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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

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: 62/1100 pages
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated
Charles Darwin
Progress: 190/346 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 3/250 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
Selected Short Stories - Conrad (Wordsworth Classics)
Keith Carabine, Joseph Conrad
Progress: 224/272 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
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.