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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Delirium Brief
Charles Stross
Progress: 106/368 pages
Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 32/289 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: 468/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 242/1102 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
Flood and Fang (The Raven Mysteries - book 1) - Marcus Sedgwick Marcus Sedgwick aims for a younger audience with this, the first of five Raven Mysteries books. Instead he gets me.

The ancient Guardian of Otherhand Castle has noticed a threat to the family and servants of the castle - a menacing and noxious tail, that may be connected to a mouth connected to the disappearance of a kitchen maid. Soon he has observed another danger: the castle, which appears to have something of a mind of its own, is flooding. Being a responsible Guardian, he attempts to warn the Otherhands, but this is more difficult than it would initially seem, since the Otherhands are variously, mad, stupid, obsessed with trivialities, conducting gruesome meteorological experiments or accompanied by a dangerous sticky monkey. Even explaining the situation to the one sensible member of the Otherhand clan is not straightforward, because the ancient Guardian is a Raven. Called Edgar.

This immensely entertaining, funny book combines ingredients from every comic-Gothic source that comes to mind, including The Adams Family, Beetlejuice and Araminta Spook with items from numerous more serious Gothic sources such as Gormenghast and one E.A. Poe, mixed together with Sedgwick's own strong Gothic sensibility and baked in a slightly rusty cake tin, rising to form a light and fluffy cake that it is a delight to consume.

It is worth noting that the book deploys illustration more effectively than any other novel with a similar target audience that I can remember. (Admittedly I can remember few.)

I look forward impatiently to the next Mystery as told from the viewpoint of Otherhand's oldest denizen, Edgar the Raven.