Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reading and More Reading

For most of the trip to Las Vegas, I was reading Stephen King's Under the Dome. As I've said before, it's a Llong book coming in at 1,074 pages.

Now I like Stephen King. I enjoyed Night Shift long ago, have read and liked The Shining and Salem's Lot, and Firestarter is a great book of secret psionics.

Under the Dome is a great concept with things anyone can relate to; not just someone from a small town. I'm not from a small town, but I can see how something like what happens in an isolated town could. And most of the story had me riveted, but when I learned the force behind the Dome...

It was like I was in a car with a flat on the Oakland Bay Bridge. I had to keep going because I wasn't able to stop, but I knew I was going to enjoy the journey as much as I had hoped.

Now I can't say that I could come up with a better source for the MacGuffin, but i just didn't like this one.


In contrast (and this is only a pun that come to mind after having read a book full of color references), is Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey. I burned through this book starting the night before we left Las Vegas, and got much read in Long Beach, and finished it tonight.

The Thursday Next books are fun with their literary references, and the Nursery Crime series has grown on me, but this new series (intended to be a trilogy as revealed at the end of the book) kept me focused the entire time.

I can remember reading about Utopias in high school (freshman or sophomore year), and even creating one as a project for the class. We had read Jonathon Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and I had also read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World on my own. This book is reminiscent of those creations.

It takes place in a world where Something Had Happened. The capitals are Fforde's. And in the changed world, people cannot see in the dark, and have limited color receptors. You are graded by the amount of color you see. Commonly you see in one color, some see in two, and (as yet) no one sees with any strength in all three. And around this is a strongly restrictive society built.

It's really a fascinating concept, and I look forward to the next two books in the series.

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