Thursday, October 08, 2009

Products and services, reviewed

--The Saga of the Seven Suns, by Kevin J Anderson. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend these books. That would be a bit much. But IF you have an unquenchable love of spaceships, things that go zoom, and aliens, then this series is decent fodder. But not much more than that -- pretty mediocre SF, really, though never bad enough to make me put it down. And it manages, in seven books, to tell a less interesting story than Dan Simmons told in one. Still, there's some gold in there if you're willing to pan through to get it.

--Rubicon, By Tom Holland. As I said in my post a while back about the Roman Republic, this book is excellent. Insanely readable and well-written, Holland manages to convey the end of the Republic with all the relevance that it has for the modern era too. But two things really sold me on it. One, it was recommended at Balloon-Juice with a hillarious quote. Two, Holland's introduction to the book describes the problems that face a modern historian really eloquently:
Even the narrative of great events and exceptional men, however magnificent it may appear, is in truth a mutilated ruin, like an aqueduct on the Campagna, arches striding, and then, abruptly, fields.
Holland's narrative comes across with a rare mix of power and humility.

Man, it feels nice to read for pleasure again.

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