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Lawrence

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Like a radio show from my childhood

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-12-2019

Uncomplicated formulaic but incredibly satisfying There’s nothing overly sophisticated about the writing. In fact it can be a little formulaic. Somewhat intelligent but not brilliant man dominates the room by spreading his legs aggressively. Nothing Harry Harrison didn’t pioneer with the stainless steel rat. The strangest thing about the formula is how incredibly fun it is. It ticks all the boyish fantasies of sexual and galactic conquest for unlikely heroes (much like Richard Corbin’s “Den” did! Mark Boyett gets it right again as the stories failings which reflect the main characters failings are forgiven because it is a fun story (if modern Science Fiction is your thing i.e. Science Fiction with very little relationship to scientific speculation (unlike Asimov or Arthur C Clarke). If you want a satisfying pot boiler this might be it. I’m going off to download the next book as the kids are at the grandparents for a holiday.

I loved it... Meta fiction as grief counselling...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-2019

The overriding theme of the meta fiction and the loss we all inhabit, we’ve all lived, we’re all implicated in. That’s true for all of us who’ve experienced the loss that permeates all of Jeff Noons books anyway. It’s as if he’s seeking a panacea of healing and sorrow and he keeps reworking that into all of his fictions to weave a meta fiction. Occasionally the narrative begets clumsiness, literary devices reused become tiresome to myself as the reader but by the end of every story; Jeff Noon has woven me back into the story. His fiction, my meta fiction. It really is a beautiful thing. As to the narrative, it’s hard boiled and he plays with the cliches expertly. It’s what the readers have come to expect and his is not a disappointing effort. I still miss the dream we inhabited in Hobarts head but the sense of direction in Noons narratives is much cleaner and clearer with every book. If this is your thing then it’s great work and if not then you’ve missed nothing. Books have their fates depending on the comprehension of the reader after all is said and done...

Revisiting themes of love, loss and communion

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-02-2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this, the hard boiled chandler references are almost a sleight of hand, included as a formality of the genre rather than an apolitical kow towing to some dead writers genius. I was taken in by Vurt, in its own way it established a beachhead in my soul and I’ve been waiting a very long time to see Jeff Noon deliver on its promises. Pixel Juice meandered, Automated Alice list itself in some fashionable (at the time) non linear narrative but Vurt was the goods. Echoes of loss permeate Slow Motion Ghosts, as it weaves an engrossing somewhat psychotic “emo” tragedy, with a sophisticated empathy response to the tragedy of middle age experienced by a man whose given his life to the “job” and still believes he can do some good. In this it holds a remarkable balance and maturity of comprehension. This is not the book of a young writer. I miss Vurt, and I’m glad I decided to follow Jeff Noon, enough to see into some of his other places. Noon kinda disappeared for a while and he seems to have found his voice again. He’s no longer flavour of the month, he’s solid now. He feels corporeal again. Unlike many older people, he hasn’t forgotten what he wanted to say when he was younger, now he has the skills and the ability to talk that tale and produce a good page turner as he does so. In many respects this one has far more depth than they usually do. That was always Jeff Noons compelling skill, constantly adding layers which rely on the reader to unravel, deliberately placed easily missed, places to catch the meandering mind and take it by the hand and set it back into the path. I miss the Game Cat, Scribble, General Hobart and the hauntings of the Vurt but I’m so pleased to have met Hobbes, King Lost and Edenville. I hope Noon gets to write a lot more because it feels to me that he has another great book inside him waiting to get out. Now I know what took me into the Vurt and why I’ve waited so patiently for him to come to fruition.

1 person found this helpful

Narnia breeds with Harry Potter and comes of age...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-05-2018

It is a nicely written decadent account of the fall of the American empire (in a sense). Combining some of the lovelier aspects of Usula Le Guins Earthsea Trilogy (at the end of the story), and weaving Narnia, Hogwarts and a smattering of other stories (Thomas Covenants self I fluent whining comes to mind) to create an adult version of life and failure in the magical realms. I enjoyed the tale and will read the sequels. It’s not earth shatteringly good but it is unusually satisfying to read when you’ve lived a little yourself; loved and suffered loss. In that sense it was quite therapeutic. Well worth the effort, a decent solid and quirky tale...

Forth listening it gets better each time

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-08-2017

First listening in the context of the rest of the series made this a bit of a shock. Each listening eases it more into the physics of the writers mind. It improves...

A retelling of the Norse myths

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-2017

He has a way with words, clearly; and you can see, these myths leaking into the sandman and lucifer (although lucifer was his baby bought to life by another's hand).

This is possibly the most essential of Gaimens later works, if you are an admirer of his craft. Essential because (as he states in the preface, these stories were some of the first to take his mind, and shape his imagination). He tells the reader to take these stories and retell them, setting them free. In doing this, you can see his skill, his way with working words far more clearly than in his own pure creations.

He reworks the Norse story's in a charming and somewhat satisfying way. A little short which is an indication that they were enjoyable and I wish that there had been more...

The truth is out there! Really out there... No, really, really out there!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-01-2016

Ronson treads a compelling and I think honest path examining the nature of conspiracy.

Conspiracy clearly does exist, frequently in the form of nothing more sinister than a quiet word over dinner and a bit of theatre.

People are not inherently evil (maybe they are in the case of Kissinger but he sees himself as a good guy I suspect) they are intrinsically self interested. They have personal and social agendas all the bigotries, snobbishness and racism that they were bought up with.

They fear irrationally and create rational things for others to fear (Neo nazis and anti refugee advocates come to mind as people with irrational fears who create things for rational people to fear).

The point which Ronson gently brings you to in this work is that the truth is generally mundane. That there are powerful people gaming the system is clear.

It is an engaging and entertaining work but at its heart is a very serious aspect of the human psyche, that fear creates monsters and monsters create fear...

I for one would enjoy a work by him on the Israel / Palestine atrocities and peace process... I think that we would find the same psychology mirrored there that he has described in "Them".

I'd also love to meet him for a beer and a quiet chat about love and death and life at the pub! So Ron look me up if you ever make it to Melbourne...

2 people found this helpful

A fascinating glimpse into human nature

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-01-2015

Fascinating to see that what shaped humans in the 14th c still shapes them now. The insight that we have not changed very much at all since then (a point that the author is not really trying to make), makes the book worthwhile on its own. The insights into law, corruption, vice, day to day existence and the social structure from serf to Kung and everything else is also wonderful. Well told and absorbing thanks to the skilled narrator and excellent writing.

4 people found this helpful