Profile for Glimmung > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Glimmung
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,244,341
Helpful Votes: 9

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Glimmung

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Crevillea,a Quarterly Record Of Cryptogamic Botany And Its Literature.vol.xiv 1885-86...
Crevillea,a Quarterly Record Of Cryptogamic Botany And Its Literature.vol.xiv 1885-86...
by M.A.A.L.S. Edited By M.C.Cooke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Can't even spell "Grevillea", 19 Jan. 2014
The journal's name was "Grevillea". This reprint appears to be so worthless it can't even spell the name correctly on the cover...


The House Of The Spirits
The House Of The Spirits
by Isabel Allende
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars The unwanted dog carpet and other family favourites, 3 Feb. 2013
Isabel Allende's grandmother had a large but much loved dog. After the dog died, her husband thoughtfully presented her with its skin, made into a rug. This wonderfully bizarre family story, which speaks volumes about a relationship, was - according to Allende - one of the starting points for The House of the Spirits. The book began as a long letter to her 99-year-old grandfather, whilst Allende was a political exile from the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. In it, she tried to capture the stories and memories that surrounded her family and her country - a writing commitment that gradually evolved into a novel. The result is vivid, quirky, and exhuberant. Exotic as well - at least for the British reader - not only for its South American location but also for its cast of peasants, robbers, barons, autocrats, and troubadors. Perhaps it is longer than it should be, as family sagas often are, but The House of the Spirits is nonetheless a novel of considerable vitality and charm.


Fathers and Sons
Fathers and Sons
by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Liberalism, progress, principles...to a Russian they're not worth a straw.", 14 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Fathers and Sons (Paperback)
First published in 1861, Turgenev's classic novel is dominated by the young radical Bazarov, whose arrival in the Russian provinces causes upheaval amongst his comfortably liberal hosts. Bazarov is a nihilist - a proto-anarchist - who takes a trenchantly negative view of just about everything, especially the progressive political ideals of his parents' generation. Hard to like him, until some self-doubt seeps in. His opponent, the would-be English gentleman Pavel Petrovich, is easier to take...but Turgenev's characters are gratifyingly complex and the reader's sympathies shift throughout this surprisingly modern novel.


Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Puppets in a bleak dreamworld, 19 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Never Let Me Go (Paperback)
This an unsettling novel...but possibly not in the way that Kazuo Ishiguro intended. It is disturbing because it is difficult to find a satisfactory reading of the novel, leaving you to decide if this is your fault, the author's fault, or if confusion is precisely what the author intended. From interviews, it seems that Ishiguro wanted to write about a group of young people who know their lives are brief and constrained but who nonetheless care for each other and treasure their short time together. Various scenarios might explain their foreknowledge of an early death, but Ishiguro decided to make them clones bred for spare-part surgery in an alternative Britain that (absurdly) is otherwise no different from our own. This is like deciding that the best plot device for interrupting a romantic assignation is to have a giant frog fall through the roof. It would certainly do the trick, but something subtler and less ridiculous would be better.

Despite the science fictional element of spare-part cloning, the novel cannot be read as a dystopian vision: this is no Brave New World revisited. Neither can it be read - as Ishiguro perhaps hoped it would - as a fable about our own brief lives or about what it is to be human. The problem here is that Ishiguro's characters all display such a limited subset of emotions, it makes them impossible to relate to. He chooses to portray them as not only accepting their lot - without any thought of protest - but also as pathetically and even lovingly complicit in their own friends' deaths. Very bleak, but hardly human and hardly believable. Should we then read the book as a dream, like The Unconsoled? It certainly has some of the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dream...but this doesn't really work either. Perhaps as a modern fairy tale? But now I'm grasping at straws. In the end, Never Let Me Go is a poorly conceived novel that doesn't work well at any level. It just left me feeling vaguely depressed.


Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon 1)
Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon 1)
by China Mieville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like listening to a child describing a new fantasy game...in detail, 19 Dec. 2012
Imagine a city like gaslit London...but exotic, mysterious, full of steampunk robots and magicians, where humanity rubs shoulders with the monstrous and the alien. Sounds interesting? It could be, but not from the pen of China Mieville. Welcome to the witless world of Perdido Street Station. Here you will encounter such marvels as women with insect heads...men with hawk heads...large froggy things...and even cactus people (green, spiny, live in a big greenhouse). Here you will be entertained by such literary delights as fights, quests, monster-hunting, more fights, and spells. The writing is strong on adjectives. You get a free map, but no free dice. The novel is very long. I am over twelve. I got very bored.


Page: 1