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.

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