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The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said a thousand times before? Well, this, actually:

I first read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in school; it might have been late elementary school, or it could have been junior high. In any case, it was in the late 1970s. And I believed that it was a contemporary book. Years later, I discovered that it had been published in 1951. That simply amazed me.

Some of it certainly went over my head as a young teen, of course. I was fairly innocent back then. Now I get it, of course. But even now, in early middle age, I can't help but feel that Holden is a friend.

I see I'm wandering into cliche.

One thing: I did find a book which is remarkably similar in tone to The Catcher in the Rye. It's fundamentally different, mind you; I certainly don't want to imply that there was plagiarism involved. Not at all! The Teddy-Bear Habit was written in the 1960s, is written for the 10-16 year old age group (roughly speaking), and includes a lot of humor as well as action and suspense; the hero has problems, but they're nowhere near as serious as Holden's. On the other hand, the book is set in Greenwich Village.

But something about the internal narration by young George Stable is so reminiscent of Holden's inner voice that in my memory I've sometimes mixed the two together. So if you love The Catcher in the Rye, you may want to give The Teddy-Bear Habit a try. See if you can pick up one of the older editions, illustrated by New Yorker illustrator Lorenz; they complement the text wonderfully.

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The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said a thousand times before? Well, this, actually:

I first read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in school; it might have been late elementary school, or it could have been junior high. In any case, it was in the late 1970s. And I believed that it was a contemporary book. Years later, I discovered that it had been published in 1951. That simply amazed me.

Some of it certainly went over my head as a young teen, of course. I was fairly innocent back then. Now I get it, of course. But even now, in early middle age, I can't help but feel that Holden is a friend.

I see I'm wandering into cliche.

One thing: I did find a book which is remarkably similar in tone to The Catcher in the Rye. It's fundamentally different, mind you; I certainly don't want to imply that there was plagiarism involved. Not at all! The Teddy-Bear Habit was written in the 1960s, is written for the 10-16 year old age group (roughly speaking), and includes a lot of humor as well as action and suspense; the hero has problems, but they're nowhere near as serious as Holden's. On the other hand, the book is set in Greenwich Village.

But something about the internal narration by young George Stable is so reminiscent of Holden's inner voice that in my memory I've sometimes mixed the two together. So if you love The Catcher in the Rye, you may want to give The Teddy-Bear Habit a try. See if you can pick up one of the older editions, illustrated by New Yorker illustrator Lorenz; they complement the text wonderfully.

View all my reviews >>
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Kay's Restaurant
1013 Cass Ave
Woonsocket, RI 02895
(401) 762-9675

Category: Sandwiches

Ah, Kay's. What am I going to say about you? I'm giving you three stars. But if I could, I would give you a split decision: two stars and four stars.

The place is, I'll admit, really cool: it's the antithesis of a chain restaurant. Step into Kay's, and you've stepped back in time. It's quiet, dim, and tastefully decorated, yet not overly formal. The atmosphere is incredible.

Ample parking is available in a free lot across the street, and on the street itself.

The menu is, as others have mentioned, on a napkin. A SMALL napkin. There aren't many choices; five or six sandwiches, and nachos as an appetizer. Most sandwiches can be ordered hot or cold, and all come with excellent wavy chips, sour dill pickle slices, and pepperoncini (spicy!).

There's a wide selection of drinks; the soft drinks used to come in tiny cups, but now are closer to standard restaurant-size. You may want to ask for water as well when you order a soft drink if you're the thirsty type, because there are no free refills.

The sandwiches are simply PILED with meat. I usually stick to their ham or (more often) roast beef, but they also have steak, pastrami, and (sometimes, at least) lobster. The usual add-ons such as cheese, mushrooms, and onions are available.

But here's the thing: sometimes the sandwiches are great, but sometimes they're awful. I'm specifically talking about the roast beef sandwiches in this case. I've had great ones, hot and juicy, a dauntingly high and aggressively meaty pile of beef. But I've also had roast beef sandwiches at Kay's that had a lot of gristle and were simply inedible - in fact, I had gristle-beef sandwiches on three visits in a row.

