noises and yelling the vampires do. 

 

The vampires in this book curiously enough are not like vampires in Salem's Lot. They seem similar to Count Dracula that they have some control over their bodies and reasoning. They don't like garlic though or religious symbols depending on the vampires background before they were turned (which made zero sense). 

 

Things change for Robert though when he sees an actual live dog and then comes across a woman named Ruth. Robert is desperate to just make a connection with someone or anything in order to hold onto what is left of his humanity. 

 

This book takes place during the late 1970s in the U.S. so there is no discussion of cell phones, blogs, the internet, etc. so you definitely can see how in that time and place things and people could be cut off from each other.

 

The world building works for me since you hear how the virus spread through misquotes (which makes sense when you think about the Zika virus) and how slowly everyone was taking over.


The ending didn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't want to discuss cause of spoilers, but my brain/logic thinks that the whole ending just ruined what came before it. 

 

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text 2018-09-25 02:54
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

There was a dog and I’m not happy about it!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-24 19:54
Reading progress update: I've read 6%.
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

So I am still wondering what Robert is fighting. Vampires? Why did I think this was a zombie book? And no, never did watch the Will Smith movie cause someone told me a dog dies and I don't do movies where the pet dies. Still mad at John Wick and A Dog's Purpose. 

 

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