Sunday, April 12, 2015

"2001 - A Space Odyssey" - Arthur C. Clarke (11/10)

Awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, incredible!

How do you even begin to describe a book such as this? A book that spans millenia, light-years? The adjective "enormous scope" doesn't even begin to do justice to the astonishing scope of this book.

I won't even try to put into a few words what this book is all about. Its science fiction. But in a way I've never read before, and I am a veteran of Isaac Asimov & Dan Simmons, having read everything they've ever written in this genre.

The unbelievably grand scope is perfectly complimented by the writing that is simply amazing. Such economy of words! To cover a story spanning millenia in just over 250 pages is nothing short of extraordinary. This is writing at the very highest level. Such matter-of-fact writing, without the slightest hint of conceit or self-consciousness. And conceited it very well should be because this is science fiction for the ages. That'll never grow old.

It is science fiction as it should be. The overwhelming emotion when reading science fiction should one of AWE. And this book is as awe-inspiring as it gets. Capturing the immensity of space travel so easily and seemingly effortlessly.

Brilliant, wonderful writing!

The Looking Glass War - John le Carre' (5/10)

I went through so many emotions while reading this book - bored, exasperated, impatient, annoyed, and finally, slightly interested.

The first part is extremely slow, ponderous, bleak and just plain boring.

Thats because the world of Le Carre's spies is so very different from the world of spies that we're used to. It is very, very difficult to get excited by it. His spies are so human, their problems so earthly and mundane...

So the first two-thirds of the book crawl along at a leisurely, boring pace.

In the final third, the pace picks up and the story is told at just the right pace. It gets nowhere near fast-paced, but just the right pace for a story of this kind.

Not a book for everyone, yours truly included.