Three times in a row is too damned many. I refused to go back to Kay's for a year. Recently I agreed to give them another try (my wife loves their food) and was pleased and surprised to get a good roast beef sandwich. But I'm not sure I'll ever feel comfortable taking that first bite at Kay's again, because I can't know if they're having a good day or a bad one.
bobquasit: (Default)
Kay's Restaurant
1013 Cass Ave
Woonsocket, RI 02895
(401) 762-9675

Category: Sandwiches

Ah, Kay's. What am I going to say about you? I'm giving you three stars. But if I could, I would give you a split decision: two stars and four stars.

The place is, I'll admit, really cool: it's the antithesis of a chain restaurant. Step into Kay's, and you've stepped back in time. It's quiet, dim, and tastefully decorated, yet not overly formal. The atmosphere is incredible.

Ample parking is available in a free lot across the street, and on the street itself.

The menu is, as others have mentioned, on a napkin. A SMALL napkin. There aren't many choices; five or six sandwiches, and nachos as an appetizer. Most sandwiches can be ordered hot or cold, and all come with excellent wavy chips, sour dill pickle slices, and pepperoncini (spicy!).

There's a wide selection of drinks; the soft drinks used to come in tiny cups, but now are closer to standard restaurant-size. You may want to ask for water as well when you order a soft drink if you're the thirsty type, because there are no free refills.

The sandwiches are simply PILED with meat. I usually stick to their ham or (more often) roast beef, but they also have steak, pastrami, and (sometimes, at least) lobster. The usual add-ons such as cheese, mushrooms, and onions are available.

But here's the thing: sometimes the sandwiches are great, but sometimes they're awful. I'm specifically talking about the roast beef sandwiches in this case. I've had great ones, hot and juicy, a dauntingly high and aggressively meaty pile of beef. But I've also had roast beef sandwiches at Kay's that had a lot of gristle and were simply inedible - in fact, I had gristle-beef sandwiches on three visits in a row.

Three times in a row is too damned many. I refused to go back to Kay's for a year. Recently I agreed to give them another try (my wife loves their food) and was pleased and surprised to get a good roast beef sandwich. But I'm not sure I'll ever feel comfortable taking that first bite at Kay's again, because I can't know if they're having a good day or a bad one.
bobquasit: (Default)
We finished reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last week. Sebastian enjoyed it very much. So we started right in on The Silver Chair. That has been going very well, too.

The library has a DVD of the British TV series of The Chronicles of Narnia, or at least the first three discs (which cover Lion, Caspian, Voyage, and Chair). We watched the first disc, and well...it was pretty silly. The special effects were awfully cheesy, but that was pretty much to be expected. The pacing was much slower than the movie, of course, and Teri was bored out of her mind; but that was to be expected too (Sebastian wasn't bored at all).

But what got to me was the terrible British overacting. When a British actor is good they're outstanding, but when they're bad they're terrible. And there were a lot of actors in The Lion who were just painfully bad. "Bellowing scene-chewers" seems the best way to describe them. The Witch, in particular, was like a black hole of bad acting. She kept trying to shout her lines louder and louder, and it was simply awful.

When I was in [livejournal.com profile] stairflight's production of Romeo and Juliet, some of the other actors urged me to shout more to show that I was angry. I refused. I knew damned well that you can often convey far more anger in a softer voice, and that constantly screaming your lines can be surprisingly ineffective.

Eventually the bad acting got to me. I cracked and started MSTing (that is, commenting on the action MST3K-style). When the Witch's face was on the scream, I dubbed for her "I need some more TOILET PAPER!!!" with the requisite hamminess and eye-rolling. Sebastian completely cracked up, and made me say it again and again for the next two days.

Aslan was quite amusing too. For one thing, he was obviously stuffed. His mouth movements weren't synchronized with his words. So when he was on his way to the Stone Table to be sacrificed by the Witch, and Lucy asked him what was going to happen, I emoted "She's going to cut out my STUFFING!!!". More wild laughter from Sebastian. Ah, the fun. :D

The show of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is far less silly. The sea-serpent actually scared Sebastian a little (lots of spiky teeth). The effects were better, as was the acting. In The Lion talking animals were played (painfully) by people wearing costumes, and other creatures were portrayed with quite amateurish cartoon effects; in Voyage there was only one talking animal, Reepicheep, and although he was played by a (little person? Is that the correct term?), he was relatively well-played and not too irritating.
bobquasit: (Default)
We finished reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last week. Sebastian enjoyed it very much. So we started right in on The Silver Chair. That has been going very well, too.

