Reviews by Brendan Howard

My First Battle

by Adam Mickiewicz

A compelling short story--with some surprisingly deft details--of one young Pole's adventure as a cannon gunner against the Russians in 19th-century battle.

Reviewed on 2009.03.24

The Night Land

by William Hope Hodgson

I made it 43% of the way through this public-domain book on my Kindle. I'd previously read and enjoyed the imperfect but engaging Carnacki: The Ghost-Finder and The House on the Borderland. But this is just silly. The frame narrative is cool...17th-century man loses his love then finds his memories in the mind of a man in the distant future on an earth whose sun has darkened and whose lands are filled with monstrous creatures and hideous supersized towers trying to destroy the last remnants of humanity. Then the hero goes off on a quest through the Night Land, I kid you not, it is 100s of pages of: Walked, Slept, Ate tablets, Drank Water, Saw something, Hid, Fought, Hid again, Slept, I was really tired, Ate ...

It is perhaps one of the most tedious examples of fiction about travel that I have ever seen. I kept reading for page after page after dozens of pages once the hero left the last bastion of humanity, the Great Redoubt, because the tedium of the plot was strangely curious. How could a man write it and expect it to engage readers?

Oh well. I lose.

Reviewed on 2009.03.21

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