Bookworm

Book finished

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

I read it because it won a Hugo. I didn't really like it any better than Blackout/All Clear. It was OK but IMO nowhere near Hugo material. It wasn't really a waste of time but I have no interest in reading any more of these things.

  • Mary Cruickshank-Peed - I liked it... not as much as some of her other books (Doomsday, Passages). But then, I read it as a parody of the Lord Peter Wimsey stuff so thought it was pretty funny.
  • John Ridley - Well, maybe that's the problem. I've only even vaguely heard of Lord Peter Wimsey.
    Now that I've read 3 of her books that I felt were barely worth the time (actually, the 3 of them taken together were not worth the time IMO) I'm kind of nervous about reading anything else by her even if people say some of the other stuff is better.

    I read this one because of the Hugo and also because a friend at work said that it was "hilariously funny." Honestly, I got maybe a half a dozen good smiles out of it; it was lighthearted mostly, but honestly the only character I wound up caring about was the cat.
  • Mary Cruickshank-Peed - I think Doomsday is her best. Passages made me think, tho I hated the ending.
  • John Ridley - Probably should have started there then. The first thing I read of hers was Blackout/All Clear a few months ago, because I was trying to read as much of the Hugo nominee list as possible. In past years I hear the Hugo winners and haven't even heard of any of the books, and often the authors either. I do eventually want to read all the Hugo winners but I'm probably only 1/10th the way there, if that, and a lot of what I read is 50+ years old.
    I'm actually falling behind because lately I've discovered (what should have been obvious) that there's a TON of classic literature that's just way better writing than the average SF book. My reader now has about as much Agatha Christie, Hemingway and Steinbeck as it does SF. To be sure, there's SF that's just incredibly good (has Gaiman ever published anything bad?), but there's a lot of junk too. Even some authors that I've liked in the past have spit out some duds.
    Honestly, I think that a lot of what gets nominated or wins the Hugo is done just because authors have such huge fan bases that they'll vote in anything the person writes, because some of it is really not good.
  • Mary Cruickshank-Peed - I think the Hugos are sometimes based on lifetime acheivement rather than the one specific book (altho I haven't read her new book so don't know). I think "Even the Queen" by Willis is one of my all-time favorite stories. It still makes me smile :)
    Sturgeon's Law applies to everything. There's a lot of good, classic stuff because it's only the good stuff that's left. Back when Dickens was writing, there was a ton of crap, but all that's left now is Dickens, Wells, and Jane Austen :) The same with Hemingway and Steinbeck. (I don't like Hemingway, but tastes vary). You'd like the Lord Peter Wimsey stuff, I think. Dorothy Sayers tells a good story. Some of it has to be out of copyright, it was written in the 20s and 30's, I think.
  • John Ridley - It doesn't look like ANY of Dorothy Sayers' work is out of copyright. Only two Agatha Christie books are out of copyright, Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) and Secret Adversary (1922). Gutenberg doesn't have anything by Sayers.
    It doesn't matter that much because I'm pretty sure there are dead tree versions around the house somewhere, there's always the library, and a bunch of her stuff is available for the Nook for 99 cents each. It's too bad there aren't any decent anthologies. There is one but it's early stuff only, and the reviewers say it's "pretty long-winded." That's actually kind of my gripe with Willis as well; it seemed like the books were at least 1/3 longer than they needed to be.
  • Mary Cruickshank-Peed - We have a complete collection of the Peter Wimsey books, and several other Sayer books in paper. Little far to lend, tho :)
  • John Ridley - I'm quite certain that there's dead-tree Sayer around the house. At least, there used to be. I haven't looked at paper books in many months now, apart from car repair manuals.
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