Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Read on My Day Off

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. I didn't think I was going to like this book when I first started reading it; the author does away with many punctuation things like commas, quotation marks, and apostrophes. He is very consistent in his non-use of these conventions, however, so the reader quickly gets used to it.
He doesn't name his characters, instead just calling them "the boy" and "the man," with brief encounters with "the old man" and "the man with the gun."
In spite of nameless characters, I was amazed at the level of emotion conveyed in the story. This author evoked a level of empathy many books could never hope to see from readers. I thought it quite good.

Power of Three, by Diana Wynne Jones. Works I have previously read by this author weren't so good, by any standard. It felt like she was trying to get her feet under her: her stories were thinly-disguised re-tellings of popular works, and her narrative style was lacking. In this book, however, the author does much better. Although there is a poorly-concealed moral, the story is entertaining enough for young readers; I couldn't recommend it for older readers, however.

The Dragon Lord's Daughters, by Beatrice Small. This equals not so amazing. It isn't one book so much as three short-ish stories about three sisters. I highly doubt anyone ever talked like that, and the entire thing is unrealistic and idealized.

The Thrall's Tale, by Judith Lindbergh. I'm going to have to quit this one, even though I'm mildly interested in the story. I'd like to watch the characters and their relationships, but the author's writing style is very difficult to stay interested in; I zone out for pages at a time. That makes reading comprehension rather poor.

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