Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where have we been?

Hey Folks,

It's insane that we've been spending so much time doing other things like parenting and still have time to read. You might not see a lot of reviews lately, but we're still here compiling oodles of books to create reviews for. I have around 4 or 5 books that I need to comment on. Some fun ones like The Magicians by Grossman, and others that aren't so much..... The Naked Communist or Blacklisted By History.

In many ways, my latest grouping of books has been influenced by what we have going on in our world. The Occupy movement triggered that moderately dormant political desire that resides within me. I'm not a fan of what's happening out there b/c of the people behind the scenes via endorsements or monetarily. I don't like that the propaganda arm of OWS feels like Stalinist Russia(think Bolsheviks and 99%). I don't like the encouragement for even more entitlements from our government - free programs that aren't free. We live in an enviable place and time. I feel that we forget what we have and where we are b/c we haven't seen the dirty side of life and politics that our past generations have. That led me to read up on Communism... soon to cover Socialism, Progressivism, Capitalism, and perhaps a couple that span those.

On the happier side of things, the child is growing up quite nicely. It'll be 6 months in just a few days. It's amazing how time flies and how much they change. Leah is doing a Christmas special on her blog - Seldom Made - so while we're lagging behind on our reading, you can catch up on more exciting reads. Perhaps you'll see a political post over at my oft-ignored personal blog.

Take care, and have a Merry Christmas,

The Dark Tower - The End is Here...

If you've been reading from the beginning or just trolling the old posts, you'd know that I started my foray into Stephen King two years ago with The Dark Tower series( and reviewed Book 2 here). He wasn't ever on my radar due to books like It and Pet Cemetary that were turned into horrific(genrewise) movies. After reading the synopsis of the first book, I decided that it might be worth getting into this epic. Who doesn't like a multi-book story that's part fantasy, part science fiction, and part western? The series started well and bogged down close to the end, but I have a tough time putting down a series when the end is getting close.... think Robert Jordan around Book 8 or 9. So, that paltry perseverance brings us to Book 7 of Stephen King's epic.

I don't want to get too much into the story in case folks decide they want to read the series so I'll try to get into my praise or criticism for the book. This wasn't that impressive of a book for me. In Book 6 King introduces himself as one of the characters. I wasn't sure I really liked the idea, and by the end of this book, I definitely didn't care for it. It's very self-serving. When you also consider that he's tied a multitude of other books to the Dark Tower then it almost feels like he's trying to advertise his other novels, or forcing you to read others novels to get a more clear picture. I wasn't a fan of how this works, and he does talk about it in the afterward. Then again, I have the easy job of reading the story and critiquing as I see fit - that's a far cry from the difficult job an author can have when creating readable material.

Ultimately, I wasn't as impressed with this series as I wanted to be. Maybe the expectations were high since Stephen King is considered one of the greatest authors of our time. I'll leave this up to the individual, but I can't recommend the series b/c I can't recommend all the books. I really wanted to come away liking it in it's entirety. Perhaps the new mini-series will bring it down to a level of tedium that's manageable. Sorry, Mr. King.


Rating: 3 CBs.... I wanted more.