Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I was chilling at my very own facebook-profile today, and came over my quotes. And I saw the following:

 

“Anyone with time on their hands can hatch elaborate schemes for a better future, just as anyone can sketch endless plans for a magnificent novel they never get around to writing because they are endlessly sketching plans for it. The point for Marx is not to dream of an ideal future, but to resolve the contradictions in the present which prevent a better future from coming about.” – Terry Eagleton

 

Which reminded me of a book I read a while ago, called “Why Marx was right” by Terry Eagleton.

 

It is a brilliant book. It takes on 10 objections or misconceptions about Marxism which exist today, like how Marxists are historical determinists, how we reduce everything to the economic, how Marxism inevitably leads to political tyranny and such. Terry shows why these views on Marxism are wrong and why Marx was, in fact, correct in many of his analyses and why we should all be Marxists today. You should read it. It looks like this:

 

Hell yeah. Marx!

 

Vegard

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Hail!

I come to you bringing news of awesome. I just had my first proper Dungeons and Dragons-game! Despite it being short, improvised without any real props or thingymajiggys, it kicked butt!

I was chilling at some tavern with my Deva pal. We chug several mugs of beer until we both pass out into my gourmet dinner.

A badass dragonborn comes in. He chills out, drinks some beer and eats. When heading up to his room he pokes the drunk, sleeping dwarf (at this point i have pissed my pants). I awake, and in a drunken brawl pull my axe and swing at the bastard.

My friend awakes as well. We proceed to have a fucking awesome barfight. A chair crashes through a window hitting a gnome, an axe flies through the room splitting a table and at one point five gnomes teleported. Eventually we almost kill the dragonborn, but my Cleric friend saves him from death.

This is not how it looked (my character token was a swedish coin)

At this point, my character sees fancy fucking beer-barrels behind the counter. Invigorated, my dwarf (who has a beard frozen with beer, food and vomit) looses his hungoverness and jumps over the counter like a fucking champ. I then proceed to roll a fucking 20 and chug an entire huge-ass barrel of fancy beer. Hell yeah!
Then my cleric friend heals our dragonborn buddy, I get him a beer and it’s all good.
According to our DM, people will tell the tale of our barfight for 500 years.
When you thought you couldn’t reach a higher nerd level.. DING!

Vegard

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It’s late, I have a meeting early in the morning, and I’m waiting for this damn printer to speed the hell up so I can get my vandalism overwith and walk home, which takes at least 90 minutes, and get a few hours of sleep. I have a feeling there will be a lot of caffeine in tomorrow’s diet. Luckily, I have Kindle for PC running on wine on my Linux-powered netbook, Kindle for Android on my delicious smartphone, enough juice to last me till tomorrow night, and I have discovered a delicious book series!

Now, you should know that I haven’t read fiction in at least three years, so my taste has probably dulled since my heyday, back when I was making good progress through Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Those who have attempted to make it through that dreadful journey will know that the endeavor is enough to deter anyone from ever picking up a book again. But that is another blog post entirely, this one is about Rachel Caine’s series: The Morganville Vampires.

The front cover of Rachel Caine's Glass Houses, the first installment of the Morganville Vampires series

Please ignore the godawful pun.

I could make this very, very short, and tell you that this book is like the Twilight series, and that would be all. Luckily, I would be lying, at least a little. At a distance, this series will indeed sound exactly like Twilight, it features an uncertain girl, Claire, of 16 years who moves to a new town, Morganville, Texas, where there be Vampires. Teen crushes ensue, etcetera etcetera.

What makes this series enjoyable for me is that, while not as rich as the lore in Anne Rice’s works, there is enough depth in the history of this uncharming little town to keep me interested, and wanting to learn more. The beginning of the first book is a little annoying exactly because it misses this, the protagonist has to discover what’s wrong with the town before you as the reader can start learning about it. Luckily, this part of the book passes before you grow tired and put the book away, and by the time you’ve started to have your fill of Morganville (heh heh), you realize that you actually want to know what happens to the wretched little girl. It’s really quite clever, the girl gets you interested in the town, which keeps you distracted while it gets you interested in the girl. And yes, there’s a love story in there, but it never quite takes the top priority, which is nice, because really, if you wanted a bad romance novel, you should just pick up Twilight anyway.

Comic showing Twilight for what it truly is.

Pictured: The goddamn Truth!

So, that was mostly the good so far. The bad? Like I already mentioned, this isn’t an Anne Rice masterpiece, this is pretty light reading, Rachel Caine loves to throw in a deus ex machina or two, and sometimes you distinctly get the feeling that a paragraph or sentence has been jammed in after the rest had already been written, in order to close up a gaping plot hole, like for instance why Claire isn’t just using the cell in her pocket. Another point of mild annoyance is that a few of the major characters are left largely unexplored until the third book, which leaves you wondering why you should care what happens about them, and the minor characters are so psychologically thin they wouldn’t be able stand up to a warm summer breeze (I’m looking at you, Monica…)

All in all though, at least halfway into book 4, the good outweighs the bad, and I enjoy reading again, and this was the series that brought an end to the dark times, for which I will for ever, or at least a long time, be grateful!

You… You’re still here? Oh, you want a rating, don’t you? Everyone expects a rating once they realize that they’re reading a review. Hmm, alright, on a scale from 1 to 11, I’m giving it a sheep.

Song of the Blog: The Birth And Death Of The Day, by Explosions In The Sky.

Toodles,
Bjørn

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