Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review of "Secondhand memories" by Takatsu

My review as a Librarything early reviewer:

The first thing to talk about with this book is the form. Normally it doesn't make much difference, but this is a cellphone novel turned into a book turned into an ebook (I read it in PDF). So small chapters are turned into nicely laid out pages which are then put onto a screen. I think it would be nice to own the paper book. As the chapters are so short I think it's a good coffee table book which you can leave lying around and pick up to read bits and pieces from.

I read it in several bigger chunks and I found the pace of reading quite intense. There are a lot of line breaks, rather than longer paragraphs, which I took a while to adjust to.

The story itself takes a couple of unexpected turns and then follows a fairly predictable path, though you do need to keep reading to see if what you think might happen actually does. I couldn't really relate to some of the things the main character did, though perhaps it's because I'm a bit older than he is.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Personal thoughts on Terry Pratchett

I thought about writing some thoughts on Leonard Nimoy after he died, but I wouldn't have said that much. I was genuinely sad when I heard the news about Terry Pratchett, so I feel I have to write some stuff down.

I met him once. He was patron of the Friends of High Wycombe Library and he gave a talk at their inaugural meeting, at our church as it happened. From the circumstantial evidence I think it was 2003 or 2004. After the talk he was doing signings and I gave him a list of the BBC top 100 books to sign, which he had five books of his in it. He looked bemused at signing this, rather than a book of his. I don't know where that piece of paper is. It isn't lost - it knows where it is.

He was born locally, in Beaconsfield, which is probably why he agreed to be patron. In his talk he said how tolerant librarians would let him take out a couple of hundred library books at a time. I thought I was a prolific reader as a child, but he wins. He also talked about his days as a reporter on the Bucks Free Press.

Some have compared him to Douglas Adams. Some may consider this heretical but (*whispers*) the trouble with Douglas Adams though was that he didn't write much. By the time he got to the fifth book in the Hitchhikers trilogy it was all wearing a bit thin, though the Dirk Gently books were more consistent. Terry Pratchett wrote so many books, with plenty of originality and humour all the way through.

I've got a blog post that I'm gestating about things that you can put into a book or film that will cause me to forgive other faults, like poor plot or character. One of those things is Terry Pratchett. I've just finished The Long Mars and it sort of faded out at the end, but I can forgive that because, well, Terry Pratchett. Or you could blame Stephen Baxter for that bit.

Here are a couple of good articles on the great man:


Have you read any other good articles?