Sunday, September 08, 2013

Reading habits - small review

I will briefly comment the books I've read this year so far:
( Updated December 29th 2013 )

Ursula K. Le Guin:
"The Dispossessed" , "The Word For World Is Forest"
Both belong to the author's Hain cycle, although the author says that it was just a coincidence to have a large chain of books passed in the same universe; both are something I like to think as some of the finest science fiction ever made. Le Guin dissects political issues in imaginary worlds, still, I like to think her worlds exist somewhere out there. She, line after line, outputs a striking manifest for the freedom of exist and think, against the oppression, the steady and well known condition of man and woman of thinking more on the self than on a collective existence completely  disregarding mutual respect and tolerance to the other. Two of of her paragraphs simply hit you in the head.  Dispossessed is a tale about two separate worlds that seem quite opposite: one of them is a capitalist world and the other is an anarchist colony.  World For World Is Forest is short novella about a world and its denizens being explored by the greedy human race. It is known as the book that James Cameron mostly ripped off while creating Avatar.

Michael Moorcock: 
"The War Hound and World's Pain" , "The City In The Autumn stars", "An Alien Heat", "Hollow Lands" and "The End Of All Songs".
See below my review of World's Pain. I bet you know how much I admire Moorcock. "Dancers At The End Of Time", depicts the life of the final lights of the human race, when we actually became so highly technologically advanced that our deeds seem quite magical. It is also a brilliant homage to the late 19th century way of living.

Stephen King:
 Dark Tower volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4
King has been a long time favorite of mine since my adolescence. Weirdly I had not read his well known and highly praised Tower series. I must say that SK fans were not wrong to say that The Dark Tower series is his most inspiring, well written, imaginative, verbose, intense and dark books.  The four books are "The Gunslinger", "The Drawing of the Three", "The Waste Lands" and "Wizard And Glass". It is a magnificent fiction work, which varies from meta linguistic dark fantasy, to post apocalyptic western, something that dwells between fantasy and science fiction, a marvelous work which constantly puts you in awe. To be quite honestly, sometime on "The Gunslinger" I forgot it was a fictional work. I immersed my self so much on it that I hardly want to stop reading it. Despite that, this is probably King's most inspired work.

Jack Vance:
"City of the Chasch",  "Servants of the Wankh", "The Dirdir" and "The Pnume"
The great master of fantasy and science fiction has passed away this year. I was coincidentally reading his magnificent spatial fantasy saga. Vance was a master of his language, but was also great creator of worlds, societies and costumes. Somewhere in the book I had immersed my self so much on it that I was virtually seeing a conversation in an arcane, exotic restaurant. Vance  - besides his erudite treatment of the English tongue - likes to criticize the individualism and lack of moral and ethics in a very satiric way. It borders the comedy sometimes ( like in "Cugel's Saga" ). Although Vance did mean to write a good adventure, he simply cannot avoid creating an universal portrait of something some people call "human condition".

Philip K Dick:
 "Ubik"
Is there any better book than this ? Something to scary you while you read it at night and wonder about the nature of reality and existence? I like to think Dick has created a projection of a future that he might probably have seen somewhere in his complex mind. Ignorant that I am, I really lack the skills to describe it critically.

Neil Gaiman:
 "An Ocean At The End of the Lane", "Neverwhere"
Gaiman, notably my favorite living author, tells the story of a small kid, that might in many ways replicate the 7 old years old Gaiman, in a weekend where lots of things happen. Strong female characters, fantastic atmosphere and as always a marvelous recreation of our favorite dark fairy tales. Neverwhere is a tale passed in the magical underground of London, a place full of  gloomy, boisterous villains, plot twists and magic aura.

China Mieville:
 "Perdido Street Station".
I had actually postponed reading this book because it frankly hurls so many new words at my face that I more than usual saw my self grabbing a dictionary. But I decided to go ahead and read it. Must say that it was a very demanding reading, but it was worth due to the author's highly cool imagination and scenarios. Well, I would definitely recommend it for a dive into a steamy post cyber punk adventure.