redbyrd_sgfic (redbyrd_sgfic) wrote,

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Phone Malfunctions and Prostheletization.

Unfortunately the best advice I can give on the latest two books in my ongoing reading list is to not bother.  But your mileage may vary.

Line to Tomorrow by Lewis Padgett

Padgett is the pen name of C.L.Moore and Henry Kuttner.  This was an anthology of short stories from a pair of extremely prolific authors.  As a collection I'd have to say they are unremarkable.  None of them were particularly outstanding, though the first and last were probably the most memorable.   The big problem I had was that most of the characters were not expecially sympathetic, and it was hard to care much about their problems.  If I had to summarize the collection I would say, "Bad things happen to unpleasant people".

Line to Tomorrow- A man eavesdrops on phone calls from the future.
A Gnome There Was- A labor organizer is turned into a gnome. 
What You Need- A store supplies What you Need..
Private Eye- How do you commit the perfect crime when you're under surveillance at all times?
The Twonky- A radio that can do the dishes...every house should have one.
Compliments of the Author-Meddle not in the affairs of wizards.  Really.
When the Bough Breaks- Many stories have posited the emergence of a race of supermen.  What would it be like to
be the parents of the first one.
An Acceptable Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

I should possibly preface this next one by saying- I was kind of dubious even before I read it.  I haven't especially cared for most of L'Engle's recent work, though I was quite fond of many of her earlier novels, including A Wrinkle in Time and the sequels, the Vicky Austin series and The Young Unicorns.    But this is probably the last book I will read by her. 

This was a combination of a sermon and a few teaspoons of plot, mixed with an absurdly idealized vision of a primitive culture and served over a pile of loose plot threads from earlier books.  The book uses the same initial setting as A Wrinkle in Time, this time with Meg's daughter Polly as the protagonist, and I couldn't help but feel some initial nostalgia for it on that basis. 

But Polly was too perfect to be true, sweet, affectionate, smart and well-behaved.  I had great trouble seeing her as a real teenager.  Her friend Zachary is two-dimensional, and his actions make little sense (except to get Polly in trouble without putting the author to the trouble of coming up with a more believable plot device).  This was a tired rehash of ideas she's used previously, and comes with a heavy load of preachy Christian propaganda.  

I'm not qualified to comment on its theological soundness, but as a work of fiction designed to entertain, it was a singular failure. 

Tags: books
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