Brat Farrar (bratfarrar) wrote,
Brat Farrar

review(ish): Honor Harrington, The Squire's Tale, The Big Over Easy, The Spirit

When I was younger--high school, I think--I was absolutely mad for David Weber's stuff, particularly his Honor Harrington series. I bought most of them, read them often enough to all-but-memorize chunks of them. Not surprising, given the science fiction/military setting and a strong, smart, physically and strategically-adept, slightly-damaged female protagonist. But somewhere over the course of college, I lost all taste for them: I'm not sure whether it's because my interests changed, or because my growth as a writer influenced the way I read. In either case, a couple weeks ago I picked up the latest in the series, just to see if my interest could be rekindled, and discovered I couldn't bring myself to read more than a paragraph in sequence. I'm currently debating getting rid of my collection altogether, as it's a good two feet of shelf space and I'm running out of room. Doing so would feel a bit like throwing away my high school self, though, so it's unlikely to happen any time soon.

Happily, there are still a whole slew of books from that period in my life that I still enjoy. The Squire's Tale, for instance. It's a fun take on Arthurian legend, aimed for kids, but enjoyable for anyone who thinks the whole Guinevere/Lancelot thing was stupid and that most of the knights of the Round Table could have done with a dose or two of common sense. Gawain is one of the main characters---the awesome Gawain from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, not Mallory's idiot.

The Big Over Easy is another favorite, although I picked it up in college, not high school. It's pretty much indescribable, although the basics are easy enough. There's a world where all the characters from nursery rhymes are real and coexist with everyone else (And aliens, although they're really boring and not worth mention), and whenever something involving one of them goes wrong, Jack Spratt and the underfunded, understaffed, unsupported Nursery Crimes Unit have to sort out the mess. In this case it's Humpty Dumpty, and possibly murder. If you like your mysteries wacky, or your wacky novels mysterious, this is definitely for you. And then check out the author's website, which is the awesomest author website I've come across. If I'm ever an author, I want to have one like it.

Also, last Saturday I attempted to watch The Spirit, but couldn't make it past the first 45 minutes. Beautiful film, but horrible storytelling. The characters were jarringly one-dimensional, the plot was paper-disintegrating-in-water thin, and the voice-overs made me want to slap the main character. It might make a good silent film, though.
Tags: reviews & recommendations

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