The OF Blog: June 15-21 reads

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 15-21 reads

Seven books this week, each of them first-time reads. Two standouts, one really good read, three that were decent reads, and one that was ultimately a bit too flawed for me to enjoy much.

218 D.H. Lawrence, The Plumed Serpent - I really enjoyed Lawrence's prose here. I had read three other novels of his (Sons and Lovers; The Rainbow; Lady Chatterly's Lover), but here his prose and dialogue were much better. I also liked the way the story unfolded. All in all, a novel that I would recommend to those genre-mostly readers who seem to think "mainstream," "literary" fiction doesn't have much to offer them. Sometimes, it does, with a dose of horror near the end for those who like that sort of thing.

219 Stuart Archer Cohen, The Army of the Republic - Normally, a story that deals with a resistence to a quasi-Bush regime that uses Homeland security to crack down upon anti-globalization activists would be just the sort of thing for me. But despite some well-written scenes, there were times that Cohen got even too strident for the left-leaning likes of me and the story dipped too much into paranoia for its own good. As a result, this is a book that will be a bit too polemical in nature for some, which is a shame, because he had some good points to make that were lost in the hyperbolic screeds.

220 Ursula Le Guin, Voices - Second volume in her Annuals of the Western Shore YA trilogy. Le Guin's writing here was stronger than in her first volume, but there were times that the story seemed to drag a bit. Overall, it was good and I would re-read it in the near future, but this trilogy took a long time before it started to appeal to me.

221 Fritz Leiber, The Second Book of Lankhmar - This volume released by Gollancz contains the last three Grey Mouser and Fafhred books. I found myself enjoying their adventures and the underlying thematic elements more and more here. Shame that there are no more of their adventures forthcoming due to Leiber's death almost 20 years ago. Some really good stuff here that most genre fans (and some that are not) ought to consider reading.

222 Michael Moorcock, Mother London - This novel of interwoven narratives of survivors of the V-1 and V-2 attacks on London is one of Moorcock's strongest novels. After reading it, I can understand why Moorcock has won the Guardian Prize and has been lauded as being one of Great Britain's 50 Best Writers Since World War II. Highly recommended.

223 Robert V.S. Redick, The Red Wolf Conspiracy - Generally, I really dislike stories set on ships/at sea. This book continues that, as I found myself becoming more and more disinterested with each passing chapter. While Redick isn't a bad writer, this story utterly failed to engage me...or rather that I couldn't bring myself to engage myself further with this book. Read into it what you may.

224 Ursula Le Guin, Powers - This concluding third volume to her Annuals of the Western Shore trilogy was much stronger than her first two volumes. Winner of the Nebula Award this year for 2008 (crazy, huh?), this volume reminded me more of her Earthsea series than the first two, as it contained more interesting characters, a more subtle weaving of plot and theme, with an ending that was very satisfying.


In Progress:

Ildefonso Falcones, La mano de Fátima

Chris Adrian, The Children's Hospital

Andrzej Sapkowski, Narrenturm

Katsushi Ota (ed.), Faust 2

Roberto Bolaño, 2666


Future Plans:

Andrzej Sapkowski, Camino sin retorno

Ysabel Wilce, Flora's Dare

2 comments:

E. L. Fay said...

D.H. Lawrence + horror? Now that sounds interesting.

Larry said...

It's well worth the read, even if Lawrence's comments regarding Mexico and its citizens are...quaint, to say the least.

 
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