Tag: Unusual

Isaac Asimov – Where Do We Go From Here? (Book #2) | Review

Title: Where Do We Go From Here? (Book #2)

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 200

Rating: 3/5

This book was interesting enough, as most Isaac Asimov books are, but it’s also true that he was a better writer than he was an editor and so I would have preferred a collection of his own short stories as opposed to those by other authors.

Still, there are some decent enough shorts in here, and we also have an introduction by Asimov and a little additional context on what we’re reading thanks to his notes on each story. Perhaps more unusual was the fact that he also included a bunch of questions for his readers to try to answer. Some of them were so intense that I couldn’t even understand the question and would have had no hope of answering.

Overall, this is probably the weakest of the Asimov books that I’ve come across so far, and even a contribution by both himself (a story I’d already read) and Arthur C. Clarke wasn’t enough to save it. Glad I read it, but I won’t re-read and it was eh.

Learn more about Where Do We Go From Here? (Book #2).

 


Max Brooks – World War Z | Review

Title: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 344

Rating: 3.25/5

This is one of those interesting examples of when there’s been a movie adaptation of a book that really doesn’t lend itself to movie adaptations. In fact, there’s arguably not even a plot to this book, and if there is one then it’s deliberately thin and disparate. Instead of following a central story, Brooks wants us to see the war against the zombies as a whole, and he does this through this sort of found narrative, epistolary approach that reminded me of Dracula, although I definitely preferred Dracula.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this, and indeed I think it would be a good source if you were writing about zombies or studying their impact on popular culture for whatever reason. It’s just that it reads almost more like a non-fiction book than a fictional one, and in fact for something that focusses on zombies, it gets surprisingly boring. The epistolary layout, consisting mostly of the transcripts of interviews, is kind of cool to begin with, but after a while it started to jade on me and ultimately, it felt like a bit of a gimmick.

Still, it wasn’t too bad, and the writing itself was pretty good, as was the world-building. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the world-building that makes this worth reading in the first place. It’s more interesting to learn about the response that people have to the crisis from around the world than it is to follow any one group of characters, and indeed the structure of the story makes it almost impossible to do that in the first place.

Ultimately, that makes it an unusual book but one that’s worth reading, even if I myself didn’t fall in love with it. It was pretty cool to see what Brooks has in mind when it comes to our human reaction to the walking dead, and I don’t regret picking it up, though I doubt I’ll ever re-read it.

Learn more about World War Z.

 


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