Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh what to read?! What to read, he muttered nervously

I'm having a hard time finding the next book. The beginning of the school year is approaching like a freight train. I need to escape just a little more. The Savage Detectives strikes me as adolescent and irritating. The Idiot is, well, it's Dostoevsky and either you're in the mood or you're not. I read through some stories of Edith Templeton, Mavis Gallant and Lorrie Moore - no dice. I am liking The Children of the Arbat, an epic novel set in Russian during the time of Stalin's brutal rule, but escapist it is not.

After reading Christopher Hitchens' review of the last volume of Harry Potter and this morning's Elegant Variation, I took His Dark Materials off the shelf and stuck it by my bed for a rereading. It sounds like just the thing.


Anonymous said...

Hitchens is a blowhard.

But it's about time I get to His Dark Materials. I've heard great things about it.

Ted said...

Hitchens' review was what I expected. He slighted the book for lacking a sustainable mystery, although I'm not sure mystery was intended. Popular fantasy is more like it. And meanwhile he still manages to relate it to Orwell, Dickens and Beowoulf! But Pullman is great nonetheless.

Imani said...

I think it's the Orwell-Dickens-Beowulf approach that contributed to the "blowhard" description. :P (I know people are trying to link the books to all sorts of greats to praise and condemn but seriously, it's Harry Potter.)

Pullman is good stuff. So is the Otori Quartet by Lian Hearn.

Ted said...

You have a point. I don't know the Otori Quartet, I'll check it out.