Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Only Begotten Daughter, by James Morrow. I liked this one, mostly because I don't have anything to dislike about it. The story could be considered controversial if you wanted to be anal about it; not all writing should be taken literally: it's just a story. Other than that, the narrative style was good, although a few large stretches of time were poorly conveyed. The characters were believable, the plot followed well, and the conventions were good. I remember no glaring errors, and the story was kind of fun. One and a half thumbs up, although raising just half a thumb is a little difficult. She, by H. Rider Haggard. Wow. I could only take about half an hour of this at a time before falling asleep or needing to get up and remind myself that I was still alive. It was very similar in alot of ways to the original Burroughs' Tarzan books, the first three or four of which I've read. Some of those similarities: Africa is a deep and mystical place, where you will find amazingly magical things which right-thinking people in England would swoon over. People of low birth or station are stupid and superstitious, and more noble people will prove to be so no matter the circumstances. If you try to describe amazing things, your reader might faint, so saying "which defies description," or "my poor pen would fail to capture its truth," is the best cop out available. The whole thing was mostly "thou hast" and "O [name]" and "ye didst." It was heavy, slogging reading. I would say that the conventions could use some work, but they seem to be within acceptable limits for the time of publication. There were definitely some errors, I can say with asperity, such as missing end parentheses, for example. My (late) New Year's Resolution is to stay away from Fantastic Fiction written before 1965.

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