16 July 2012 @ 03:21 pm
The Long Earth  
  • If I read one single more story in which there is a male figure who is magically The Chosen One without any sort of reason for why it's not the equally capable and equally savvy female character I am going to toss that book out of the window, film said toss and upload it on here. 
  • I am really tired with special, intelligent ladies instantly sort of powering down after they have been established as Smart and Male Main Character taking the lead instead, even if it has been established that said lady friend is more knowledgeable about what they are trying to do. Why does she have to be the daughter of the eccentric genius who invented steppers? Is there any reason relevant for the plot why she is not the eccentric genius herself? 
  • Queer ladies! Without fanfare! Who are gay divorcees! Who marry cowgirls! I wound up being far more interested in these characters than in the main character. 
  • Intelligent robot drink dispenser, sure. We're clearly in a Sci-Fi novel. Exploring the worlds in a balloon. Sure. 
  • Whoops, where did the plot go? 
  • Could we have read more about the badass biker nuns rather than that special guy and his special robot friends instead?
  • Sally's and Joshua's thoughts on Happy Landings. Yeah. Partying too much is what makes you blind or otherwise disabled...? Really? Um.
  • The reaction to steppers and stepping is every bit of what I would have expected, good job, frighteningly realistic. 
  • Less so families joyfully abandoning their children to head west in search for a new life, I find that much harder to buy. 
  • That ending. Huh?


Overall: I enjoyed the stories of the background characters but slept through the main character's journey. 
 
 
Current Mood: cheerful
 
 
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[identity profile] cranky--crocus.livejournal.com on July 16th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha I think I will have to read this just for the background characters! (I often read books for the background/supporting characters. I do prefer it when I also enjoy the main characters, but I think most of the time my actual favourites are in the background.)
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Mothwing: Moth[identity profile] mothwing.livejournal.com on July 16th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Me, too! It's how I wound up as a Harry Potter fan.

In The Long Earth I really wished those nuns had gotten the page space or at least speaking roles since they were what kept me interested!
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[identity profile] krakelwok.livejournal.com on July 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Harry was always a blank slate and largely uninteresting. Even Ron had more character, however flawed. In fact, the only instance I can remember in which Harry did something clever he had to somewhat work for beforehand was using accio on the portkey at the end of GoF. Most other times he was saved by things like others' sacrifices, a magical drug he won through cheating, providence or overcooked plot twists. I wonder whether the reason the series went downhill (starting with book five for me) was that the author became too aware of her fame, reputation and fanbase ,,,
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Mothwing: Moth[identity profile] mothwing.livejournal.com on July 21st, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
What baffles me most is that we are supposed to identify with Harry. Really? With what, exactly?

The style change afte book five struck me as odd, too, though Harry's being rescued by others (especially Dobby) are a constant.
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[identity profile] krakelwok.livejournal.com on July 21st, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
Eh, what started bothering me about books five and onward wasn't so much that Harry kept being rescued. He made a lot of friends and allies during the preceding books, I guess in the narrative structure it makes sense those friendships eventually pay off.
The reasoning behind Harry was maybe that a blank slate hero is easiest for readers to find themselves in. That may work in video games but books? Not so much. Or maybe it's the fact that Rowling's most interesting characters are all caricatures. Hermione is absurdly studious and fussy, Ron ridiculously boyish and crude, Dobby laughably devoted and so on. Others have noted before that Rowling's writing style is not the most subtle, neither in grammar nor in content. I'm not saying it's never deep but hers is a far cry from understated humour like Adams and Pratchett or thinking-outside-the-box fantasy scenarios like Diane Wynne Jones'.
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