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I'm procrastinating again, news at 11

If book reviews could just be my off-the-cuff analysis and flailing about books and characters and such, it'd take me less than half an hour to do them, instead of (some of them) months because I procrastinate. Writing plot summaries is the bane of my reviewing life, because it's boring and also the author did it much better than me: that'd be the novel. And you have to try to limit spoilers or else it's not useful to people who haven't read the books.

The best part about reviewing is where you can just dissect the novels. If I want to take issue with your dinosaurs on spaceships (side note: if anyone has read a novel with this premise, tell me now please) then I totally can, or I can run about yelling it's the very best part of the book, everyone on my flist, you should go find this book! Or--and this is my favourite part of the speculative fiction umbrella--it's the speculation on what parts are taken from Earth and what's not. (Even secondary world fantasy invariably borrows from earthly institutions, beliefs, political structure, biology, climate.) For some reason this is so satisfying. And also I can talk about characterization or plot twists or just the writing flat out (like C.S. Lewis', because it was simply, remarkably beautiful), anything I think is relevant.

This has been brought to you by the fact I finished Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief. Review forthcoming.


Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/138393.html.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
gothrockrulz
Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
If book reviews could just be my off-the-cuff analysis and flailing about books and characters and such, it'd take me less than half an hour to do them, instead of (some of them) months because I procrastinate.

YES, YES, YES! You've put it very well. :)

I'm guessing your thoughts on The Thief are mostly positive? ;)
silverflight8
Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
homg yes. I totally need to read the other two books in the trilogy.

Summaries, man. Why do they take so much effort?
gothrockrulz
Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming they're a lot of work because we're perfectionists, and we're afraid of writing bad summaries that don't do the books justice.
silverflight8
Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, exactly. Plus once you condense books to a certain size (i.e. summary size) everything sounds ridiculous. Plot of Crime and Punishment: guy commits crime, eventually punishes himself & repents. Plot of Gone with the Wind: silly girl changed by Civil War. Plot of the Life of Pi: kid stranded at sea with tiger. Etc. And none of the summaries can adequately convey just how amazing some of the books are.
gothrockrulz
Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, you so, so right. Especially with the example of Gone with the Wind--that left me reeling a bit.

ETA: On a funny note, the best and the worst one-sentence summary I've ever read has got to be for Lord of the Rings: a bunch of guys fighting over jewelry. LOL!

Edited at 2013-09-22 07:00 pm (UTC)
silverflight8
Sep. 22nd, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
Yes! A ring that was imbued with POWER. That turns wearers invisible. It just sounds so silly out of context!
gothrockrulz
Sep. 24th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
Indeed. When I first saw LotR, the ring annoyed me, because I didn't understand the brilliant symbolism and storytelling.
silverflight8
Sep. 24th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
Hm, what sort of symbolism? I always assumed Tolkien just picked a piece of jewelery offhand, something small and concealable. Never really thought about implications!
gothrockrulz
Sep. 25th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of how the lust for the ring was symbolic of the lust of power in general. Wasn't really thinking about any symbolism connected with the jewelry itself. Though, now, I'm starting to think maybe there was a purpose in the choice of a ring, since often kings would seal decrees with wax impressions of their rings, and those decrees wouldn't be lawful until they bore the king's seal. Also, to be given an iconic ring by a king was to be given permission to do anything, all in the king's name.
silverflight8
Sep. 25th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Ohh, neat. Yeah, didn't Sauron put a lot of himself (including his powers) into the ring? And he's pretty ambitious--only defeated by Isildur et company that last time from really taking over.

I was thinking of xkcd's comic http://xkcd.com/712/ which was funny but also kind of...unsupported by the text. But funny.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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