Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tales From the Noble Library

What have I been reading lately?

Well, I finally read the two other books in the Prince of Nothing trilogy by R. Scott Bakker, The Warrior Prophet and The Thousandfold Thought. Bakker has a PhD in Philosophy and that really shines through in these books. Much of the plot revolves around philosophy and no, it is not boring. This is a very dark series with no clear good guys. It also explores some interesting territory such as the nature of belief and what it means to be a messiah/savior. The only let down for me was that even though this is a self-contained trilogy, these three books are only the opening salvo for a larger story and thus the ending feels rather abrupt and leaves you hanging, wanting more. All in all very good, though.

I also read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I don't remember ever reading something so grim. This story of a father and son struggling to survive in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event is riveting and moving. McCarthy plumbs the depths of human depravity but also waxes poetic on the very best aspects of our species. The book was not a complete smash for me, though. I found the ending to be somewhat contrived. I won't spoil it here and further reflection has somewhat dampened my dislike for it, but I still think McCarthy could have done it better.

In the last week, I have read a couple of graphic novels - the Dark Phoenix Saga, a classic X-Men story and one of the inspirations behind the second and third movies featuring those wacky mutants as well as Preludes and Nocturnes, volume one of The Sandman, one of the most highly celebrated and award-winning comic book series. Both were excellent.

I think the next book I am going to read is The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.

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