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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:828:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"height: 645px; width: 285px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td><a href=\\"http://www.bppress.ca/product/old-mans-last-sauna/\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><img alt=\\"The Old Man\\'s Last Sauna, cover image\\" src=\\"/sites/default/files/2013_06/sauna_ad04.jpg\\" st in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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Warning: Table 'edadmin_drpl1.watchdog' doesn't exist query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:2569:\"Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired\nquery: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\\n<table style=\\"width: 275px;\\">\\n<tbody>\\n<tr>\\n<td style=\\"background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center;\\">\\n<div><a href=\\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\\" target=\\"_blank\\"><strong><span style=\\"font-f in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135
Book Reviews | www.ed-rex.com


Book Reviews

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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h3><big><big>Book reviews R Edifice Rex!</big></big></h3>\n<h3><big>(Or, I don\'t <em>only</em> watch television)</big></h3>\n<table cellpadding=\"0\" cellspacing=\"0\" width=\"400\" align=\"left\" style=\"margin:0px 10px 10px 0px;\">\n<tr>\n<td style=\"padding:0px; \"><img src=\"/sites/default/files/2011_11/burn_it_all.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"400\" border=\"0\" />\n<!--<tr><td style=\"background-color: rgb(181, 161, 188);\"><strong><em><small><center>No ordinary teenage boy: Clyde Langer reveals another layer.</center></small></em></strong>--><!--<tr><td style=\"background-color: rgb(181, 161, 188);\"><strong><em><small><center>No ordinary teenage boy: Clyde Langer reveals another layer.</center></small></em></strong>--></td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n<p><span style=\"font-variant: small-caps;\"><strong><small>October 12, 2011, OTTAWA &mdash; </small></strong></span>This has been a holding page for not quite six months as I type; it\'s definitely time for an update.</p>\n<p>As per the title, I <em>do</em> review books. I\'ve even <a href=\"http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/article967490.ece\" target=\"_blank\">been paid for it</a>, a gig I wouldn\'t mind repeating.</p>\n<p>But whether or no, I\'ve been an inveterate reader from a pretty young age and I like to talk about what I\'ve read as well.</p>\n<p>The <em>Globe and Mail</em> review (not to mention the Gilbert Shelton cartoon above left) not-withstanding, I actually prefer to write about art I like &mdash; though there\'s no denying the pleasure to be had in tearing apart crap, especially if when said crap has everyone else convinced they\'re reading the words of the next Jane Austen, Joseph Heller or Peter Watts.</p>\n<p>If you\'ve taken a look at the list of reviews already posted here at left, I suspect you won\'t see much in the way of a pattern other than that most of the books are fiction and that a plurality (perhaps a majority; I\'m not going to make a count just now) of those fall into the science fiction and fantasy pile.</p>\n<p>I won\'t call it a representative sample of what interests me, but neither is it random. I\'m not usually much impressed by \"little\" novels and have little interest in pure genre work like mysteries or romances (though I buy John le Carr&eacute; in hard-cover and loved Jennifer Crusie\'s <em>Bet Me</em>). Novels such as Samuel R. Delany\'s <em>Dhalgren</em>, Heller\'s <em>Catch-22</em>, Carol\'s <em>Alice</em> books and, or course, <em>The Lord of the Rings</em> are personal touch-stones, books I\'ve read and re-read and which I fully expect to visit again, probably sooner than later.</p>\n<p>All of which is to boast that my reading is eclectic in its variety and sophisticated in its quality; and to confess that it isn\'t going to much impress the folks who put together semi-official canons of this, that, or the other century.</p>\n<p>I guess most readers\' lists are similar; not random, but not carefully ordered, either. <em>Singular</em>, you might say.</p>\n<p>Sometimes my hopes have been more than fulfilled, when an old favourite has <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/dark_reflections\" target=\"_blank\">taken me on a surprising new journey</a>. Other times, a novel or series about which I have heard great things <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/unpopular_arts/books/the_hundred_thousand_kingdoms\" target=\"_blank\">proves to be a terrible disappointment.</a></p>\n<p>In any event, most of what I have so far reviewed here are books I\'ve bought, books I was interested in and about which I had hoped I would have good things to say.</p>\n<p>But, as I mentioned at the outset, I have also been paid for a review and have reviewed books sent to me <em>gratis</em>, either specifically to be reviewed or, a couple of times, from having one some kind of contest.</p>\n<p>For the record, like any reader I <em>like</em> getting free books. And, since I don\'t yet get very many of them, I will be (almost certainly) happy to review yours or your client\'s. I say \"almost certainly\", because their are novels and other books in which I\'m <em>really</em> not likely to be interested.</p>\n<p>Generic thrillers or military SF? Probably not (although, if you\'re Lois McMaster Bujold ...). <em>Twilight</em> emulations or <em>Star Trek</em> novelizations? No, thank you (although, if you\'re Peter Watts and you\'ve written a <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/reviews/books/crysis_legion\" target=\"_blank\">video game adaptation</a> ...).</p>\n<p>If you want me to review your book, your best bet is to <a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/contact\" target=\"_blank\">query me</a> first. If I say \"yes\", then I <em>will</em> follow through. I make no promises the review will be a rave, but I do promise I will be as fair as a fallible reader can be.</p>\n<p>_______</p>\n', created = 1513278301, expire = 1513364701, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:31852684943d6e4aabfaeed9d3295549' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './edadmin_drpl1/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><center><br />\n<table style=\"width: 275px;\">\n<tbody>\n<tr>\n<td style=\"background-color: rgb(176, 83, 162); text-align: center;\">\n<div><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\"><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\"><big>Stop being late to the party!</big></span></strong></a></div>\n<p>\n<div><span style=\"color: rgb(204, 255, 0);\"><em><span style=\"font-size: 24px;\"><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\">Subscribe!</span></strong></span></em></span></div>\n</p><p><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\"><img alt=\"Subscribe to my newsletter!\" src=\"http://ed-rex.com/sites/default/files/2011_07/subscribe_ad02.jpg\" style=\"width: 275px; height: 108px;\" /></a></p>\n<div><span style=\"color: rgb(255, 255, 0);\"></span></div>\n<div><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\">Subscribe to the <em>Edifice Rex</em> mailing list to be notified whenever there&#39;s an update!</span></strong></div>\n<div>&nbsp;</div>\n<div><strong><span style=\"font-family: georgia,serif;\"><big><big><big><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\">Click here to sign up</a></big></big></big><br />\n(I promise, I won\'t abuse your trust; I won\'t sell your address to anyone or anything else, no matter how tempting the offer.)</span></strong></div>\n<div><a href=\"http://ed-rex.com/mailman/listinfo/ed-rex-update_ed-rex.com\" target=\"_blank\">&nbsp;</a></div>\n</td>\n</tr>\n</tbody>\n</table>\n<p></p></center></p>\n', created = 1513278301, expire = 1513364701, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a641667eb8686ec6a410a6d1682e9f16' in /home/edadmin/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

