Wicker King (jtoomey) wrote,
Wicker King
jtoomey

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Undercover Book Judging

What have I been reading lately? Funny you should ask.

I told you Saturday (well, really, Friday night) that I was reading Farewell to Arms. I ended up liking it quite a lot, though it should be pictured in the dictionary next to depressing. I'm not giving anything away -- this is Hemingway, after all. I'd give it an A.

I read Ring by Suzuki Koji -- the basis for the recent horror flick The Ring. It's a translation from Japanese, and it really reads like a translation. The story is really intriguing (especially in the places where the movie went careening away), but it tends toward textbookish in its dry lack of lyricism. I wish I could read Japanese, so I could see if this is a butcher job, or a faithful representation. The second book in the trilogy, Spiral is coming out in English in May. I'd give it a thumbs-up.

I read The Redemption of Althalus by the David and Leigh Eddings, and, when I finished, I thought: that was an Eddings book. It wasn't great, it wasn't horrible; it was just the same as everthing else they've done. The Eddings' characters tend to do a lot of verbal sniping at one another, and I find that gets old after a couple hundred pages. I've read The Belgariad and The Mallorean a few times apiece, but I don't think I'll be reading this one again. Call it a 6 of 10, but only because I liked Althalus.

I read the entire Harry Potter series (thus far) starting at about 9:00 PM on a Monday evening and finishing at about 2:30 AM in the wee hours of that Friday morning. I worked, too. It was that good. I'm not really breaking any ground here, either... the series has been heralded as it has because it's really well written. The characters aren't types, and the plots aren't hackeyed retreads with a few red herrings thrown in for variation. I'm interested in where Rowling goes from here. I give the series a solid dynamite.

I read the first two books of A Series of Unfortunate Events (or something to that effect) by Lemony Snickett. That's right, I bolded his name. It deserves it. I mean, come on. The books themselves paled when read in such close proximity to Harry Potter, but they really were a great deal of fun. They're quite dark for kid-lit, though, so keep that in mind if you're getting them for a child, and maybe give them a shot yourself first. If you'll allow me a Bostonism, they're wicked short. I hereby rate them: good jorb.

I can't remember any others at the moment, so let's leave it at that.

Next on the coffee table is Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. I hear it's depressing too. Egad.
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