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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
Zodiac - Neal Stephenson Zodiac is described as an eco-thriller, which about sums it up, actually! It certainly is a thriller - I read all 290 or so pages in one (long) night, gripped from the outset. The hero of the story is a chemist working for GEE, a direct action environmental organisation, in its Boston branch. He's out to get the companies dumping toxic waste into the harbour and the rivers and canals that feed into it. He has three company logos on the bows of his inflatable raft with its over-size outboard motor, capable of making it fly. None of those companies is trading anymore. Now he's gunning for his fourth, but the opposition start gunning for him, literally, and some of that opposition are criminal Families not criminal Corporations.

The man on a crusade has a big mystery, more enemies than he can figure out reasons for, a neglected girl-friend, a freak-show of friends, a knowledge of chemistry, his wits and a Zodiac boat. This turns out to be plenty to drive this taught, pacy, funny and occassionally unpredictable novel forward but at the end one question is left unaswered: what does our non-violent eco-warrior want more? To protect the aquatic eco-system or bash big corporations?