Brat Farrar (bratfarrar) wrote,
Brat Farrar

reviews: book of beasts (vol. 2), burn notice & human target, and gawain!

I really need to start doing these earlier in the week (or day, at least) instead of leaving them until right before bed when I'm having trouble stringing words together in a coherent fashion and wind up doing egregious things to both grammar and punctuation. (Hey, I actually managed to spell "punctuation" correctly on the first try. Well done, me.) You'd think I would have figured this out by now.

Anyways, read Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is simply sumptuous and a lot more fun than I'd remembered from high school. Gawain's always been my favorite from Arthur's court, with Kai being a close runner-up, thanks in large part to Stephen Lawhead and Gerald Morris---and this story, even though I had to read it too quickly the first time to actually appreciate it. He's actually a lot like me, now that I think of it, especially the part where he beats up on himself over a failing everyone else thinks is perfectly understandable and even excusable. (Which I played out in a much more subdued fashion this evening at work; there's nothing quite like spending your dinner break bracing yourself for a chewing-out only to have your boss apologize to you for something you thought was your fault.) Am planning on following this up with Beowulf and The Song of Roland, mostly because Roland and Orlando from the latter keep randomly demanding that I write about them and I haven't actually read the poem since (again) high school. So yeah. Probably a good idea to brush up a bit on that. Also, I'm discovering that I like epic poetry quite a bit, when it's translated readably.

I was going to talk about how this week's episodes of Burn Notice and Human Target ("Enemies Closer" and "Baptiste", respectively) synced up rather nicely, both having a formerly-close, but rather despicable person from the main character's past show up and wreck havoc in one way or another. Note the "I was". It sounded good in my head as I was thinking about it on the way to work, but when I tried to type it up, it sounded kind of incoherent. Argh. Short, semi-coherent version: I liked the use of Michael's family on Burn Notice and his apology scene with Sam & Fiona, and the addition of New Girl/Layla on Human Target, though Guerrero continues to be my favorite--am looking forward to finding out more about his motives for helping out Chance.

The 2nd volume of imaginarybeasts, titled "Love Story", had more stories than the first, but I wound up clicking through most of them without reading more than the first couple of paragraphs. Nothing against the quality of the writing, I'm just veeeeery particular about stories that even remotely smack of romance. But there were two that I read through and enjoyed:
Flight of the Bumblebee - this one rung true to me probably because of how my parents met; my dad didn't have to chase my mom quite this hard, but he did announce to her on their first date that she was the woman he was going to marry. The first time he saw her, he says, he knew. And he was right.
Pygmalion - this one is a love story that doesn't seem at first to be a love story, and I appreciate that about it. Also, the weaving in of the myth was very nicely done, which always earns points with me.
Tags: reviews & recommendations

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