The library has a DVD of the British TV series of The Chronicles of Narnia, or at least the first three discs (which cover Lion, Caspian, Voyage, and Chair). We watched the first disc, and well...it was pretty silly. The special effects were awfully cheesy, but that was pretty much to be expected. The pacing was much slower than the movie, of course, and Teri was bored out of her mind; but that was to be expected too (Sebastian wasn't bored at all).

But what got to me was the terrible British overacting. When a British actor is good they're outstanding, but when they're bad they're terrible. And there were a lot of actors in The Lion who were just painfully bad. "Bellowing scene-chewers" seems the best way to describe them. The Witch, in particular, was like a black hole of bad acting. She kept trying to shout her lines louder and louder, and it was simply awful.

When I was in [livejournal.com profile] stairflight's production of Romeo and Juliet, some of the other actors urged me to shout more to show that I was angry. I refused. I knew damned well that you can often convey far more anger in a softer voice, and that constantly screaming your lines can be surprisingly ineffective.

Eventually the bad acting got to me. I cracked and started MSTing (that is, commenting on the action MST3K-style). When the Witch's face was on the scream, I dubbed for her "I need some more TOILET PAPER!!!" with the requisite hamminess and eye-rolling. Sebastian completely cracked up, and made me say it again and again for the next two days.

Aslan was quite amusing too. For one thing, he was obviously stuffed. His mouth movements weren't synchronized with his words. So when he was on his way to the Stone Table to be sacrificed by the Witch, and Lucy asked him what was going to happen, I emoted "She's going to cut out my STUFFING!!!". More wild laughter from Sebastian. Ah, the fun. :D

The show of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is far less silly. The sea-serpent actually scared Sebastian a little (lots of spiky teeth). The effects were better, as was the acting. In The Lion talking animals were played (painfully) by people wearing costumes, and other creatures were portrayed with quite amateurish cartoon effects; in Voyage there was only one talking animal, Reepicheep, and although he was played by a (little person? Is that the correct term?), he was relatively well-played and not too irritating.
bobquasit: (Default)
Day 3 was a learning experience. [livejournal.com profile] unquietsoul5 showed me around, cast spells to help me live through combat, and gave me advice; I was able to get my fighter up to level 4, and got out of the immediate area of the starting Abbey. It was a lot of fun.

I learned two things:

First, the game is a lot more fun when you're playing with someone else.

Second, the game is a time-sink. Before I knew it I was really tired, and when I checked the time I was horrified to see that it was 11:33. I'm dead tired today! From now on I'm keeping a clock in view when I play at night, and I'm going to sleep by 10:30. I need my sleep! :D
bobquasit: (Default)
Day 3 was a learning experience. [livejournal.com profile] unquietsoul5 showed me around, cast spells to help me live through combat, and gave me advice; I was able to get my fighter up to level 4, and got out of the immediate area of the starting Abbey. It was a lot of fun.

I learned two things:

First, the game is a lot more fun when you're playing with someone else.

Second, the game is a time-sink. Before I knew it I was really tired, and when I checked the time I was horrified to see that it was 11:33. I'm dead tired today! From now on I'm keeping a clock in view when I play at night, and I'm going to sleep by 10:30. I need my sleep! :D
bobquasit: (Default)
I must remember to try to get Sebastian to write a section for a GoodReads review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
bobquasit: (Default)
I must remember to try to get Sebastian to write a section for a GoodReads review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
bobquasit: (Default)
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of Heinlein's last books, and not one of his best. It represents yet another installment in the "World As Myth" theme that he used so often later in life, and therefore includes many characters from his older, better works - including, inevitably, Lazarus Long, who continues his long (pun intended) degeneration from the original interesting protagonist of "Methuselah's Children" into an annoying incest-freak, Heinlein surrogate, self-parody (I suspect), and all-around jerk-who-must-be-worshiped-due-to-his-natural-moral-superiority.
Read more... )
Heinlein only wrote one more book after this; I've read it, but don't remember much of it (which is not very high praise, I must say). Unfortunately, that means that I don't remember if there was any mention of the outcome in that book. I suppose I'll have to re-read it to find out.

