Mar. 1st, 2012

stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
My obsession with The Count of Monte Cristo continues unchecked. First The Stars' Tennis Balls, and now this. The vengeful antihero in this case is Gulliver Foyle, Mechanic's Mate 3rd class. He is taking revenge on the ship that passed him by, leaving him to die in space. If you enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo, and were able to reach beyond the troubling clichés in that, and/or if you are a devotee of the golden age of sci-fi, you'll like this.

Worth reading not just as a curiosity for devotees of Dumas, but also as a sci-fi classic. A sci-fi classic of the fifties, mind, with all that implies - i.e. lots of bits that make me cringe, and some that are just plain nasty - but also wacky imagination, wackier characters, and a reader who's assumed to be intelligent. An implied rape scene (actually, I was rather more disturbed by Neil Gaiman's foreword, regretting that the reader had to do more work in the fifties) and a society in which women are kept behind closed doors - but several well-drawn female characters and an explicit acknowledgement of how broken that society is. Some terrible racial stereotyping, a disabled antagonist... it's of its time, yes. Problematic. But when it wasn't doing that, I did enjoy it.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7155977/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Another one from the Ibbotson sausage romance factory. They are all exactly the same, of course, but that doesn't stop me enjoying them. I particularly love the theatrical ones - in this, the heroine, a don's daughter, runs away to Brazil with a ballet company. Awesome. There she meets the standard charismatic cadet of some minor aristocratic family, and it's all a bit yada yada from there, but the ballet bits are good.

Light-hearted, though not dismissing the competitiveness and pain of the stage. Also surprisingly relaxed about sex, which was a nice surprise. I would have much preferred this had it ended with Harriet being a great dancer and a kept woman, but you can't have everything. I hold high hopes for Natasha.

You know, what I would really like (having moved straight from the last book to this one) would be the story of Eugénie Danglars and Louise d'Armilly, told from Louise's point of view by Eva Ibbotson. I think I might have to write it myself.

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