Quick Hits: Books I've Just Read
A quick run-down/review of the last few books I've read:
|Meet the new Katniss.|
If I have a complaint about the books, it is that they are dark without being deep. These aren't new themes, the dystopian future and all that - but author Suzanne Collins clearly decided to not dive too deeply. There are much more interesting themes to explore, but these books are made for young adults, and it shows. Since that's the audience, I can't lay fault anywhere, but I would have enjoyed them a great deal more if they'd been a little meatier.
Ratings: Hunger Games: 7.5/10.0; Catching Fire: 7.0/10.0; Mockingjay: 7.5/10.0
If I have any complaint, it is in what simply isn't known about Ray - and that's mainly exactly why he did it. He was a virulent racist, and a criminal - but there's no damning evidence, and there is hints that a larger conspiracy existed (bounties from Southern businessmen, etc.) that obviously are not possible to explore further. That's not Sides' fault, just a flaw in the narrative. It's highly engaging, but it's never quite riveting in the way that Ghost Soldiers and Manhunt were. I did enjoy it a lot and recommend if if you want to learn more about a horrible event in our countries past.
It's not really funny, and while it somewhat seems like Cross' voice (when he really goes off the rails, at the least), I sort of expect a book by a comedian to feel like an extended version of his or her act. I really can't recommend this book - in fact, I never finished it. I am sure that Cross worked on it diligently - he doesn't seem like the kind of person who would do anything else - and there are moments I enjoyed .. but not enough to keep going. While I'm sure he did work on it, it feels like he mailed it in. And that's just not a very good thing.
Rating: Did Not Finish
I'll have more to say about it as the book deserves its own full review, including a few quotes from the book itself, but frankly at this point I'm willing to take almost anything about Wallace, whose suicide two years ago still feels painful when you think of the genius lost.
Of course, that's why this book exists at all, and there are moments that probably felt trivial in 1996 that are positively haunting now. It's not quite a real book - it quite literally is a transcription with no real side commentary (and of that, I will have much more to say), but it's DFW, and it's good, and that's worth quite a bit.
Note: This matters not except as a testament to my sloppiness, but I actually wrote this but apparently never published it, like three to four weeks ago. Thought you might possibly care.