Recently Read - 5th November 2007

Here's a list of the books I've recently read, with an Amazon-style star rating and a few comments.

  • D. A. - Connie Willis
    Subterranean Press seem to be taking a selection of novella's from well know science fiction writers, and publishing them in expensive thin hardbacks. This was another of them. It's a quick read, occasionally funny but I'm glad that I was able to borrow it from my library.

  • Making Money - Terry Pratchett
    I've lost count of how many discworld novels there are now. Over thirty. This is the latest, and features the return of Moist von Lipwig (from Going Postal). Lots of new characters to get used to as well, so there wasn't the usual familiar feel to the book (for those of us who have read the whole series). But Pratchett is a master story-teller and it all came together at the end. I strongly suspect we'll see von Lipwig again, giving another commercial enterprise the complete overhaul.

  • The Start of the Art - Iain M. Banks
    Not to be confused with State of the Art. A collection of the earlier short SF stories from Banks, including a lengthy essay by Banks on The Culture that was originally posted to rec.art.sf-written.

  • Fables for our Time - James Thurber

  • Nebula Awards 30 - Ed. Pam Sargent

  • God Bless You Mr. Rosewater - Kurt Vonnegut
    This is classic Vonnegut. Forget his most recent books and go back and read this one, which I consider one of his best.

  • The Beast Must Die - Nicholas Blake
    Another of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century. As one of the Amazon reviewers says, how can you resist a book that starts out with:

    "I am going to kill a man. I don't know his name, I don't know where he lives, I have no idea what he looks like. But I am going to find him and kill him...'

  • A Streetcar Named Desire - Tennessee Williams
    I've never seen this Pulitzer winning play or watched the film, but I kept picturing Marlon Brando in the role of Stanley Kowalski as I read the play. Now I must get to see the film, and read some of Williams's other plays.

  • Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis

    Or Beverly Hills 90210 on Crack or How I Spent My Christmas Holidays.

    It's an excellent first novel by Ellis but as I read this I kept thinking of White Punks on Dope by The Tubes who sum it up so much more succinctly and present it so much better.

    (As an aside, I was at their performance in Oxford in 1978 when Fee Waybill fell off the stage and broke his leg. We didn't know this until the next day's news headlines, as he continued with the show, and nothing seemed unusual. Bad wording that. Anybody who has seen the Tubes knows that there is nothing usual about this group).

  • Howtoons - Saul Griffith
    See a separate review on this one.

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