I read this last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it too. I haven’t read Douglas Adams, but Anansi Boys reminded me a lot of the Gaiman/Terry Pratchett collaboration Good Omens, which was another wonderful read.
Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett have a lot in common as far as approach. The first three Hitchhiker’s Guide books are things of beauty.
I am reading a bunch of books at once, I hope I’ll get to finish some of them…
A book on Tibetan Dzogchen
The Poetry of Zen
Pensees by Blaise Pascal
Dialogues and Letters by Seneca
Handbook by Epictetus
Read two Seth Grahame-Smith books recently (Unholy Night and The Last American Vampire). I thought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was hugely clever. Unfortunately I bought the other books without reading either of them first. They were dreck. I wish they were as clever as Neil Gaiman’s work. I would even go with Alan Moore’s. (No, I’m not generally a fan of Alan Moore. Stone me as a heretic!) I wish they were as good as Stephen King. They simply were not. Imagine South Park attempting a serious parody of Game of Thrones. Makes no sense, right? Well, welcome to the fiction of Seth Grahame-Smith…
Just finished First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells.
It’s not in the same class as Time Machine or The Invisible Man, both of which cover wonderment and human psychology brilliantly, though in different proportions. First Men in the Moon starts off OK, but once Cavor and Bedford reach the Moon, the exploration lacks any real adventure, and the narrative pace slows to a crawl. The two main characters lack personality, and Bedford is actually a bit of an arse without good reason. The final part of the book, containing the messages from the Moonbound Cavor, are dull and add nothing to the narrative. The whole section comes across as an afterthought.
This is one of those rare occasions where the movie adaptation (1964 version), is superior to the novel, in story, characterisation and Victoriana charm. However, there is a tiny, throwaway part of the novel that’s triggered an idea for a spin-off story, so I’m glad I finally got round to reading it.
Audible version £2.99 today only (60 hrs 42 mins)
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Stone me as a heretic!
I’m on it. Still got the slipcase beside my bed as I’ve been holding off for a more suitable time but the audio version at this price is too good not to miss, especially as I’m going to be driving to work a few days.
I know that we talked about The Sellout by Paul Beatty a while back. I finished it over the weekend. I will give a longer review later, but I thought it would sit well with fans of books like Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse 5. It is that kind of satire, but about race.
And it is achingly funny.
This is how I use Audible (and home again ). I’m 39 of 41 hours into Peter F. Hamilton’s The Realty Dysfunction right now, and I am determined to finish this drivel, so I can critique it fully.
I still have that to read, and “The Good People”.
I really should read them.
It is very rarely that anything makes me laugh out loud. It is even rarer that I read a passage that I immediately want to read out to someone else. This did both. It is a book that I want to give to other people to read.
It has serious points to make about racial issues. but it does it in a very funny and endearing way.
Ooh, that does sound tempting. I’m 100 pages in and it’s taken ages … it’s not an especially un-put-downable book, so it might be good to be trapped in a car with it to get going properly.
It’s not a satire, it’s a farce. But otherwise yes, it’s pretty brilliant.
Short version for you: Shagging. Booze. Future tech punch-up. Gore. More booze. Lots more shagging. Bigger punch-up. Spaceship punch-up. Booze. Spaceship shagging.
Actually that last one might be erroneous.
We were reading it at pretty much the same time. I finished it yesterday. If I’d realised, I could have got you to read alternate chapters to me because my eyes were tired.
Every now and again I come across a book that should be read by everyone. So (Simon says) you all need to read The Sellout.
No, I seem to remember Voidhawk mating near the start
Heheh. It’s been a decade or so since I read it so been a while.
I enjoy Hamilton’s stuff as hokum entertainment, taking it seriously? er, nope.
Not so long ago I came across an interview with Beatty in a periodical where he spoke about his thoughts re satire and how he’d define The Sellout. I’ll see if I can find it for yous later. There’s likely a link to it online.
That would be interesting. He was interviewed by Seth Meyers not so long ago. The clips are on Youtube. He’s a funny guy.