What Are You Reading 2

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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:39 pm

That was great too :D
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:01 am

Just finished Half-Sick of Shadows. The review I did on another site follows:

Having read one winner of the Terry Pratchett Prize, Michael Logan's Apocalypse Cow, and found wanting, I decided to try the other winning entry, Half-Sick of Shadows. I had already gained the impression that it was a very different beast to its zombie apocalypse co-winner, but I wondered whether it would be as good, or even better. Time, and reading the book, would only tell...

The Manse: an isolated house in the middle of nowhere, home to the strange Pike family. Edward and Sophia are twins, inseparable, but all that begins to change starting from the day before Granny Hazel is buried. A stranger in a Morris Minor turns up, and asks the five-year-old Edward to be his friend, before leaving in the car that he claims to be a time machine. Not long afterwards, Edward is packed off to boarding school, while Sophia has been told by her father never to leave the Manse, or else she will be cursed. A strange tale unfolds involving life, the universe, and a strange boy known as Alf whose destiny, and that of the twins, may very well be intertwined...

Half-Sick of Shadows is of the same quality as Apocalypse Cow, but for very different reasons. This book is a far more intelligently conceived and written book than Apocalypse Cow, a bildungsroman (or coming of age story) set in the strangest of places. There is something darkly lyrical and even a little magical about the prose, which is a pity, as the story itself doesn't seem to have a point. I dunno whether it's because of my style of reading, or because the clues were too obscure, but I couldn't make too much sense of the ending at all. I get the feeling that David Logan is a fan of David Lynch's work, as this feels like a Lynch film. The connection with parallel universes as required by the rules of the competition is, while intriguing, not fully fleshed out, or at least not explained to my satisfaction. Apocalypse Cow, while not as intelligently written, was more entertaining.

Unlike Apocalypse Cow, the characters feel better fleshed out and less cartoony. Even with the lack of explanation I felt was in the story, one could still believe that they had lives inbetween incidents on the page. Edward is an intriguing protagonist, and the enigmatic Alf, while not quite explained, is still an interesting character all the same. I feel that the residents of the Manse are rather f***ed up, though, feeling like extras from a Stephen King novel made normal.

Half-Sick of Shadows is as good as Apocalypse Cow, albeit for very different reasons. While I give them the same score, I would prefer Apocalypse Cow in terms of sheer, unadulterated entertainment value.


I removed the score before posting it, as I had some controversy over my scoring system here doing a Discworld reading blog.

I have to say, David Logan's prose, I cannot match, and the payoff, while not as great as expected, was good enough. But I have to say that I could write a more entertaining yarn.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby chris.ph » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:57 pm

when dragons dream of robot sheep :D
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:18 pm

chris.ph wrote:when dragons dream of robot sheep :D


I'm sorry, is that the title of a book, or a challenge to write a better story? I'm not being rhetorical or anything, I actually am confused. :?

If the latter, I am currently 33K words into my current potential entry for the TP Prize. Just another 47K (at least) to go. Better get your dragon and an optic-encephalogram (sorry, couldn't resist a Quatermass and the Pit reference). :)
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.

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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby chris.ph » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:09 pm

measuring intelligence by exam results is like measuring digestion by turd length
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:14 pm

chris.ph wrote:when dragons dream of robot sheep :D


It would make a change from Android phones dreaming about Sheep, Chris :lol: :mrgreen:
Last edited by Who's Wee Dug on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:47 am

BTW, last night I finished the Doctor Who novel Love and War.

Image

Brilliant book, but heartbreaking to see what happens between the Doctor and Ace...
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby ShortStacked » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:57 pm

Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See. I *loved* Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, so hopefully this one will be just as good!
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Antiq » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:35 pm

The Emporer's Knife, by Mazarkis Williams. Enjoying it so far.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby raptornx01 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Working On Fahrenheit 451 still (could get in the mood). but got to the part of Montag's boss describing the history of Firemen and why they went from saving homes to burning books.

My first thought was, Holy **** he's talking about Twitter.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Tonyblack » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:26 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

The entertainment unit Montag's wife uses reminds me of Second Life.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Catch-up » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:59 am

Just finished Niceville by Carsten Stroud (I think that's the right spelling) and really enjoyed it. Spooky story, a couple of other good plot lines, ties together really well and some great writing.

Picked up What the Dickens by Gregory MacGuire from the library, started reading it before I realized I'd already read it. :oops: I remember liking it anyway.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Penfold » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:08 am

Just finished the Star Trek 'Destiny' trilogy. Very enjoyable. :D
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Bouncy Castle » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:49 am

Kill Alex Cross - J. Patterson.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:52 am

Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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