Sunday, April 22, 2012



The Light Fantastic is the second side-splitting book in the Discworld Series. Now, you may all know that the old proverb, 'sequels suck'...I believe it's Latin. Personally, I've run across a few sequels that have indeed 'sucked'. But, mirroring the many ideas and themes in these Discworld (where a theory, in this case sequels suck, is turn on its ear), The Light Fantastic was, well, for lack of a more descriptive and imaginative word - Fantastic! It made you think, then laugh, then try and look at someone's right ear*...not in an insane way either.
*inside joke if you haven't read the book and think this phrase is right out of left field.

If you think back to the first book in this Discworld series, The Colour of Magic. You will recall that it ended with Rincewind falling off the flat edge of the world. Well, I'll let you know it all worked itself out. Rincewind is fine, escapes Death for the umpteenth time, as per usual. The story in this book continues on as they travel around the Disc discovering more strange places, strange people, or murderous mobs (which Pratchett, of course, makes hilarious). Again, almost every single sentence in this book is an unwasted chance for a joke. And, the variety of humour keeps the writing fresh and lively (like a rocket leaf salad with toasted pine nuts - or something similar? Ok, I plagiarized this from a Jaimie Oliver book) with intellectual science based humour to dumbed down pie in the face (or baseball in the groin) slapstick.
Damn, I just tried to outdo Pratchett with an extremely long sentence and made it nowhere near his record. I noticed a very long sentence in this book that was six lines long. What's more, it sounded grammatically sound (for lack of a better adjective). Literary Wizard, Master, Aes Sedai is all I have to say.

All I have to say on that one random point. Back to the novel. I found this book more enjoyable than the first book and I'm not sure exactly why. Perhaps I liked the new characters; Cohen the Barbarian, the Trolls, Herrena (the would be secretary turned swordswoman). Or, perhaps I've grown fond of Rincewind, Twoflowers, and that beloved Luggage. I do know if felt like there was more of a point to the story - with the death star coming and Rincewind's destiny/fate coming to light. Now, if he had only found his was almost Star Wars in structure (take that however you want to).
I have to point out one specific character, Trymon. He really hit a nerve with me. He is the embodiment of all things I despise in the corporate world. After the first few encounters with his character, I laughed, then though...really nasty thoughts, like I want to pummel this guy, throw him down the stairs, and possible watch him explode. *spoiler alert* My dreams come true.

Rating: READ

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cool Water


I read this book because it won an award, the Governor General's Award in 2010. My challenge this month is to read award winning books, so this one fit the bill. I thought I'd take a stab at something out of my typical genres. It was ok, but, I'm just a bit surprised this book won such a prestigious award. It is a good book, but, I didn't find it outstanding - or in my opinion award-worthy. The actual writing was ok; clear, concise, and beautifully descriptive. But, for me, the story lacked any real movement. I felt like I read an entire book and the characters only took one step forward. Maybe I'm just used to a faster paced tale where in a few hundred pages the characters move thousands, even millions of steps. Maybe the story was deeper than I realized? There seemed to be a lot of references to sand and water, how they constantly shift and change the landscape. Therefore, I'll chalk this up as a good book, but, I'm too ignorant to really appreciate it.
What I did connect with was the setting and landscape in the book. Set in Saskatchewan I can picture the exact locations Warren describes. Having lived there when I was young I recall the trips out to the middle of nowhere, the 'desert', where some of the story takes place. I can picture the tumbleweeds sticking to the barbed wire fences, the sand dunes, and the coulees that seem to be the only place on the plain that grow trees. As for the small town, the cafe, and the main street I picture the TV show Corner Gas.
As for the actual story, I had a hard time connecting with it. A few dysfunctional relationships/people that seem to go nowhere. They just seem to sit there and ponder their situations until something dramatic happens like a sudden death or a runaway child. Even with those extreme situations I didn't find myself getting excited or more interested in the story or characters...I kind of just wanted it to end. Again, I need a bit of action.
Overall, this foray out of my 'comfort' zone did not pay off. Oh well, maybe next time.

Rating: Do Not Read.