Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Compare and contrast

Two books finished this week.
  1. Hunters of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson. Approx. 200,000 words, took a fortnight to read for review in Vector. Seventh in the back-wrenching Dune series (not counting Brian & Kevin's two prequel trilogies), based on notes left by Frank Herbert; intended by Frank as the series finale, but B&K have thoughtfully decided at least one further volume can be wrung out of it. The first Dune novel I've read since struggling through GodAwful Emperor of Dune all those years ago. It's ... okay. Could have been half the length and lost absolutely nothing. Only finished it out of a sense of reviewer's duty.
  2. Small Steps by Louis Sachar. Approx. 30,000 words, read it within 24 hours. A follow-on from and not quite as good as Holes; still a delight from beginning to end with charm, fun, excitement and a hook that keeps you reading.
I want to be like Louis Sachar. The thought of earning a living like Brian and Kevin is just too depressing. Brian and Kevin are the dinosaurs; massive lumbering beasts that seem to own all they survey. Louis is the small vole-like mammal living underfoot that one day will inherit the earth. Go mammals.

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