Review: Kraken

Kraken by China MiƩville
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like Mr. Mieville’s fiction. I did not like this book. How do you review Mieville fiction? The more imaginative the better, right? But there are risks if the characters, their world, and their quests are too attenuated, too disconnected from the world I awake to. That was Ray Bradbury’s challenge, ney? So, what’s wrong with this book. Too many made-up words? Too much religion? Characters who cared more about each other than the reader cared about all of them combined? Eschatology? Squids?

Perhaps it’s worth a second read, but I fell asleep twice reading this book. A bit too turgid and too estranged for my tastes. I was surprised to see the average review over 3 (out of 5). I finished the book, which violates my rule–toss if I get 100 pages less my age into it and there’s no there there. But respect, Mieville. Even if you you have to release the Kraken every once in a while.

At this point, punish my kids with Julianne Moore in Blindness, Mark Wahlberg in the Happening, and Billy in Kraken. Call me Ishmael.

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Review: Last of the Breed

Last of the Breed
Last of the Breed by Louis L’Amour
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I suppose when you’ve written 120 books it’s not surprising that a few sentences in each of your books might be as well-crafted as flushing a nesting ptarmigan from tall grass in the muddy banks of a frozen river. It is very impressive that this 400 page book is one of three or four similar books Louis L’Amour may have turned out in 1987. What is less impressive is that the book is full of uncomfortable stereotypes, two-dimensional characters, a formulaic storyline, tincan repetition, and a plot held together at times by reindeer sinew. It’s hard not to root for the good guys. But good God.

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Mason Avenue Apartments

I spend most of my time in the common interest real property world — solving the problem one parcel at a time of how to get neighbors to share resources and get along.

Low income housing is a necessary piece of the real estate pie. I’m really proud of my sister and what her team has accomplished at Mason Avenue Apartments.

See two relevant links:

Matt Driscoll: Lives changing for the better at Mason Avenue Apartments

Mason Avenue Apartments


Where the Trite and the Profound Mingle