Tag: Masterpiece

Isaac Asimov – The Bicentennial Man | Review

Title: The Bicentennial Man

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 256

Rating: 4.5/5

What we have here is another cracking little collection of Isaac Asimov’s short stories, along with Asimov’s introductions to the stories for a little additional context. There were actually one or two here that I’d already read and so I skipped past those, although I did read the introductory essays as they were different.

I’ve also read a full length novel that Asimov co-wrote with Robert Silverberg and which is based on the titular short story here, but it was nice to go back to the original. I also heard that Asimov wasn’t really involved in the novel, which I can believe because it was published not long before he died.

Asimov’s short story collections are always a lot of fun, and while I’m still yet to find one that’s as good as I Robot, I can’t exactly be mad about it because that book is a masterpiece. I love Asimov’s work and I love the way that he sets up his three laws of robotics only to knock them down again by looking at the different ways in which they can be subverted.

That means reading Asimov feels like so much more than simply enjoying a little science fiction escapism. It’s almost philosophical, and it asks the reader a lot of questions about what it means to be human, as well as what it means to be a robot. I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

Learn more about The Bicentennial Man.

 


Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven | Review

Title: Station Eleven

Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 340

Rating: 4.25/5

I’d heard a lot of good things about this book going into it, and then it was picked out for me by a friend who I asked to pick out a random number to coincide with a book on my wish list. This is what she picked out for me.

It’s also a beautiful little book as well, and so my expectations were pretty high going into it. I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me, too. It’s beautifully written and does a great job of examining a bunch of different themes and subject matters and asking the reader some questions.

But for me, though, what I was most impressed with was the depiction of a world in which a super flu has taken out most of the population. It was extremely well done, and it was also pretty unsettling considering what’s going on in the world at the moment. I mean, there was even a scene in which one of the characters started panic buying and ended up stocking up a trolley entirely with toilet paper.

So I mean, I’m not sure if it’s the best book for you to read if you’re looking for a little bit of a distraction from what’s going on in  the world around us, but if you just want something that’s genuinely well-written and a pleasure to read, you’re going to struggle to find something better than this. Having now finished it, I can say that it lives up to all of the hype.

Would I recommend this one? Hell yeah I would, even during these troubled times when you might not really feel like engaging with this sort of subject matter. It’s not far off being a masterpiece and definitely a top contender for my top books of the quarter, even though it’s only just begun. It’s just a little bit scary how realistic it all was, you know? Bit nuts.

Learn more about Station Eleven.