If it weren't for Heinlein's great skill as a storyteller, I'd have given this two stars at best. It's certainly among his weakest novels.

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The Cat Who Walks Through Walls The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of Heinlein's last books, and not one of his best. It represents yet another installment in the "World As Myth" theme that he used so often later in life, and therefore includes many characters from his older, better works - including, inevitably, Lazarus Long, who continues his long (pun intended) degeneration from the original interesting protagonist of "Methuselah's Children" into an annoying incest-freak, Heinlein surrogate, self-parody (I suspect), and all-around jerk-who-must-be-worshiped-due-to-his-natural-moral-superiority.
Read more... )
Heinlein only wrote one more book after this; I've read it, but don't remember much of it (which is not very high praise, I must say). Unfortunately, that means that I don't remember if there was any mention of the outcome in that book. I suppose I'll have to re-read it to find out.

If it weren't for Heinlein's great skill as a storyteller, I'd have given this two stars at best. It's certainly among his weakest novels.

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I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny by Bob Newhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bob Newhart is a very funny guy. And he's written a very funny book.

I picked this up under odd circumstances; in the used book store next to the Boothbay Public Library. The funny thing was that I found it only seconds after finding a copy of Dr Katz's Me at a Glance. What's the connection? I used to watch Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and The Bob Newhart Show (the one where Bob plays a psychologist) with a friend back in the 1990s. We loved those shows!

It's a nice, light read; Bob recounts some of his funniest bits and talks about his life and TV shows. The thing that surprised me most was that Don Adams (of Get Smart!) stole some of Bob's material. Apparently he was known for doing that sort of thing.

But the book isn't a tell-all or revenge book. It's just a good, light, enjoyable read with a lot of laughs. Thanks, Bob!

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I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny by Bob Newhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bob Newhart is a very funny guy. And he's written a very funny book.

I picked this up under odd circumstances; in the used book store next to the Boothbay Public Library. The funny thing was that I found it only seconds after finding a copy of Dr Katz's Me at a Glance. What's the connection? I used to watch Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and The Bob Newhart Show (the one where Bob plays a psychologist) with a friend back in the 1990s. We loved those shows!

It's a nice, light read; Bob recounts some of his funniest bits and talks about his life and TV shows. The thing that surprised me most was that Don Adams (of Get Smart!) stole some of Bob's material. Apparently he was known for doing that sort of thing.

But the book isn't a tell-all or revenge book. It's just a good, light, enjoyable read with a lot of laughs. Thanks, Bob!

View all my reviews >>
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Day of the Giants Day of the Giants by Lester Del Rey



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a mere 128 pages, Lester Del Rey tells a better story than most modern writers can in 500. Day of the Giants feels astonishingly slim next to the mammoth tomes which are de rigueur these days, but that slimness just points up the fact that most of those gargantuan books are simply padded.

The book is very strongly reminiscent of the Compleat Enchanter series by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Both feature modern twentieth-century men who are unexpectedly faced with the world of Norse mythology. But while the situation was expertly played for laughs by de Camp and Pratt (the Compleat Enchanter series is rightfully considered a classic of the genre), in Day of the Giants del Rey plays it straight. Fimbulwinter has descended on the Earth, Ragnarok approaches, and two twin brothers - one a war hero, the other a farmer - have been taken up to Asgard by Loki and Thor to play a role in the final battle.

The interaction of modern science with magic and mythology is always interesting. I consider one of the failures of the Harry Potter series to be J.K. Rowling's relative neglect of that topic. For example, didn't witches care about the threat of nuclear war, or or ecological collapse? Surely witches who grew up as Muggles, as Harry did, must have been aware of those dangers - so why weren't they addressed? The idea of two societies existing side by side, with one unknown to the other, has all sorts of interesting possibilities...none of which were addressed by Rowling.

