It’s a slow book year so far. The breakneck schedule at work and frequent late nights (cab-rides home rather than my homebound commuter reading hour) have limited me to about a book per week. So, before I forget what they were about in the blur of functional specifications, project plans and crises, it’s time for nanila-inspired microlit.


Nawal el Saadawi – The Well of Life
It’s difficult being a woman in Egypt: life is so symbolically complex, you may wonder what on earth it’s all about.

Alan Garner – Thursbitch
It’s difficult being an Alan Garner character: life is so symbolically complex, you may wonder whether you’re just another sacrificial lamb on the altar of literary myth-building. Don’t look now, but that man has mint sauce.

Lynn Flewelling – The Tamir Triad
Killing people is bad, mkay? And there’s never any justification for it.
Somehow, it takes three books to get this idea across.
Go figure.

(I’m being flippant; I did enjoy these – I reviewed them here)

Harry Thompson – This Thing of Darkness
Charles Darwin was an asshole. Real heroes are misguided, well-intentioned, sidelined and eventually forgotten. Did I mention that Charles Darwin was an asshole?

Sergei Lukyanenko – Day Watch
Day Watch: Nobody does angst like a Russian. Or paranoia. Or vodka.
Anton: Damn, it’s depressing being Russian.
Day Watch: More vodka?

Robert Harris – Archangel
Russians: *cough* we do violence and intrigue rather well too.
Kelso the Englishman: DAMMIT.
Stalin: Wheee, I win! Again.

Harry Thompson – Penguins Stopped Play (Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World)
Cricketers: We love cricket! We’re crap! Admire our unrelenting enthusiasm! Giggle at our misadventures!
Harry Thompson: Sorry, were you expecting a happy ending?
Cricketers: DAMMIT.

Amitav Ghosh – The Hungry Tide
Kanai: I am wise, and world-wise, and you will sleep with me.
Priya: I am young, and like dolphins. Dol-phins.
Wind blows, people die.
Priya: …and people. I like people. Can I come live with you?

Fiona Macintosh – Myrren’s Gift
Myrren: You were nice to me! Here, have a gift to power overcomplicated plots with!
Will: Gift? What gift?
Evil Prince: I am a one-dimensional sadist and I will kill you. Or well, I’ll get someone else to kill you. See, I can be evil and manipulative too! Doesn’t that make me three-dimensional?
Reader: NO.
Will: *dies*
Myrren: No, you don’t. Gift, remember?
Will: Huh?
Will’s killer: *dies*
Will: Well shit me.
Reader: DAMMIT. THERE’S THREE BOOKS OF THIS CRAP.

Ahem. Micro-rant, anyone?

Mary Doria Russell – A Thread of Grace
Nazis: Jews are bad, mkay? Kill them all!
Italians: Did he say something? I don’t speak Nazi. Here, we like Jews. Come hide in our churches.
Jews: Hurray!
Nazis: We don’t mind killing Italians either. Or priests.
Italians: Just you try!
Nazis: *kill them all*

Tim Powers – The Drawing of the Dark
Brian: Am I being railroaded into something?
Aurelianus: Don’t look at me. I asked nicely.
Brian: Okay, I’ll do exactly what you say then.
Brian’s ex-girlfriend: Brian! My husband is dead and I comfort myself by talking to your ghost! But you’re not dead!
Brian: Let’s run away to Ireland and live happily ever after!
Aurelianus: *coughs*
Brian: …or not. Sorry love, things to do, worlds to save.
Aurelianus: No railroads here, move right along.
Brian: DAMMIT.
(yes, there’s a whole other main plot, but I can’t possibly improve on nanila‘s version of it.

Because reviews would have taken longer. Really. Ahem.

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