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2010 Book Review

June 28, 2010

AHA!  I realized why I had Frankenstein numbered as 3, and Outlander as 1.  Number 2 was supposed to be Under The Dome.  Wee.

18.  Under The Dome, by Stephen King

A lot of people made fun of this book when it was first announced as being just like the plot of a Simpson’s episode.  Stephen King, however, doesn’t give the reader long to dwell on the comparison.  Within the first few pages, it is clear that this is definitely not Springfield.  King has a knack for the “trapped and going mad” scenario.  After rushing the reader into the bubble, he gives them time to get to know the characters, to like them or hate them as they will.  And then he lets them all spiral down into madness.  The dome is the only really supernatural thing about the story until the very end.  Everything else that happens beneath it is driven by purely human motivations, those dark undercurrents of vice which King does so well.

19. A Mighty Fortress by David Weber

Books like this are why I could never read a hundred books in a single year.  This makes the third heavy weight book I’ve read this year, and at 690 pages, it’s by far the smallest of the three.  As with “By Heresies Distressed,” Weber suffers from the over use of the word “fact,” and the tendency to wander down tangents about bore sizes, cannon ranges, and the efficiencies of various types of sail.  “A Mighty Fortress,” however, has the benefit of actual progress within the over arcing story, so it’s easier to ignore those things.  The “faith in The Church verses faith in God” theme is heavy in this one, and there are some deeply moving sermons on the subject of “God is good.  Man, not always so much.”  And as usual, the fights are quite spectacular, once the technical stuff is done with.

I had a book in line for immediately after this one about the battle of Gettysburg, but I needed a break from battle tactics.

20. Blockade Billy by Stephen King

While checking the length of Under the Dome on Amazon, I saw this book in the “Other Titles By This Author” section.  I immediately went and looked it up on the library website, and then stopped by to check it out after work.  Despite being a fairly small book, it actually took me a while to finish.  It’s what I get for having a life outside of books.  There’s a lot of baseball terms thrown around in this book, and with only very basic knowledge of baseball slang, I found myself occasionally not always sure what the players were doing.  But the underlying story comes through loud and clear.  Included in this volume is the short story “Morality,” which is… weird.  And that’s saying something for Stephen King.  There’s nothing supernatural or alien.  It’s all people doing stuff and reacting in ways that are… weird.  It’s hard to explain.  I liked Blockade Billy.  Morality, not so much.  It’s entirely possible that my feeling is due to a bias I hold which I’m reluctant to reveal for fear of spoiling the story.  So there’s that.

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