Showing posts from September, 2015

I was wrong!

Normally, I will not admit to being wrong.  After all, much in life is a shade of grey, where the right or wrong of a thing is more a case of personal opinion and taste than it is a truth carved in stone.  But here, I made a snap judgement about something and it turned out, happily, to be unfair.

I'm talking about this book: 'Assassin's Creed: Unity' by Oliver Bowden, a book based on the popular series of computer games.

As I said in my preview, I just couldn't see how it was going to be a good read.  And yet, the 460-odd pages flew by.  And not just because it uses a big font.

Now, before you get carried away, I am not going to make a claim for this being a great work of fiction.  It has some very lazy fantasy tropes.  There is some exceptionally poor editing.  The plot is really really silly.  But it is written with conviction.  It doesn't feel like a cheap attempt to cash in on the success of the videogame; it feels like a piece of fantasy fiction in its own ri…

It's not all fun and games though

I've been away from the library for a couple of weeks, giving me a chance to catch up with some other reading.  I've read the acclaimed debut 'The Loney' and picked up 'Nora Webster' from one of my favourite authors, but it is time to return to the world of the arbitrary.  Meaning that my next read is this:

Yep, it's a book based on a computer game.  Even better, it's a book based on a computer game that was released with a whole heap of bugs in it.  Imagine your favourite game looking like this:

Anyway, I'm not a games player, let alone reviewer, so let's have a look at the book instead.  There have been some games franchises that have been turned into effective books, just as some of the film versions have managed to rise above their roots.  The Assassin's Creed books don't seem to make it onto these lists, but the author has reasonable credentials.  Oliver Bowden is a pseudonym for Anton Gill, a writer of historical fiction and non-fict…

Funny Games

I finished Roberto Bolaño's 'The Third Reich' with a mix of feelings.  I had enjoyed reading the book.  There is a sense of tension and underlying threat that adds spice to even the most mundane of exchanges, yet little ever happens to justify this suspicion.  I liked the ambiguity of the characters whilst also wanting a clearer idea of their motivations and goals.  The book felt like it ought to have gone on further, providing a more obvious conclusion, but I was glad to have reached the end.

Seeing as this was a book written well before the author's death in 2003, perhaps there is a reason that it had languished in a drawer for so long.

The story, for what it's worth, is that Udo is on holiday in the Costa Brava with his attractive young girlfriend.  They befriend another couple, Hanna and Charly, despite them being a bit boorish and dull.  However, when Charly goes missing, presumed drowned, it is Udo that decides to stay behind until the body is found.  He begins…