Category archives: Not Recommended

And Another Thing...

by Jan. 12, 2010 in Books, Not Recommended, Science Fiction

And Another Thing...

Eoin Colfer is an excellent author.  I don't know how to pronounce his name, but that hasn't stopped me from reading 9 of his books now.  My first introduction to Colfer was the Artemis Fowl series, which as of book 6, is still immensely entertaining.  I was afraid to pick up anything else by him, assuming it couldn't live up to the high expectations I had from the Artemis books.  Eventually I gave in and listened to Airman.  It was, quite possibly, even better than any and all of the Artemis books.

Even with Airman surpassing my wildest expectations I was shocked with how much I enjoyed Half Moon Investigations (more on this later - I just finished listening to this on cd).  With all that said, when I learned that Colfer was writing the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, I was probably more excited than most Hitchhiker's fans.  I was confident that Colfer could pull it off.  He is, without a doubt, a talented, funny author.

I didn't like And Another Thing, and that makes me sad.  As I read through it, I wanted to like it.  I really did.  And it definitely made me laugh, numerous times and not infrequently or out of pity.  It really had its moments.  But in spite of that, it just wasn't very good.  It was middling, and not nearly of the quality of his other books.  There are many possible reasons for this, and I explore them in more detail in the database entry, but I simply can't recommend this to anyone.  Colfer has much better books out there, and the original Hitchhiker's books are plentiful if you need a fix.

(On a side note, I think there is a good chance that I wouldn't even enjoy the original series at this point, for whatever reason, and that Colfer in fact did a fantastic job of upholding the tradition established by Adams.  Maybe it's not just for me anymore.)

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Blindness

by Jan. 4, 2010 in Books, Fiction, Not Recommended

I remember when the movie Blindness came out a few years ago, I thought "what a fascinating idea - everyone in the world suddenly goes blind except for a single woman!"  Once I learned it was originally a book, I decided to forego watching the movie, and decided to just read the book it was based on.  It turns out I was right - it is a fascinating idea, if not repulsive.  Jose Saramago's vision of a society stricken blind is quite disturbing.

Unfortunately, while Blindness is a well-written, fascinating, disturbing book, it's simply annoying and unpleasant to read.  Saramago makes some stylistic choices (which I assume are meant to convey to the reader what it's like to lose one of your senses) that create an obnoxious reading experience.  Combine that with the disturbing content and it's officially not fun on all accounts.  With that said, however, if you love to see the depravity of the human spirit, and want a book structured so that it is purposefully difficult to read, Blindness is for you, and I recommend it with all confidence that you will "enjoy" it.  For the rest of us, don't bother.

"This is the ...

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