Scientific Superstition

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery Should have been a Twilight Zone episode. It could have ranked right up there with ‘It’s A Good Life’. Ah, those were the days…

Us

“It is this intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism–human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself, the worship of a Leader who is credited with divine attributes–that makes Zamyatin’s book superior to Huxley’s. It is easy to see why the book was refused publication. The following conversation (I abridge it slightly) between D-503… Continue reading Us

Interesting. Really.

http://www.shmoop.com/we/ Good stuff. Thank you shmoop! A small excerpt re: ‘We’ – “George Orwell actively cited it as influencing his novel ‘1984’, and even chided Huxley for not doing the same.” – On ‘We’…and right on. Orwell was at least authentic in the Jarmuschian sense. And he was a hell of a lot more talented,… Continue reading Interesting. Really.

An Interesting Read

And everything in it is, of course, absolutely and indisputably true and correct. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_Method

Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Albums Of The ’90s (2000)

I don’t like the change in format, which strikes me as lazy. I also don’t like the further long-windedness, which strikes me as showboating. It’s more love/hate than the previous two volumes, with entries that I could read over and over for eternity nestled amongst those that never cease to bore me. But there’s too… Continue reading Christgau’s Consumer Guide: Albums Of The ’90s (2000)

Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s (1990)

Slightly inferior to the ’70s guide, IMPO, because he has more of a tendency to get long-winded here and some of his material just isn’t quite up to snuff. But moments of brilliance are scattered throughout, and this is also pretty much a must-read for anyone interested in criticism; music especially. Grade: A-

Rock Albums Of The ’70s: A Critical Guide (1990)

Material originally published in 1981, but my version for review purposes was 1990.  I’d recognize that cover anywhere. Here, as always, Robert Christgau states his opinions as facts and moves easily between fiercely positive and fiercely negative – with a vast rainbow of variations between the two. He also writes better than most novelists.  He… Continue reading Rock Albums Of The ’70s: A Critical Guide (1990)

The Soulforge (1985)

Interesting Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type book written by Terry Phillips.  You don’t have to know anything about Dragonlance (the original six, not the piles of cheap cr@p that followed) to enjoy it, but it helps. It’s a little different than the Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series, but if you liked that setup you’ll probably like this. Very well… Continue reading The Soulforge (1985)

The Satanic Bible (1969)

When a hack rips off extremely intelligent (admittedly, whether you agree with them or not) people, the results are usually pedestrian but not completely without merit, because the sources are so difficult to completely dumb down. Think Silverchair trying to do their best Pearl Jam…you can’t really blame them, and they try AWFUL hard…but… Grade:… Continue reading The Satanic Bible (1969)

The A List – Books

Hagakure: A+Nineteen Eighty-Four: A+The Running Man: AThe Legend Of Huma: ARock Albums Of The ’70s: A Critical Guide: AThe Rolling Stone Record Guide (1983): AChristgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s: A-White Gold Wielder: A- Last Updated: 5/26/14

White Gold Wielder (1983)

Prior to and after reading this book, I read several other books by Stephen R. Donaldson.  The ones that I read AFTER this, I read because I hoped he could recapture what he finally achieved here.  The ones I read PRIOR TO this, I read because while they were a bit pedestrian, unnecessarily (and uninterestingly)… Continue reading White Gold Wielder (1983)

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks – The Essentials

Book 2 – The Citadel of ChaosBook 6 – Deathtrap DungeonBook 10 – House of Hades (House of Hell)Book 20 – Sword of the SamuraiBook 21 – Trial of ChampionsBook 24 – Creature of Havoc Above all else, Steve Jackson’s entire “Sorcery!” series (except the spell book), which contains superior writing, superior artwork, and a… Continue reading Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks – The Essentials

Fighting Fantasy Overview

You see kids, in the old days people played RPGs on tables with dice, or on a large cleared-off section of floor with dice and lots of snacks that seem good at the time but are regrettable on the drive home. Failing this, we had to resort to drastic measures.  One of these was supplied… Continue reading Fighting Fantasy Overview

The Running Man (1982)

“An edge-of-your-seat thrill ride”, or some variation thereof, has been used so often that it’s now more useful as a laughable cliche than a true description, much like the 1987 movie ‘The Running Man’. In this case, it’s completely true.  You don’t read this book chapter by chapter, a few nights a week.  You start… Continue reading The Running Man (1982)

The Legend Of Huma (1988)

A prequel to the then-deserved-hit and now-overbloated-franchise called ‘Dragonlance’, this is the story of (you guessed it, subtlety was never D-Lance’s strength) Huma, a young man who is a Knight of Solamnia (Solamnic Knights are warriors that live by a Code encompassing the “Oath” and the “Measure”, the latter much more complex than the former)… Continue reading The Legend Of Huma (1988)

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

George Orwell’s great Novel (as opposed to the “Fairy Story” entitled ‘Animal Farm’) is an intricate, incisive, and terrifying warning against the dangers of blind obedience and the quiet tolerance of unacceptable changes.  It makes absolutely no attempt to moralize, and that’s exactly why it’s so scary…the story is told in a matter-of-fact way that… Continue reading Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

Brave New World (1932)

Two book reviews, two Doors appropriations.  Unfortunately, this time the source in question (Aldous Huxley, ‘The Doors of Perception’) isn’t nearly as interesting as the previous one (Yamamoto Tsunetomo, ‘Hagakure’). ‘Brave New World’ starts out ambitiously enough, suggests an extremely interesting idea, and then takes it absolutely nowhere you don’t expect it to go.  As… Continue reading Brave New World (1932)

Hagakure (1716)

Propelled into the relative mainstream by the 1999 Jim Jarmusch film ‘Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai’, this collection of observations (translated roughly as “Hidden Leaves”) is extremely diverse, focusing on everything from the very mundane basic aspects of everyday life to deep philosophical/spiritual concepts, some of which I still don’t fully understand.  But… Continue reading Hagakure (1716)