Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Reading log - Q1 2012!

So, rather than writing about everything I read this year I'm taking a step back from blogging to concentrate on my fiction and also reviews. That's working OK, I guess. I've only written one review so far this year and haven't really made startling progress with my novel (some, but not much) but on the other hand I have been posting on the book pages of the Guardian.

I've also joined Goodreads, and have been noting my reading there (don't forget to nip in and give Panoptica a good rating if you're a Goodreads reader!) so if you're a Goodreads member  with an interest in keeping up with my tedious malarky then drop by and friend me up.

In order to satisfy my fans, though, I'm going to do quarterly reading updates here, and this is the first!

After a jump, I'm going to discuss the books I've read so far this year:

A Dreamquest for Unknown Kadath and Supernatural Horror in Literature by H P Lovecraft
A Reflection in Glass by Jeffrey Hewitt
A Short History of Western Thought by Stephen Trombley
Redlaw by James Lovegrove
Osama by Lavie Tidhar
WildC.A.T.S by Alan Moore et al
Ex Machina by Brian K Vaughn et al
Thor - The Black Galaxy Saga byTom De Falco and Ron Frenz

... and a cavalcade of contemporary comics.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Redlaw by James Lovegrove

My review of Redlaw by James Lovegrove is up at the Zone.

This is another bad book, and another bad review. As I’ve noted before, I hate reading bad books and writing bad reviews in about equal measure. I’m inclined to write positive reviews, I think, and seek out books I think I’ll enjoy as any normal human would.

I chose to read this book as I had previously read Lovegrove’s Provender Gleed, on the recommendation of Francis Spufford. Francis spotted some common ground between it and what I was attempting in Panoptica and thought it might be useful to take a look at other approaches. I think he was right that there is common ground, and it was a useful reference point, but actually it showed me where I didn't want to go rather than where I did.

Provender Gleed is an interesting book in many ways, but it didn’t quite work, either in reference to what I was attempting or – in my opinion – in achieving it’s own goals (as I understood them). I did like the idea of the society put forward in Provender Gleed, and in the first third of the book it was well-articulated and relevant. But as the story went on, Lovegrove seemed at a loss as to where to take the satirical elements, and the story fell back on a rather dull Stockholm-syndrome thriller plot that didn’t do much for me.

While it didn't entirely sell me on Lovegrove, I thought he would at least be worth keeping an eye on, but alas Redlaw suffers from the same sort of problem, only more so.