Last Books of 2007

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A couple of last minute additions to my "Books of 2007" that I haven't written anything about would include the following:

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - I picked this up at the same time as I got The Magic Compass from the library, so I went on a bit of a movie magic bing. I bought this one at the local drug store, so it featured Will Smith on the cover. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but it turns out that I Am Legend is actually a novella, and so the rest of the book is filled with about a dozen more short stories of his (some of them are only a couple of pages!)

I enjoyed the beginning of the story, as man against monster, but gradually the main character became annoying. He did a lot of whining. It would occasionally pick up steam when he'd go face to face again, but then peter out in some long diatribe against life - not very heroic. Then things change radically on him and it all ends rather abruptly and, I have to be honest here, confusingly. I'm not really sure what the heck was going on at the end, but I doubt the movie ends the same way! I also found the quaint anachronisms (like a push button starter on the car) strangely irritating. Oh well, it was a short ride anyway.

I also read, as mentioned, The Magic Compass by Philip Pullman. I figured any book written by a proud and public atheist was worthing trying, especially given the movie hype. It started off badly for me, as it introduced several fantasy memes that I just can't stand, like a child everyone prophesizes about and a mistakenly overheard conversation. It got a little better and wasn't awful, I guess. I'm not sure what all the anti-religious brouhaha was all about - it isn't the first fantasy book where the controlling religion is pretty awful.

The milieu was pretty eclectic, to say the least. I was happy he didn't spend pages of exposition explaining every little detail, as I find those mind numbing as well. Talking armored polar bears are a little extreme though! And I surely got tired of the "get captured" plot device, as the girl in question must have gotten grabbed five or six times in order to move the plot along.  But I did finish it, which is more than I can say for most fantasy novels these days. And I probably will try the next in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy.

And I did finished the aforementioned Code of Conduct by Kristine Smith. Unfortunately, it devolved into more of a political thriller, rather than a straight mystery. I got kind of lost in the interwoven politics of the place, although I always enjoyed the heroine. Her back story was pretty interesting and the setting of the books is well thought out and very rational. I do want to get the next book in the series, Rules of Conflict and hope that maybe the mysteries get more attention.

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Did you read the short stories at the end of I Am Legend?  I thought they were terrible.  By the way, my parents have a push button starter on their 2007 Lexus.

I read 3 or 4 but none of them were interesting enough to make me want to read the rest. As for push button starters on Lexus cars, that's sort of the exception that proves the rule. They are just trying to be "quaint" methinks.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on January 17, 2008 6:41 PM.

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