It's true that the issue of science vs. magic has become a cliche in modern genre fiction. But it certainly wasn't a cliche in 1959, when DotG was published.

In Day of the Giants, the interaction of science and mythology is handled in a much more satisfying way (I am tempted to compare the relative page counts of DotG with the Harry Potter series, just for laughs). del Rey's handling of the characters is never awkward or clumsy. By the end of the book, I found myself more satisfied than I've been at the end of many a weightier tome.

I suppose that there's no way that a 128-page novel is ever going to be reissued by a modern publisher, so Day of the Giants will remain a curiosity, only to be found in libraries and used book stores. That's a pity, because it deserves a wider readership. It's not a classic that will last for the ages, but it's a very well-written, entertaining book that many modern genre writers would do well to emulate.

View all my reviews >>
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Day of the Giants Day of the Giants by Lester Del Rey



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a mere 128 pages, Lester Del Rey tells a better story than most modern writers can in 500. Day of the Giants feels astonishingly slim next to the mammoth tomes which are de rigueur these days, but that slimness just points up the fact that most of those gargantuan books are simply padded.

The book is very strongly reminiscent of the Compleat Enchanter series by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. Both feature modern twentieth-century men who are unexpectedly faced with the world of Norse mythology. But while the situation was expertly played for laughs by de Camp and Pratt (the Compleat Enchanter series is rightfully considered a classic of the genre), in Day of the Giants del Rey plays it straight. Fimbulwinter has descended on the Earth, Ragnarok approaches, and two twin brothers - one a war hero, the other a farmer - have been taken up to Asgard by Loki and Thor to play a role in the final battle.

The interaction of modern science with magic and mythology is always interesting. I consider one of the failures of the Harry Potter series to be J.K. Rowling's relative neglect of that topic. For example, didn't witches care about the threat of nuclear war, or or ecological collapse? Surely witches who grew up as Muggles, as Harry did, must have been aware of those dangers - so why weren't they addressed? The idea of two societies existing side by side, with one unknown to the other, has all sorts of interesting possibilities...none of which were addressed by Rowling.

It's true that the issue of science vs. magic has become a cliche in modern genre fiction. But it certainly wasn't a cliche in 1959, when DotG was published.

In Day of the Giants, the interaction of science and mythology is handled in a much more satisfying way (I am tempted to compare the relative page counts of DotG with the Harry Potter series, just for laughs). del Rey's handling of the characters is never awkward or clumsy. By the end of the book, I found myself more satisfied than I've been at the end of many a weightier tome.

I suppose that there's no way that a 128-page novel is ever going to be reissued by a modern publisher, so Day of the Giants will remain a curiosity, only to be found in libraries and used book stores. That's a pity, because it deserves a wider readership. It's not a classic that will last for the ages, but it's a very well-written, entertaining book that many modern genre writers would do well to emulate.

View all my reviews >>
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Little Big Man (Panther) Little Big Man by Thomas Berger



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I approached Little Big Man from a novel direction (forgive the pun): I'd seen the movie before reading the book. In fact, I owned the DVD before reading the book. The movie is one of my favorites, you see.

I imagine that had to influence how I read the book. But not too much, I think; in fact, I found myself thinking of Mark Twain far more often than the movie. Berger's style in Little Big Man is very reminiscent of Twain's (somewhat modernized of course). That's appropriate, since the book purports to be the personal reminiscences of a man who lived at approximately the same time as Twain.

It's rather a gory book, particularly at the beginning. It's also extremely funny. I was surprised, a number of times, to find myself laughing out loud. The adventures of Jack Crabb, a boy adopted by a Cheyenne family who never manages to be all white or all Indian, makes for very funny reading.

I find myself wondering if I should compare the book to the movie. In the past I've criticised movies for being unfaithful to the original novel, but obviously I can't criticize the novel for being unfaithful to the movie. The novel came first, after all!

That said, I'll simply say that while much of the flavor of the novel was preserved in the movie, the two diverge in some critical ways. The movie is far more negative about Custer, for example, and makes Jack Crabb a far more active character (in some ways) than he is in the novel. Some events were invented for the movie, and others were rearranged chronologically. And Chief Dan George's portrayal of Old Lodge Skins was simply outstanding.

