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Joined 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Esoteric reader interested in ideas.

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bondolo's books

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In Dubious Battle (2006) 4 stars

In Dubious Battle is a novel by John Steinbeck, written in 1936. The central figure …

An apple for your thoughts

4 stars

Quite an impressive novel though not timeless. Despite all of our problems today the world has made progress. Maybe this serves as a reminder to be ever vigilant against backsliding, but also how little has changed. I can't find any fault in this book but the characters don't speak to me. I don't see myself in any of the protagonists or antagonists. Perhaps a view from one of the other men on the scab train could have shown someone lost in it all and struggling to make sense and choose sides.

The Ministry for the Future (Paperback, 2021, Orbit) 4 stars

Established in 2025, the purpose of the new organization was simple: To advocate for the …

Probably the last KSR novel which does make me sad. It was very much of the form for one of their novels. There were some threads that could have been developed more and I thought this would get a LOT darker before hope reemerged. I kind of think that it should have gotten darker. At times I felt like this was the most Neal Stephenson of KSR novels.

Red Harvest (1989, Vintage) 4 stars

When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to …

Pitch Noir

3 stars

I had asked for a recommendation of a novel about labour so this wasn't really what I expected. I had wanted to read a Dashiell Hammett novel and this is a probably the only hard boiled crime novel I will read. It was true to form and as hard bitten as I expected. I was surprised at some of criminal behaviour of the "good guy" protagonist, I hadn't understood that element of the genre.

Iron Council (2005) 4 stars

Iron Council (2004) is a weird fantasy novel by the British writer China Miéville, his …

I didn't enjoy this novel as much as the prior Bas-Lag novels. There was something incoherent and incomplete about it and the result was that it didn't fit together for me. There was a lot to like.

Doomsday Book (1993, Bantam Books) 4 stars

Somewhere in the future, ordinary history students must travel back in time as part of …


3 stars

This could have been, should have been, a much shorter book. I do like books with a languorous pace but this one was just too repetitive and it was too repetitive. Nothing would have suffered if a third had been excised.

Doomsday Book (1993, Bantam Books) 4 stars

Somewhere in the future, ordinary history students must travel back in time as part of …

Having a hard time getting through it. It is so tediously slow in dragging out the plot. It feels repetitive. I am fine with languorous paced novels if they spend their time with descriptive language or increasing the depth of characters or scene. Doomsday Book doesn't feel like that. Find out where Bassingame is fishing, Badri said there was no slippage, make some phone calls, rinse and repeat.

I did really enjoy Bellweather and had high hopes for Doomsday Book so it has been somewhat of a let down.