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Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Another stop on the ‘End is Nigh’ tour. This week: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller, Jr. A rather whimsically ominous look at the folly of mankind. Here’s a description from wikipedia:

canticle.jpgIt is set in an abbey in the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, and takes place at intervals of hundreds of years apart as civilization rebuilds itself. The plot combines elements of dark comedy with more serious examinations of the issues surrounding faith, knowledge, and power. The book was inspired by the author’s witnessing of the destruction of the monastery at Monte Cassino during World War II.

Despite some of the religious symbolism that I didn’t always understand, I really enjoyed this book. One of those books where you promptly gain empathy towards the characters without a lot of character development. I give it a 4 out of 5 fry rating.

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triffids.jpgContinuing on my tour of the ‘post-apocalyptic’ sub-genre, I just finished reading The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Good book. On a scale between ‘unsophisticated writing’ and ‘shit, where’s my dictionary’ this book would fall somewhere in the middle under ‘just right’. Here’s the breakdown. Most of mankind is struck blind following a dazzling comet-induced light show in the night sky and now have to cope with the deadly carnivourous plants that rome the earth. The subplot to all this deals with the survivors attempts to restore order and prevent a return to a more primitive lifestyle. Very similar subplot to Earth Abides but much less long winded and hence, in my opinion, more enjoyable. I give it 4 out of 5 Fries. Interested? Here’s more at wikipedia.

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earth-abides-2.jpgFinished reading Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. It’s about one man’s survival after most of the earth’s population is wiped out by plague and the story follows the protagonist throughout the remainder of his life. Most of the book deals with how nature retakes the planet and how the main protagonist struggles to hold on to a ‘civilized’ way of life. The passages describing the effect of humanity’s absence on the ecosystem are particularly insightful but I also found a lot of areas rather naive and unsophisticated. But then again, who am I to speak on sophistication, I laugh when people get hit in the groin. I give this book 3 out of 5 fries. If you are interested, check out the Wikipedia entry.

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blood-meridian.jpgSo I just finished reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Disregarding the plot for a moment, this book was bursting with long descriptive poetic passages and words that would give the oxford english dictionary a run for its money. I got used to it, I even came to enjoy it, but above all else the story is great and it keeps the pages turning. The story is a fictionalized account of a gang of scalp hunters that kill pretty much everything that breathes around the Texas-Mexico border in 1849-1850. It’s a ‘western’ novel with a lot of shooting and death and debauchery and shooting and killing and death. Lots of symbolism too if you are into that kind of thing. Here is the wikipedia entry if you want to learn more. I give it a 4 out of 5 Fry rating.

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