Friday, November 23, 2007

I finished two books over the last few days: JPod by Douglas Coupland and The Dark Water by David Pirie.

JPod is a good book with a lot of unnecessary filler. Coupland likes to add pages filled with nonsense, presumably to affect the feel of the book. Since this particular book deals with a group of wanna-be hipster programmers, the interstitials here seemto be trying to capture in text the feeling of surfing the web, with it's almost random pieces of strung together data. The result is just a distraction from some interesting characters and an odd plot, involving family drug dealers, immigrant smugglers and a skateboarding turtle.

The Dark Water is a fairly typical mystery - detective and sidekick try to track down a serial killer who has a history with the sidekick. The twist in this novel is that the sidekick is Arthur Conan Doyle and the detective is Dr. Joseph Bell, the original inspiration for some parts of Doyle's most famous creation - Sherlock Holmes. It's a decent mystery but the tie in with Doyle/Bell seems entirely superfluous - I would have enjoyed it just as much if the author had done the work to come up with his own characters instead of just stealing the names of two historical ones.

Amazon Links:
The Dark Water

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last night I finished Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett, one of his many Discworld novels.

This novel is pretty typical of the Discworld novels - you pretty much can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett. His novels are all amazingly consistent in terms of quality - almost all are good, with a few very good. This is one of the good ones. The only thing that distinguishes this from most of his Discworld novels is that he uses a new character instead of following one of the usual 5 or 6 characters that he tends to feature.

Amazon Link: Monstrous Regiment