Monday, September 18, 2006

More Reading

I finished The Man in the High Castle early Saturday morning (and I mean early early: 1 AM-ish), and it slowly sank in just how good a novel it is. Just, the way it all fits together, how it seems perfectly normal and plausible, but then at the end resolves its final plot thread in a slightly unnerving way that I honestly can't claim completely makes sense, but only seems to make the book even more disturbing. For the record, I think the first time the book really, really clicked with me, was when someone mentions The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which is the book within the book that describes a world where the Nazis lost World War II. The Man in the High Castle, of course, takes place in a world where they won the war, and it suddenly struck me that this book was the equivalent to that world of The Man in the High Castle in our world. It's kind of a dumb observation, I guess, and I don't know why it seemed so profound, but it seemed like it was, for some reason.

It actually didn't take me too long to read, only four or five days, but it feels so good to be reading, and to enjoy reading, particularly to read two excellent books in a row. Ender's Game was also a great sci-fi book (though it seems strange to say also, since The Man in the High Castle doesn't really strike me as science fiction all that much), and after finishing it, it surprised me how much I identified with Ender. His sense of disillusionment and apathy towards the middle of the book, particularly, strike a major chord with the sort of mood I've been struggling to get out of, lately. It was indeed quite an enjoyable book, though, and the twist at the end was a surprising one (yes, sometimes my inability to write very charismatic recommendations of media annoys even me).

So, in summary, I enjoyed both of these books and plan to re-read them again some time in the future.

In the mean time, I read a graphic novel (glorified comic book term) today, The Chuckling Whatsit by Richard Sala, which you can look up on Amazon if you want but I am too lazy to link to, and it was as good of an odd, twisty, conspiracy-laden noir story as I'd hoped. Now, I'm on to another novel, The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton, one of my favorite writers.

After that, I think I have Dracula, The Little Prince and a few more comic books to catch up on from my library stash before I make my final returns to the library for a good while: the books that I've bought or been given have been slowly accumulating on my shelf without being read, so it's time to enjoy what I can and get rid of what I don't.

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