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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Broken Angels
Richard K. Morgan
Progress: 56/468 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 166/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 164/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages

Collected Short Stories, Patrick O'Brian

Collected Short Stories - Patrick O'Brian

I've read more than twenty books by O'Brian and this is the first one I didn't like. The reason is obvious; the others were novels and this is a short story collection. It's not that I don't like the short story form - far from it - I love Ray Bradbury and numerous other SF writers' short works as well as those of Thomas Hardy, just as examples off the top of my head. But some writers are not able to work well in both long and short forms and it seems O'Brian was one of these. His first novel, Testimonies, is impressive and he went on from there to become one of the most uniformly admired historical fiction writers ever, but these short stories for the most part were plain dull. A few stand out as good - ones focused on mountainous landscapes - and I wonder if some-one less familiar with mountains or the emotions and physical exertions associated with mountain travel would be as appreciative even of those. Quite a disappointment.