Wednesday, February 11, 2009


A couple more for the stack. I've been slowed due to some material requiring more mental input than usual.

A House To Let: Charles Dickens. Again, not one of his greater or better known works. This one was a collaborative with several other writers, telling the story of an old house with curious tenants. As Dickens liked, there is something about a stolen inheritance, tragic circumstances and even a general theme that kindness is greater than love. Not a bad book, by any means. Just not a great one.

Timequake: Kurt Vonnegut. An interesting meditation on free will. Vonnegut is Vonnegut. Sometimes the stories are pretty straight forward (Mother Night). Other times, they're pretty whacked out (Slaughterhouse Five) and then they get odd. Vonnegut puts himself in the story (again) along with the long suffering Kilgore Trout. The story revolves around the very real deaths of Vonnegut's siblings, the death of his ex-wife and a sudden hiccup in the universe where time rewinds ten years. It's not as cool as it sounds. Everyone is forced to relive moment by moment the last decade and do exactly the same things. At the end of the ten years cycle, freewill and awareness of what happened is returned. All hell breaks lose.

It is both a baffling and beautiful book. Vonnegut rolls through the story abusing conventions. He's not just the writer, he's a character. He refers to himself both in and out of the story. He references other books he's written and books he likes. He uses repetition of information to create and maintain mood.

It's classic Vonnegut. It rambles, jokes and gets where its going when it needs to.

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