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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall - Nancy Kress Reading this shortly after the Hunger Games trilogy may not have cast it in a favourable light: it has some of the technical problems of Collins and none of the passion. This comes over as a polite request not to trash the planet which is weak compared with the raw outrage expressed by Collins. There's no suggestion as to how to avoid trashing the planet. And there's the problem that the science is implausible, the ideas unoriginal, and the situation, "after the fall" exceedingly improbable. It's a terrible title, too. (A bit like her The Beggars in Spain...that's a really bad title, too. Much better story though.)

The fact that the characters are well drawn and convincing and the prose is competent doesn't really make sufficient compensation. It's disappointing as I thought the novella version of The Beggars in Spain was good and it had me hunting for her works in every bookshop I've visited since. Having finally got hold of something else, it turns out to be not nearly as interesting or sophisticated in terms of the SF elements or the subtext, even though Beggars in Spain ended up a rush job towards the end. (It got expanded into three full-length novels that I would still like to read.)