Sunday, March 22, 2015

march 2

Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett. I read a little piece of this, to see if I wanted to use it in either of two new upcoming program series I'm working on. No.
The writing is terribly choppy: there is no flow, no ability to be swept along by the story. It consists entirely of a combination of very short sentences interspersed with fragments, and the fragments used indiscriminately-- because there are so many, and the sentences are universally short, it gives them no power, no punch. Also, each character over-emotes. Because the dialogue lack punch, each and every spoken line is accompanied by huge physical gestures and gesticulations, extreme facial expressions, deep sighs, and other things that are supposed to convey the emotions the characters are supposed to feel.

Finder: Third World by Carla Speed McNeil. I wanted to read more graphic novels, and this was ranked on a number of "best" and "top" lists. But I couldn't follow it. It was too other-world, no introduction of ideas, no common points of reference. Turns out this is something like vol. 10. How nice it would have been if that were indicated somewhere on here! But the spine, front cover, inside front cover, back cover, inside back cover, title page, and more blank filler pages all stubbornly refuse to give any actually-useful information about this series. This is one reason I've had such a hard time getting into GNs-- they are not user-friendly. You can't just pick one up; a surprising amount of research is needed on prospective titles.

Ghost of the Well of Souls by Jack L. Chalker. Oh, this is bloody ridiculous. The repetition has worn me down! I quit! Every time we enter a region. We get a recap of the race's abilities or physical characteristics. Every time two characters meet up, it goes into the backstory again. Every time. And (and! This is the best part!) the author's note says, in part, "you should read them in the order they are written; otherwise it completely spoils the surprise and, because there is a minimum if recap here, you might even get confused as to who's who." This dude was obviously not functioning in the same reality as the rest of us.

Series sum-up: the first three are an interesting imaginative exercise. The last two add nothing and are absolute torture to read.

The Girl With No Name: The Incredible Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys by Marina Chapman, with Vanessa James and Lynn Barrett-Lee. (921) These sorts of memoirs are really accessible. I find alot of nonfiction inaccessible, not because I can't follow the subject matter, but because it is written so poorly that I cannot wade through the crap to the important points. I have high expectations for people who are considered/consider themselves so high up in their own fields that they think they need to write a book. But people like this, who had an unusual experience and are encouraged to share it, their books may not be amazingly well-written, but that's ok.

This ended in kind of a weird place; I think many readers would still be curious about how she got from South America to Europe. She must have done research at some point or talked to doctors about many relevant topics-- delayed language acquisition, adult education, health topics-- but none of that information was shared.

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