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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
Hardcase - Dan Simmons This entire book is a cliche, but that doesn't stop it being entertaining from the first to the last page. The protagonist (he's not really a hero when one takes an objective view, yet he gains the reader's sympathy very quickly) is not hard-boiled, he's grilled on the forge Sauron used to make the One Ring. I'm surprised there hasn't been a film adaptation, since the book has the tone and plot of a crime-revenge-thriller-action movie. Looked at another way, it's Dashiell Hammett for the current day.

It seems like Simmons can do anything; he's got SF, supernatural, crime and historical fiction to his name, that I'm aware of - I've read from his contributions to the first three genres and the only things I can find in common are that they are all well worth my time and they all have references to Important Books (say in voice-over man portentous tones). It's been suggested that the protagonist of Hardcase is called Kurtz simply so that Simmons could use a literary in-joke and I could believe it. There are also two addicted down-and-out former college professors who argue with each other by quoting writers in Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, even English! Kurtz, himself, has read quite a bit - reminiscent of Marlowe's chess games.

There are another two Kurtz novels and I would happily read them.