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May 12th, 2007


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08:06 am - books finished
The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
Hmm. Not sure what to say about this one without committing spoilage. I enjoyed the anthropological bits a lot, the apocalyptic battles less. I agree it will be hard to film 'verbatim' if the franchise gets that far. I found the ending ...problematic, and a little heavy on the "sucks to be you" aspects of Doing The Right Thing. (I'd be happy to get more specific in private conversation of one sort or another.)

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Brilliant as always. I like post-apocalyptic fiction to begin with, so it's an even bigger treat when it's as well-excuted as Atwood's work. She's someone whose work I enjoy so much it's strange I haven't read more of it. Time to remedy the lack, clearly. As for O&C, I sympathize with the main character a little too much for comfort in terms of career track and being gifted but not quite gifted enough for the circumstances. But I flirt with digression into personal issues there.

Atwood talked about writing O&C in several of the essays I read in Writing With Intent; that and osmie's review were what motivated me to actually reserve and read it. She wrote a bit about how Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake are both science-fiction-y or more definitely speculative. I wonder if her books tend to get positioned as 'literature' due in part to her initial publications being poetry. Having already been ghettoized as a poet, then, made publishers less likely to pigeonhole her as a 'mere' SF writer? Oh, they're just thoughts, let us not actually go there - that discussion is hoary and not to my interest at the moment beyond the above entirely idle speculation. The book is excellent, where-ever you choose to file it.
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[User Picture]
From:rechercher
Date:May 12th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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I suggest you write a protected entry for me and any other people that have read the Amber Spyggass. And for everyone else...tell them to READ THE SERIES!! In particular what do you mean by the ending being problematic? I understand the part about "Sucks to be you" and didn't quite understand why it had to work out that way.
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From:plastic_diadem
Date:May 14th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC)
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I have yet to finish Amber Spyglass. I read the first book in a flash, took a few days more to complete the second and had a few "hmmmm" moments but generally enjoyed mulling quantum and dark matter theories.... but I just cannot seem to get past the first almost half of the A.S.! I've probably read 6-8 fiction books in the meantime and I keep picking it up and hoping and after a page get distracted. I had thought it my mood but I've been seeing this a lot lately in series so maybe I have high hopes or start thinking what I would make the outcome and am such an egotist I become frustrated when they're dashed. Banks' books and Simmons' are the two recent authors I've experienced this with.

(babble, ramble)

But I have hopes I'll finish the book and imagine I'll sigh at the ending.

Still, the movie looks really interesting and although Kidman and Craig are utterly different than how I pictured the characters I think they are very well cast.

My daemon is a tiger named Aesop apparently.

[User Picture]
From:cithra
Date:May 14th, 2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
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You're not alone - faintheart described the same problem with AS to me when we were talking about it in person. I agree that the first book was the best, and held out a lot of promise that wasn't fully followed up upon in sequal, alas.

I agree about the movie casting - not how I pictured the characters in my head, but once I thought it over they seem to be good choices.

Entertaining side note which may or may not draw you further into the book - my (devoutly religious) mother has been reading the trilogy along with me, as I've finished them and passed them to her. She brought both book 1 & 2 up for discussion after finishing them, but not a peep has she yet said about book 3.
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From:plastic_diadem
Date:May 14th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
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ooh very interesting indeed! I'll try to pick it up this week in the bathtub.

Speaking of devout religiosity.... did you happen to see/catch the 2 part special on PBS called "The Mormons"? It was an American Experience thing so it wasn't exactly hard hitting or much you likely don't know but we enjoyed watching the whole shebang (I am sure it will replay). Usually they're good about putting this kind of thing online or at least info about it if you'd be interested. It was majority Mormon historians, etc. who spoke and certainly did not delve deeply into views of dissenters but for someone outside entirely and having only peripheral information it was exceptionally informative. Considering much of my knowledge is heresay, missionaries, ex members, and a South Park episode....

I'll leave off there but there were a few things that really struck me a bit speechless until the end of the program, including that I believe many current members of the temple would find it interesting and informative.
[User Picture]
From:cithra
Date:May 16th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
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Re: the PBS 'Mormons' show -

I caught a few moments of it, but didn't have a chance to see the whole thing. The part I saw was about the pioneers settling Utah, so I sort wasn't paying too much attention since I know far more than I ever wanted to about that.

I'm often kind of lukewarm about South Park - scat humor isn't really my thing - but I have to say both the Scientology and the Mormon episodes were pretty damn funny.

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