67 Following

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Hero And Leander
Christopher Marlowe
Progress: 24/100 pages
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics
P.A. DAVIDSON, E.J. Hinch, S.H. Davis, Mark J. Ablowitz
Progress: 63/452 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 359/700 pages
Plasma physics
R.A. Cairns
Progress: 4/244 pages
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 37/272 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 108/1102 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: 76/448 pages

The Fifth Heart, Dan Simmons

The Fifth Heart - Dan Simmons

What should have been spectacular (Sherlock Holmes meets up with Henry James to solve a murder mystery that has international repercussions, whilst doubting his own existence) disappoints on all fronts.


The usual flaws (excessive wodges of unnecessary research detail and thinly disguised lit.crit. essays) are all present and still wrong and here they drown a short, exciting novel until it's dead beyond recovery. Additionally, the whole, "is Holmes real?" scenario reads like the author read Redshirts and thought, I can do a more literary job than that! but failed to actually have anything profound or interesting to say about it.


Dan, remember when your books weren't pretentious, overly long and largely boring? I do. Can we have more of those, please? If you want to write history, write history; if you want to write biography, write biography; if you want to write lit.crit. write lit.crit; if you want to write novels, write novels!