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Books, October 2011
robots, being

* Joseph Conrad – The Secret Agent. Blaaah. Could not read.
*** Raymond Feist – Magician: Apprentice.
** Raymond E. Feist – Magician, Master. These two books are apparently the two halves of what was elsewhere released as one book, and the beginning of a series. The first set up the standard “nobody stable boy makes good” type story, teasing the idea that he would become a mighty magician, and hinting at the working out of a complex and interesting system of magic. But then everything got caught up in a big transdimensional war that never made that much sense or had that strong an emotional pull for me. At some point, the kid does become a master magician, but we never get to enjoy the “system of magic” exploration — it just sort of happens like blah blah time passes and then he was super magic. I was interested enough to finish these two books, but left with no curiosity about the rest of the series.
**** John LeCarre – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Masterful.
*** Elmore Leonard – Get Shorty. Amusing. Is the movie good? Maybe I should see the movie; it seems meant to be a movie.
*** David Foster Wallace – The Pale King. It’s unfinished, and of course it felt like it ended just as it was getting going. Which is interesting, since I read somewhere that DFW had said most of the book as he intended it was done. So.. whatever. I wish we’d gotten the final book; I don’t know if I’ll read this fragment again.
*** David Foster Wallace – Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. I dipped into this book again. Some bits are very good, but as a whole it doesn’t hold your attention. I should finish rereading it, but don’t feel like I need to right away.
*** John LeCarre – Call for the Dead. Not as good as Tinker Tailor, but I definitely need to read more Smiley and more LeCarre in general.