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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 20/289 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: 232/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
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

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!