Tag: Serious

Dan Simmons – Hyperion | Review

Title: Hyperion

Author: Dan Simmons

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 484

Rating: 4/5

To begin with, I wasn’t too sure that I was going to like this one, because it’s one of those books where it sort of throws you straight into the world and if you can’t keep up, that’s your own problem. I usually find that’s quite off-putting, and it comes down to the strength of the story. Here, the story was easily enough to keep me going.

But there’s also the fact that it was extremely well written. It’s one of those books where I would have read to the end regardless of my actual enjoyment just because I wanted to learn what I could from the writing style. I also think this is definitely one that you could re-read and because of the new perspective, you’d get an entirely different experience.

Another thing that I liked was the structure of the book itself. It was reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, although I haven’t actually read that and so I don’t know how valid the comparison is. When you combine the structure, the worldbuilding and the quality of the writing as a whole, you’re on to a winner.

It’s just a little heavy duty, although I’d argue that it’s easier to read than Dune was. That’s partly because you can break it up into the individual microstories, and also because there’s a pretty constant pace throughout, whereas I found that Dune sometimes felt a bit “stoppy and starty”. I think they’re both must-reads if you’re a serious sci-fi fan, although perhaps not if you’re only a newbie to the genre.

I’m somewhere in between, in that I’ve read my fair share of sci-fi but I don’t particularly enjoy it above any other genres. Horror is much more up my street, and so reading this has made me keen to try out The Terror, although I think I’m going to have a little wait between the two. I’ve also read one of Simmons’ novellas in a collection called Dark Visions that he was in with Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, and I found the same thing then. I need a bit of downtime after reading Simmons.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this up and I will probably continue with the rest of the series, although I have no plans to do it immediately and I might not get to it in time to join in with the readalong that’s happening on BookTube. For me, that’s fine, because it seems as though Simmons is an author who’s like a fine wine that should be savoured and enjoyed every now and again, instead of with every meal. And that’s just fine.

I’d say overall, if you’ve been thinking about giving this book a try, you should. If you haven’t, don’t. It lived up to my expectations, I guess.

Learn more about Hyperion.

Agatha Christie – Poirot Investigates | Review

Title: Poirot Investigates

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 218

Rating: 4.25/5

I’ve always found that Agatha Christie is at her best when she’s writing short stories, and it was no different here. This little collection is a breeze to get through (it took me about half an hour or so), and it pulls together a fun little collection of cases.

It might not be Poirot at his most serious, and indeed I noticed here that he was speaking a lot of French, even more so than normal. That made him feel almost like a caricature of himself, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Plus we have the fact that the different cases on offer here means that we see a wide variety of different sides of him. That makes it more interesting, to me at least, than a regular Poirot novel, which is probably a good thing because I’ve always been more of a fan of Miss Marple.

Overall though, I’d definitely recommend this, and to be honest it’s not a bad place to start if you’ve never read Poirot before. It’s a good little cross section and a fun little collection, and just what the doctor ordered when I read it. Get yourself a copy if you can, somehow!

Learn more about Poirot Investigates.