Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Books I read February 2011 (All too brief, I'm exhausted)

James Fenimore Cooper- The Last of the Mohicans
I can't recall having read a more thrilling adventure narrative than the first 200 pages of Fenimore's classic novel. The rest of the novel doesn't stand a chance. That's not to say a reader should put it down when Bumppo and Co. reach Fort William Henry. Last of the Mohicans is Cooper's second tale featuring his most endearing character Nathaniel Bumppo, or The Leatherstocking. This one is set about 40 years earlier than The Pioneers and the action occurs during the French and Indian War. I heartily recommend this book for lovers of great literature and adventure stories.

Thomas Ligotti-Noctuary
This collection of weird tales creates strong moods and images in the mind of the reader. Ligotti is more interested in delving into the twisted psyches of his characters than creating a straightforward narrative. This he does extremely effectively. For fans of Lovecraft, Hodgson, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Chambers, August Derleth, et al.

William Lindsay Gresham-Nightmare Alley
Gresham's twisted tale of guilt, greed, and sexual obsession, (are there any more important motivations for a noir tale?), is set amongst the world of carnys, spiritualists, and other charlatans looking to make a buck off the gullible during the 1940s. Stan Carlyle is a young man with a loaded past looking to make a splash, first as a carny huckster, then as a mentalist, and finally as a spiritual leader. Like all novels of this ilk it's good, guilty fun. This was filmed with Tyrone Power.

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky-Monday Begins on Saturday
Another strong satire from the Strugatskys. (Sorry, I'm running out of steam here)

Path Into The Unknown-Best of Soviet Science Fiction
A nice collection of stories from a variety of Soviet authors including two from the Strugatskys, one of which was culled from their collection Noon: 22nd Century.

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