Monday, August 24, 2009

Three more fun-sized reviews

Toll the Hounds
by Steven Erikson
This is the eighth installment of Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen, a series of fantasy novels so epically nerdy I feel like I should be reading them wearing Spock ears, a retainer, and a wizard's cloak. Erikson releases the penultimate novel, Dust of Dreams in August and I think I'll do a comprehensive Malazan review after I finish that. Simply put, if you're a fan of fiction writing you should appreciate this series. Like I said, it's really intense high fantasy, but the world and mythology that Erikson has created for this series is truly astounding.

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Ignoring how silly it is for me to try and critique Shakespeare, I wasn't really in love with this play. I'm a huge Shakespeare fan and I've read almost all of his major plays but this is the first history of his that I've read. Perhaps it's because he's bound by a set course of events (to some degree) but I feel like there just wasn't a lot going on behind the text here. Maybe I didn't read it closely enough or didn't have a good enough understanding of the subtext... But Antony and Cleopatra came across to me as a simply, straightforward retelling of a tragic, beautiful love story. Frankly I think HBO did it better.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I came close to writing a full-length review for this one but decided against it/to be lazy. The Book Thief tells the story of a young German girl growing up in Nazi Germany during World War II. It's an interesting read, narrated by Death, with a structure unlike anything I've come across before. It's sort of your typical WW2/Holocaust story, it pulls all the right heart-strings and has just the right amount of hope mixed in with despair to keep you emotionally invested. I even got a little misty-eyed at the tragic finale. I feel like this book is probably best suited for the 14-18 year old age range, but I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.


Christopher said...

Remember that time we took a Shakespeare class together? By which I mean remember that time neither of us were actually in the class at the same time?

Jim said...

Dude I went to that class like 4 times all semester. I was such a dick in college.

Nihil Novum said...

I'm so far behind on reviews that I'm thinking of adopting this bite-size method.

Carlton Farmer said...

I almost picked up The Book Thief the other day. Maybe I will.

Christopher said...

In college?