I really enjoyed this throughout! While not a joyful tale, the way it was told and the innate sense of inevitability — present far more here than in other stories, due to the aptly chosen point of view from which the story is written — made this a wonderful (fictional) (hi)story.
I have to say, rating a collection is tough as it can obviously be very variable in quality. I found this here — a few of the stories were breathtaking in their intensity and beauty while others (the majority, regrettably) not nearly as interesting. For personal reasons, I found the stories which touched on the historic aspect a bit more thrilling but in general the variety was commendable. Continue reading “Review: ‘Dangerous Women’, George R.R. Martin”
Annecy was interesting. There are not many places I have seen that this much effort has gone into constructing towers which are large over… something else. I am not sure what, but from whatever side one approaches this hilltop keep, towers of the kind one imagines in fiction rather than real life loom large. It could be that this is the style from the Île-de-France that the lords of this place took over, but I haven’t been and so cannot confirm. Yet!
I am, normally, not in the habit of posting quotes specifically from a work I am reviewing, however, Mr Orwell managed to succinctly summarise the very point he is making in this essay and therefore I do allow myself an exception to the rule: “The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged.” Continue reading “Review: ‘Notes on Nationalism’, George Orwell”
Nyon was my first Swiss (Vaudois? Savoyard?) castle that I experienced, and as such it was a perfect entry to the local scenery. A wonderfully compact construct in a Roman-era settlement which still towers above the local landscape, I was especially lucky as I could also experience the sense of Nyon disappearing into the landscape when I took the watertaxi across Lake Geneva.
I found this a perfect enjoyable story, a good part of it humours with the rest revealing the author’s good grasp of humanity. It is not a terribly witty book, but it is funny it its simple description of life and its annoyances. Similarly, it is not terribly good in any specific part but what it does very well is storytelling. Anansi was a storyteller and so is Mr Gaiman. Continue reading “Review: ‘Anansi Boys’, Neil Gaiman”
Framlingham is one of the most iconic places in the East Anglian medieval landscape; mostly this is because it is one of the very few places that has survived into the modern era relatively unscathed, but it is also an impressive structure — even if it is not as large as some other castles or not as well-defined as others. Continue reading “Framlingham Castle”
This was a delightful tale of old Scandinavia and a winter that people dread. Reading it right after ‘American Gods’ made me think of a bit different an Odin than this tale gives us, but this is foremost a children’s tale as well and the witty animals that entertain us belong here exactly as they are written. More than that, this really is a happy story and I don’t think much else needs to be said: read it.
I wasn’t that carried away by this book while at the same time it was pretty good. I think it’s just I found the ending(s) a bit underwhelming while the author’s mythology works beautifully. And, in the end, who doesn’t want to read of Odin’s adventures? Continue reading “Review: ‘American Gods’, Neil Gaiman”