Book reviews R Edifice Rex!

(Or, I don't only watch television)

October 12, 2011, OTTAWA — This has been a holding page for not quite six months as I type; it's definitely time for an update.

As per the title, I do review books. I've even been paid for it, a gig I wouldn't mind repeating.

But whether or no, I've been an inveterate reader from a pretty young age and I like to talk about what I've read as well.

The Globe and Mail review (not to mention the Gilbert Shelton cartoon above left) not-withstanding, I actually prefer to write about art I like — though there's no denying the pleasure to be had in tearing apart crap, especially if when said crap has everyone else convinced they're reading the words of the next Jane Austen, Joseph Heller or Peter Watts.

If you've taken a look at the list of reviews already posted here at left, I suspect you won't see much in the way of a pattern other than that most of the books are fiction and that a plurality (perhaps a majority; I'm not going to make a count just now) of those fall into the science fiction and fantasy pile.

I won't call it a representative sample of what interests me, but neither is it random. I'm not usually much impressed by "little" novels and have little interest in pure genre work like mysteries or romances (though I buy John le Carré in hard-cover and loved Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me). Novels such as Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren, Heller's Catch-22, Carol's Alice books and, or course, The Lord of the Rings are personal touch-stones, books I've read and re-read and which I fully expect to visit again, probably sooner than later.

All of which is to boast that my reading is eclectic in its variety and sophisticated in its quality; and to confess that it isn't going to much impress the folks who put together semi-official canons of this, that, or the other century.

I guess most readers' lists are similar; not random, but not carefully ordered, either. Singular, you might say.

Sometimes my hopes have been more than fulfilled, when an old favourite has taken me on a surprising new journey. Other times, a novel or series about which I have heard great things proves to be a terrible disappointment.

In any event, most of what I have so far reviewed here are books I've bought, books I was interested in and about which I had hoped I would have good things to say.

But, as I mentioned at the outset, I have also been paid for a review and have reviewed books sent to me gratis, either specifically to be reviewed or, a couple of times, from having one some kind of contest.

For the record, like any reader I like getting free books. And, since I don't yet get very many of them, I will be (almost certainly) happy to review yours or your client's. I say "almost certainly", because their are novels and other books in which I'm really not likely to be interested.

Generic thrillers or military SF? Probably not (although, if you're Lois McMaster Bujold ...). Twilight emulations or Star Trek novelizations? No, thank you (although, if you're Peter Watts and you've written a video game adaptation ...).

If you want me to review your book, your best bet is to query me first. If I say "yes", then I will follow through. I make no promises the review will be a rave, but I do promise I will be as fair as a fallible reader can be.

_______

Spread the word!


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