Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jul 10, 2007

The Anvil of the World

This book is so astonishingly mediocre that it's difficult to even have an opinion about it. I think at least part of the problem is that it's really difficult to identify basic literary elements. Is there a plot? Is this characterization? A joke? What's going on here?

I think this is what happens when someone that isn't actually funny tries to write humor and Make a Statement at the same time. The result? A heavy-handed piece of environmentalist propaganda full of unrelated things that are bizarre but not actually funny.

The main character, Smith, comes across as a strange dichotomy because he is portrayed as being clueless AND effective. (Of course you find out later that he's only effective because some magic is inhabiting him and using him to transport it around. So really, he's just clueless.) The secondary characters include a demonic magician, the son of a Saint that married a Demon, and a well-travelled cook that, Forrest Gump-like, was apparently involved in every major event in recent history.

The entire novel is tiresome from the beginning to the end. Every time it looks like it might get interesting (a train under attack by assassins!) the author ruins it by introducing an amazingly trite explanation (they're ecoterrorists!).

The very last scene is actually reasonably well-done, yet it bears no relation whatsoever to the rest of the book. Maybe the author came up with an idea for a short story and decided to add about 300 pages of text just for the heck of it.

Rating: 1.0


Apollo said...

Here is a random question, how do you choose what books to review?

The books you review seem kind of random, not that im complaining!

Great blog by the way.

Jennifer Snow said...

I review whatever I read, and I read whatever looks interesting when I go down to the bookstore or library.

I guess you could say that this blog is sort of a log of my adventures in reading. I'm glad you like it and I can always use suggestions for what I should read next. It's probably time for me to do some more nonfiction, anyway.

Apollo said...

The only books I can think of are 'Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War' by Robert Coram, this recommendation is based on the fact that I worship John Boyd as a great American Hero, read it to now why.

And another great book is 'Alexander Dolgun's story: An American in the Gulag', it describe all the horrors of the gulag and the soviet union, when you're not cringing at he horrors being committed, you're laughing at he the absurdity of some of the stories. Hollywood should make a movie out of this book, but it's about the soviet union so,fat chance.

Jennifer Snow said...

Hmm, okay. I don't usually read biographies, most of the nonfiction I read is more abstract, like business books.

Apollo said...

Ha! that's great! I would recommend you read his Bio first but if you are looking for a business books then you should read 'Certain to Win,
The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business'By Chet Richards

The ideas are very abstract, they don't just apply to a military organization they can apply to almost any orgnization.

It doesn't matter which book you get, you'll be hooked either way.