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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
Progress: 136/346 pages
Hero And Leander
Christopher Marlowe
Progress: 36/100 pages
An Introduction to Magnetohydrodynamics
P.A. DAVIDSON, E.J. Hinch, S.H. Davis, Mark J. Ablowitz
Progress: 93/452 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: 48/272 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 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.