Recently Read

It’s been a good while since I posted about what I’m reading, not because I haven’t been reading much (which I have), but rather because the times at which I read have shifted slightly, and I often find myself computer-less when I feel like jotting down something regarding what I’ve just read.

I’ve also been spending a good while reading e-books in Stanza (mostly ancient Sci-Fi that has gone out of print), but these are the “dead tree” books I have on my nightstand right now:

Making Money An Instance of the Fingerpost Un Lun Dun
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Although it follows the same pattern of having The Patrician pulling a bit of the cast’s strings, Making Money is a great follow-up to Going Postal – it adds a little depth to the main character, fleshes out his background story a bit more, and considering that I finished reading it mere days before the stock market started falling around our ears a while back, it was almost prescient (even if the book is only about coinage). A con artist – retired – makes for a great main character, and Pratchett knows how to exploit the character flaws (and their influence on plot twists) masterfully. As always, an entertaining and relaxing read. One of the books my readership recommended to me a good while back and that was boxed away for almost a year while we renovated the flat, An Instance of the Fingerpost is taking me longer than usual to read, for despite the excellent narration and detailed depiction of the era (seeing England through the eyes of an educated Italian during the first chapters casts an indelible impression) that is accentuated as each character adds his own narrative, the plot, in and by itself, is re-visited rather too often through their contradictory viewpoints, which makes it hard to read casually (or, in my case, piecemeal over several weeks). Good, but demanding. Un Lun Dun is a rather different affair from other China Miéville books I’ve read so far, in that he applies his consummate skill at creating dark and surreal worlds into sketching out (literally, for I gather the illustrations in the book are also his doing) a sort of children’s story for grown-ups that may well be this age’s Alice in Wonderland. Adopting a sparser but flowing and very readable style that is quite unlike his other books, Miéville draws you in to his world in such a way that you cannot help but wonder how many more tales he could weave within this amazing book. Heartily recommended.