Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan with Brandon Sanderson

It is hard for me to be objective about Wheel of Time. Thirteen hefty books (and a short story or two) over the last twenty odd years is too much of an investment for the concluding volumes of the series not to be brilliant and I am convinced that they are. The dreary confusion of the middle volumes is long forgotten, Randland hurtles towards Tarmon Gai'don (the final battle) and I can't wait for book 14 to see how it turns out.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Let The Great World Spin by Colm McCann

Colm Mc Cann's award winning New York novel is weightier stuff than I usually read but still very approachable and enjoyable. The interlocking stories all take place in the shadow of Philip Petit's astounding 1974 tight rope walk between the newly built Twin Towers. The stories themselves involvesaints and sinners, rich and poor and there is more than a hint of gritty realism. This is after all pre-Guliani New York in all its seedy glory, a far cry from the theme park city we know today. Not all the loose ends are tied up and not all the stories have happy outcomes but yet the book as a whole is more life affirming than depressing. Recommended.

Down and out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory L. Doctorow

I enjoyed the setting of this near future novel where mankind has achieved immortality and the economy is based entirely on a tradeable analog of esteem called "whoofie". The story is somewhat forgettable though. It is entirely possible that I am missing deep symbolism and allegory. This is a story about a future utopian world that just happens to be set in Disney land after all.