Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Bookshelf Part 1

Hereby I announce a new tradition (sic!) that shall be continued through the eternity. A weekly (or bi-weekly or whimsically whenever) update on interesting (or not) books that somehow slipped through my fingers. 
Because I take exhibitionism to a new, written level.

The last week was bountiful. 
The book is written with passion, love and humor. I little wonder this is an international bestseller because the author can pull you among the prehistoric trees, rotting and whispering under a green-golden shade of leaves. More - your will to leave will slowly be drained from you by fungi to feed the roots of a magnificent tree... 
It's a simple book about something wonderful; yes, Author anthropomorphizes the trees, but maybe that was the plan - to show them as our neighbors, our other "little brothers", to borrow St. Francis words.
 The main problem with this book is the fact it's written by two authors and the discrepancy is visible from the start. I really have no idea what the main skeleton of the story was, because it wasn't the God of Wrath, Carleton Lufteufle (sounding dangerously close to Luftwaffe). My minor problem is with Dick - he is a great visionary, but a really mediocre writer.

"Other Songs". I know why it took me so long to finally start it, even though I like impenetrable, philosophical and difficult style of Dukaj's books. It relies heavily on readers familiarity with obscure knowledge such as Arche, Matter, Form, philosophers, Ancient Rome, epicycles, pyr, aether, ge... We are thrown in the middle of the world that after the Fall of Rome turned into a completely different way. The fascinating description of the journey to Africa - to the heart of the Warp (contortion) where things do not hold their own Form for long and become some distorted insane shapes that no LSD dream could dream... was something I read until 3 am just to know more.
The war among "kratistos" is coming, destroying the Form and kneading the Matter like dough...

"The Ghost of Mrs. Crowl and Other Stories" - because who doesn't like a little ghost story? And Le Fanu, well, everyone knows him, so I won't repeat the trivia - just read it and despite the author's hard work to disprove some stories, they are all the same chilling.

Uhm... I tried, I really tried. I did not love it. Worse - I did not like it. I didn't care about the characters, the Drowned Cities were poorly described and in overall - the author's style would need some overhaul in general. It was a fast read though, two days on the tram and I was done with it. And no, the first part, "The Ship Breaker" was no better. Fine, I don't have to like a character to like a book (who likes Raskolnikov, ie. seriously?) but the style was really tiring - too much of everything and the result was very bland.

For around 75% of this book I had the impression I'm reading a great anthropological insight into the co-existence of two (and more) races: The Great Houses and The Folk (two main), following the journey of the Campbellian hero, but then the ending was somehow flat. For such a splendid observations, as if taken from the 19th century traveler's log from Imperial Britain, I felt, at the very end, a bit cheated. Still, it was a nice read.

More to come, as I'm reading more books now^^