Supplementary: The Day of the Triffids – a closer look at murder/suicide

Yesterday’s post on ‘The Day of the Triffids’ was getting overly long, and I wanted to spend some time looking more closely at the scene below from chapter 5, ‘A Light in the Night’. I think it demonstrates Wyndham’s “less is more” technique. it also provides a further perspective on the question of how toContinue reading “Supplementary: The Day of the Triffids – a closer look at murder/suicide”

Book review: The Time Machine by H G Wells,1895

Continuing with my Wells-athon, all of which have been quite short novels, I now turn to the hugely influential ‘The Time Machine’. Time travel was not a new concept, but Wells’s novel was one of the earliest on this theme, and established some concepts and principles that remain with us. having said that, I found the behaviourContinue reading “Book review: The Time Machine by H G Wells,1895”

Book review: War of the Worlds by H G Wells, 1897

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a manContinue reading “Book review: War of the Worlds by H G Wells, 1897”

Book review: The Invisible Man, by H G Wells, 1897

The power to transform the human body using advances in scientific understanding. This was the theme that captured the imagination of many nineteenth century writers, including, among others, Mary Shelley in ‘Frankenstein‘, Robert Louis Stevenson in ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘, and H.G. Wells in ‘The Invisible Man‘. In this late Victorian novella, Wells exploresContinue reading “Book review: The Invisible Man, by H G Wells, 1897”

Book review: Mort, (Discworld 4) by Terry Pratchett, 1987

If you are still counting, ‘Mort’ is the fourth novel in the Discworld series. It is also the first novel in the series where Death is a central character – some people read the books thematically like that (i.e Death 1, 2 etc.). Anyway, experiencing the need to get out a bit more and live,Continue reading “Book review: Mort, (Discworld 4) by Terry Pratchett, 1987”

Book review: Equal Rites, (Discworld 3) by Terry Pratchett, 1987

Equal Rites’ is the third novel in the Discworld series. This is the novel where Pratchett really hits his stride. ‘The Colour of Magic’ and ‘The Light Fantastic’ are good, of course, but by comparison they felt a little childish when I was rereading them recently (see the reviews earlier in July). Some of theContinue reading “Book review: Equal Rites, (Discworld 3) by Terry Pratchett, 1987”

Book review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, 1953

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?” Bradbury’s seminal dystopian novel is one of the key texts of the McCarthyite era in post-war America. Bradbury describes a world in many ways very much like his own, but where firemen burn books,Continue reading “Book review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, 1953”

Book review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932

Read in a Vintage edition, with forewords by Margaret Atwood and David Bradshaw Set 600 years in the future, Huxley’s “Brave New World” is run by a benevolent scientific despotism. Science has eliminated most diseases and the ageing process, but has also been used to socially engineer society. Many aspects of our present society areContinue reading “Book review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932”

Book review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

Occasionally a new series is announced on television. The director is someone well known, the lead actors are famous, the production has obviously (from the trailers) had a lot of money spent on it. So you tune in with high expectations…. but end up a bit underwhelmed – the whole is less than the sum ofContinue reading “Book review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter”

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

I have written previously about one of the probably unintended but positive consequences of the Kindle and its free books – namely that it has led me (and I doubt if it is just me) to read things I wouldn’t have dreamt of reading previously, and would probably have struggled to got my hands onContinue reading “The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne”