readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Summary: Spoilers )

Reaction: There are no awesome ladies whatever in this book, only nasty and/or boring ones. The writing is a bit better than in "The Great Quest", but people are still given to doing things for either plotty reasons or bad excuses a lot more than for anything that makes sense. I did get all the way through it, mainly because the slave trade is not involved, thus racism is barely hinted at. But the protagonist is still a dope, just not quite as much of a one. And it's a lot more gory / violent in places. Plus, there's quite a lot of incredibly weird mental sophistry / gymnastics trying to defend the plotty reasons, and a fair bit of "making fun of less fortunate people is something all good and true men should do!" :P

Overall, I'd say he was becoming a better writer but still wasn't a good one.

Conclusion: Two stars. For having something resembling a coherent plot, and for not addressing questions of race at all.
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Pfffff, Dark Frigate. Charles Boardman Hawes. Don't I have homework due tomorrow? I'm sure I need to do the laundry. Pity I don't have a cat; I could vacuum it! ;D

It's a frigate. Of darkness. )

Blaaaaaaaaaah. Done. THAT WAS A LOT OF BOOK.
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Summary: SPOI-LERS! )

Reaction: Well, I only got through 120 pages, and I was quite happily reading Moby Dick at bus-stops before I started this project. ;P The writing is... I can find no other word for it than "hilarible". The book reads like it was written by a young Anne of Green Gables, with "instinctively felt" and overuse of italics all complete. None of the characters' actions make any sense beyond the thinnest of tissue-paper Plotty Reasons; I can't even introduce the thought of them having coherent personalities long enough to dismiss it with dignity, it merely pokes its head into the room and retreats holding its nose. :D

In addition, it becomes more drastically racist and offensive as we get closer to Africa; I gave up in Cuba, after flipping forward a few times and discovering lines like "three of us [were] arrant scoundrels, but all of us at least white of skin, surrounded by a black horde". And as if that weren't enough - I hesitate to use the p-word, but there are at least a great many very strong homages to Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, starting indeed with the frontispiece. I went into more detail in the liveblog post. You can, if you care to, also read the book itself via Project Gutenberg.

Conclusion: One star out of five, for doing quite a good pastiche of Mr Stevenson's writing voice (English-style, not Scottish-style; I would have forgiven a good deal for Scots dialect), and for not being The Old Tobacco Shop. It's a bit nice to have had the nadir set so early... ;P I just hope I never have it reset any lower.
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, books aren't, Newberys belong to the ALA.

...I'm going to put the full title of this book under the cut, because it's one of those that pulls a Moll Flanders and tells you half the story in the subtitle. ;-) The short title is The Great Quest by Charles Boardman Hawes. It isn't on Gutenberg, so if you want to read it you'll have to find it yourself. I don't yet know if that's worth doing.

LIVEBLOGGING THEREOF; warning for mental ableism, racism, graphic violence, bad writing, and reviewer's extreme familiarity with the more popular works of Robert Louis Stevenson )

...I can't handle this book anymore. I'm skipping. I've given it enough of a fair chance to make a judgment, in my own opinion. IT STEEEEEEEEENKS. 120 pages is a fair chance, right? Can I make it the 100-page rule instead of the 50% rule, now I'm out of Gutenberg books and the rest will be dead-tree versions? I'm going to, I think.
readallthenewberys: animated gif of Snoopy writing a story with multiple strange subplots (Default)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
Stickypost!

For standard disclaimer, blog rating information, and comment policy, go here or to the comm profile page.

Liveblogs are linked to titles, reviews to the "# stars". Asterisk denotes a book I think should have won the Newbery Medal, whether it did or not. Free online editions are linked in parentheses if available. Bold means previously read, not reviewed yet. Strikeout means unavailable to me except through interlibrary loan. Italics mean I couldn't finish. Plus sign means not a Newbery winner or Honor Book (usually added because another book from the same series or by the same author is on the list, e.g. Little House on the Prairie).

cut for length )

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