Finished volumes 4 and 5 of Stephen King's Dark Tower series: Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. As ucblockhead and Breaker said, not really that great. Not absolutely terrible, but pretty bloated and self-indulgent. King seems to have fallen into the Heinlein/Asimov late career trap and tried to stitch everything together into a giant multiverse, which is always a bad idea.
Might not have bothered if I hadn't been on the road with fewer alternatives to read. Since I've got this far may as well finish the last two though.
What I'm Reading 2
The Hundred Days is the second-last completed novel in Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series.
Thinking about it, this one might also suffer from late career problems. O'Brian uses the last gasp of the Napoleonic wars, Boney's escape from Elba, to go back to the style of the earlier books. Once again Aubrey and Maturin are spying and fighting their way around the Med: there's not much of the character-driven novel stuff of the last few books.
That works well in some ways, but there's not much new here: O'Brian seems to be reworking plot elements that we've seen before: orphan kids, sailors' superstition, hauling ships' guns to overland heights. Also, big changes happen with small consequences. In what almost seems like a fit of pique, Diana Villiers is killed off-page, and Maturin seems to feel only perfunctory grief before returning to normal. Wonder if this reflects some kind of exasperation with marriage on O'Brian's part..
Still, it's decent enough reading.
What I'm Reading 3
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. Never saw the movie. Takes an interesting diversion from his normal angle by describing three magic-using New England witches who start an affair with the Devil.
Found it a bit irritating at first, but the quality of the writing got me hooked. The ending was pretty low-key though: thought there'd be some kind of dramatic witch-burning or confrontation, but not much happens..
Struggling with the horror of being back at work after 30 days off. Urgh. Have bought a lottery ticket but there seems to be no other way out.
Eyes seem to be getting worse. Had some splitting headaches at work till I boosted the font size. Have booked a eye test to see if I need new glasses: only 11 months since the last pair.
Home computer seems to be having some startup problems. If I don't hold the power key down for a few seconds, it doesn't start. Then, about two out of three times the power and fan stay on, but the screen doesn't come on: I have to try a couple of times. Have had it a few years and tempted to just get another one
Not sure what the Tories are doing with their economic plans. I like the idea of breaking the credit crunch by lending directly to borrowers instead of going through the banks: it's what I've been saying all along.
But the plan for a tax cut on savings seems just plain daft at the moment. To smooth out the economic cycle, the government should encourage more saving and less spending in the boom; less saving and more spending in the bust. So this is exactly the wrong time to be encouraging saving. And what happened to all their complaints about excess borrowing? Why increase the deficit in a way that will exacerbate the cycle?
Presumably it's an attempt at populism. The general public don't seem to like counter-cyclical policy, since it's very counterintuitive. But deliberately choosing bad, popular policies seems like a dangerous game: the Tory reputation for economic competence isn't strong enough to mess around with.
It might just be a sign of confusion in the Tory camp: maybe the old guard is forcing inconsistent policy changes on the weakened George Osborne.
Misc. Why it's called Operation Cast Lead. I assumed it meant a hail of bullets directed at the Palestinians... UFO wind turbine explanation. Big Fat Blog to close. Top 50 effects shots (MeFi) Mechanical rice-picker at last.
|< Yeah, I have a hot ass | I watched Rambo: First Blood last night >|