But to sum up the novel: It's long, funny, well-written, but somehow a little unfocused. I'll certainly read it again, and will be on the lookout for more by Berger. Perhaps, in time, the novel of Little Big Man will be as much a favorite of mine as the movie is.

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Little Big Man (Panther) Little Big Man by Thomas Berger



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I approached Little Big Man from a novel direction (forgive the pun): I'd seen the movie before reading the book. In fact, I owned the DVD before reading the book. The movie is one of my favorites, you see.

I imagine that had to influence how I read the book. But not too much, I think; in fact, I found myself thinking of Mark Twain far more often than the movie. Berger's style in Little Big Man is very reminiscent of Twain's (somewhat modernized of course). That's appropriate, since the book purports to be the personal reminiscences of a man who lived at approximately the same time as Twain.

It's rather a gory book, particularly at the beginning. It's also extremely funny. I was surprised, a number of times, to find myself laughing out loud. The adventures of Jack Crabb, a boy adopted by a Cheyenne family who never manages to be all white or all Indian, makes for very funny reading.

I find myself wondering if I should compare the book to the movie. In the past I've criticised movies for being unfaithful to the original novel, but obviously I can't criticize the novel for being unfaithful to the movie. The novel came first, after all!

That said, I'll simply say that while much of the flavor of the novel was preserved in the movie, the two diverge in some critical ways. The movie is far more negative about Custer, for example, and makes Jack Crabb a far more active character (in some ways) than he is in the novel. Some events were invented for the movie, and others were rearranged chronologically. And Chief Dan George's portrayal of Old Lodge Skins was simply outstanding.

But to sum up the novel: It's long, funny, well-written, but somehow a little unfocused. I'll certainly read it again, and will be on the lookout for more by Berger. Perhaps, in time, the novel of Little Big Man will be as much a favorite of mine as the movie is.

View all my reviews >>
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Heaven's Reach (Uplift Trilogy, Book 3) Heaven's Reach by David Brin



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I consider David Brin one of the three best genre writers among those who started writing after 1970 (the other two are Lawrence Watt-Evans and Steven Brust; Barry Longyear might be on that list except I think he started writing before 1970, and I haven't seen anything new from him in quite a while. Barry Hughart would be on that list if he hadn't had to give up writing due to his idiotic publishers).

I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work. His original Uplift trilogy is a favorite of mine. But I was disappointed by the first two books in his second Uplift trilogy. Heaven's Reach represents a significant improvement on those books.

It might get a bit too cosmic (in the same way that his Kiln People did, towards the end), but it's a solid, intelligent, imaginative, and well-written book. Perhaps I like it more because the action takes place out on the space lanes, rather than being cooped up on the sooner planet of Jijo.

Many mysteries are explained, and the resolution, while by no means tying up all the threads of the Uplift series, is quite satisfying. I plan to go back to the first two books in the trilogy to see if I like them better in the light of this book.

And I'll be re-reading the entire first trilogy before too long, of course.

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Heaven's Reach (Uplift Trilogy, Book 3) Heaven's Reach by David Brin



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I consider David Brin one of the three best genre writers among those who started writing after 1970 (the other two are Lawrence Watt-Evans and Steven Brust; Barry Longyear might be on that list except I think he started writing before 1970, and I haven't seen anything new from him in quite a while. Barry Hughart would be on that list if he hadn't had to give up writing due to his idiotic publishers).

I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work. His original Uplift trilogy is a favorite of mine. But I was disappointed by the first two books in his second Uplift trilogy. Heaven's Reach represents a significant improvement on those books.

It might get a bit too cosmic (in the same way that his Kiln People did, towards the end), but it's a solid, intelligent, imaginative, and well-written book. Perhaps I like it more because the action takes place out on the space lanes, rather than being cooped up on the sooner planet of Jijo.

Many mysteries are explained, and the resolution, while by no means tying up all the threads of the Uplift series, is quite satisfying. I plan to go back to the first two books in the trilogy to see if I like them better in the light of this book.

And I'll be re-reading the entire first trilogy before too long, of course.

View all my reviews >>

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