So what’s been off my shelf this last week?
- The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire by John Christopher
When I finished The White Mountains a couple of weeks ago, I was somewhat frustrated because I was missing the second book in the trilogy. So I went to abebooks.com and ordered a copy. When it came, I immediately jumped back into the world of Will and Henry and Beanpole as they struggled against the domination of the Tripods.
These are pretty brisk reads, and I must admit that there’s a lot of things that the older reader in me would love to have seen addressed in more detail, and some odd science here and there. But the story is just as good as when I was a kid, and the ending still leaves me with a touch of sadness. I hope that in the end, the people of Earth do manage to get their act together.
- Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David
Peter David is one of my favourite people writing in comics, and I had enjoyed some of his previous forays into prose fiction, so I was looking forward to this book. It turned out to be very satisfying, although I wasn’t sure at first if it was going to be. The first quarter of the books concerns itself with our protagonist’s ignoble birth and upbringing, and somewhere in those two hundred pages I began to wonder if David had set out to try and write an engaging fantasy novel without a single likable character in it. Once we catch back up with the present, however (the exposition is told via a lengthy flashback), the story gets seriously underway, and it’s very hard to put down. Despite the fact that Apropos whines too much, you do start to pull for him towards the end, and I commend David for resisting the urge to wrap it up with a cliche happy ending. If you like anti-heroes and atrocious puns, this may be a book you’ll enjoy.
Who’s your favourite anti-hero?
Nightfall I think from the Legend of Nightfall -- if we are talking just books
Otherwise probably Brian from Queer as Folk, or Spike from Buffy …
Oh, thanks for reminding me of that series! I don’t think I’ve read it since I was a kid; I’ll have to see about getting copies again.
Who’s your favourite anti-hero?
Sir Apropos of Nothing of course! I didn’t think he would be as anti a hero as he is, no rough edges are softened at all. But there were a couple of places where I thought, “Now THAT is how someone would really react to ______.” I quite enjoyed both the first book and The Woad to Wuin (Wuin is a country, it’s right next to Waak.) and am eagerly awaiting Tong Lashing in paperback. If I have to pick another anti-hero would Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos count?
i think i would have to stand by
Craig Shaw Gardner’s Wuntvor (A Malady of Magics) as my favorite anti-hero… Though I did quite enjoy Robin Hobbs’ Assassin series as well…
Did you know there’s a prequel to the Tripods trilogy too? It’s called When the Tripods Came, and was written in 1988 (where as the original trilogy was written in 1967/8). This would explain why I didn’t encounter it when I originally read the series. I stumbled across it while perusing a bookstore one day and was quite delighted.
I knew that it existed, but I’ve never actually read it. I probably originally read the trilogy sometime around 1980.
It’s on my list of books to get one day. 🙂