Reviews by LB

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

by H.P. Lovecraft

This was one of the first Lovecraft stories I read, and it got me hooked. I\'ve read pretty much everything he\'s written since. I like most of them, but Charles Dexter Ward is among the best.

Unlike some of HPL\'s works, he doesn\'t have \"unnameable\" and \"eldritch\" monsters destroying humanity with cosmic indifference. While he does refer to names like \"Yog-Soggoth\" that appear elsewhere in his mythos, this is his most human drama. The villain is terrifying because you don\'t understand what he is able to do.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed on 2013.03.29

Les Misérables

by Victor Hugo

First of all, I want to report a problem with the Kindle version of this book. After what amounts to several hundred pages of reading, there is a break in a sentence followed by the start of a new sentence. There are *years* of events missing in that small opening.

So I went to my library and got a copy there. Interestingly, the library copy was abridged (only about 500 pages) and I couldn't easily find my place. The full version contains a lot of digressions and historical notes, all fascinating. Large, though.

I ended up finishing the abridged version and I loved it. Seriously, one of the greatest books ever, and I don't say that lightly.

If you're up for the full version, it's a commitment. Either way, it's worth it.

Reviewed on 2013.03.29

Tarzan of the Apes

by Edgar Rice Burroughs

I read this book and its sequel, "The Return of Tarzan". They should be read together, as the second book takes up where this one ends.

The story moves along well and is entertaining, although consistently silly. The books are full of odd coincidences, people coming by just in time to misunderstand what others really mean, Tarzan defeating ridiculous numbers of people and animals. I've forgotten how many lions he kills.

What bothers me about the books is their racism. Tarzan, although raised by apes, is more noble and civilized than any black character in the books. You could write it off as being typical of the times, but it's definitely there.

I also read "A Princess of Mars" (the first John Carter novel), and Tarzan is a better bet.

Reviewed on 2013.02.18

Deathworld

by Harry Harrison

A fun and easy read. A bit of nostalgia for the days when it was just assumed that mankind would be colonizing planets across the galaxy. Interesting to see how how different the future looks 50 years later.

Reviewed on 2013.01.12

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