Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Some Books Are Only OK (and I'm cool with that)

   So I just read and reviewed Daughter of the Bright Moon by Lynn Abbey over at Black Gate. I've meant to read it for years but didn't. Overall, it's a decent book. Nothing special but I didn't feel like I'd wasted the five or six hours I spent on it.

   In fact the story of how it came to be is even better than the book. According to Abbey, she was going to pick up Gordon Dickson for a convention had a bad accident. He felt bad and that someone just trying to get him to the show on time got hurt, so he offered to read anything she had. With his advice she turned her ideas into a finished book.  Then he helped her get it published. Pretty cool.

   When I finished reading DotBM my initial reaction was, okay, that's done. I was sad that it was over. I hadn't rushed through it because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next but because I didn't want to miss my deadline at Black Gate.

   Only when I started describing the book to the luminous Mrs. V did I realized how many thing about it that I really liked. There's some good things going on in it and Rifkind is a great hero. In a genre that has way too many wish-fulfillment characters, she's pretty believable. I admit to having problems with a lot of the amazonian characters I've come across in some modern heroic fantasy. Few women are going to be able to go head to head with a man in physical combat for an extended period of time. That's not the case here. Rifkind's victories are hard and smartly bought. In retrospect, I had really sort of enjoyed the book.

   Most books I finish are just like that. Not great, but a good way to pass the time. I read for entertainment. Now it can be at a more sophisticated level of entertainment like The Master and Margarita or at a simpler one like Beyond the Black River, but most books aren't going to be that good.
   And that's ok, it doesn't make them bad books. Heck, the law of averages says most of what I read is going to be, well, average. And I'm cool with that.  Sometimes I just want a little adventure or humor. Maybe a some mystery.   Is every football game you watch or album you listen to the greatest? Nope, but you still enjoy them.  Same thing with books.  If a book delivers what it says on the cover then I'm happy.

Next week, provided an essay I'm working on about why I blog doesn't come together (which I'm can safely guarantee it won't), I'm going to review the fricking awesome God Stalk by the fricking awesome P. C. Hodgell.  It's one of my all time favorite books and I hope I'm able to convey some of that love.

This past week's music (and at least the coming week's as well) was various live Led Zeppelin recordings the studio albums Presence and In Through the Out Door.

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