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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Nonlinear Time Series Analysis
Thomas Schreiber, Holger Kantz
Progress: 29/320 pages
The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters
Dana Lee Baker
Progress: 9/239 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: Hainish Novels and Stories, Vol. 1: Rocannon's World / Planet of Exile / City of Illusions / The Left Hand of Darkness / The Dispossessed / Stories (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 440/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 332/346 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: 359/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 110/1102 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 Rhesus Chart, Charles Stross

The Rhesus Chart - Charles Stross

Mysteriously, this book never made it to my on-line shelves the first time I read it.
Second time around, it was fun enough but I found parts repetitive - recapitulating the basic set up of the series once makes sense - especially for people jumping on board at this late stage - but four or more times? (I lost count.) Also Stross appears to think his readers are stupid because it felt like the shenanigans of the plot are explained several times over, too.

 

There's something going on in this series that I'm not sure I understand. Each book (I think it happens in all of them) picks up some recent or long-lasting trope of pop-culture and uses it as a major plot or thematic element. We've had Occult Nazis, James Bond, Vampires and Superheroes that I can recall off-hand. Several of the books have a bizarre essay about the theme that makes like there's some profound examination of the reasons for the popularity of these themes going on; it seems entirely absent from the actual novels, though and it comes over as trying intellectualise something that is fundamentally silly.