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More On Spirit

Thursday 26th February
not much change, same low skies. Frog action in the pond, and my first Camellia.


More reviews of Spirit:

Brighton-based Gwyneth Jones' SF work had focused on Bold As Love, five books that explore utopianism and environmental politics via the bizarre, but quite brilliant, notion of rock musicians taking the reins of power. But how do you follow that? Initially, it seems, Jones has opted for light relief because Spirit has been trailed as a srollicking re-engineering of Alexandre Dumas's classic The Count Of Monet Cristo and, in part, that's exactly what it is. We follow the sotry of Bibi who, imprisoned for two decades, plots revenge after secret coordinates lead her to untold riches. Yet Jones never relies wholley on Dumas's template. This is also a serious, grown-up novel that riffs on current concerns by, for example, casting as its outsider heroine a woman born into a fundamentalist, tribal society.
Jonathan Wright, BBC Focus

Bob's book blog review of Spirit

Liviu's review of Spirit (one of the first)

Duncan Lawie's review on The Zone

I like 'em all, of course I do, or they wouldn't be linked here!, Jonathan Wright gets posted in full because his isn't available on line; but I have a special soft spot for Harry Ritchie in The Mail On Sunday, for his "warning, warning, astonishing adjective imminent, female SF writer Gwyneth Jones. . . "

I'm going to miss my father. I keep thinking of him, now that the parade's gone by. Family matters continue to occupy me, it'll be a while before I get my life back (but one never does, after such a transition, it will be a different life). Meanwhile, I watched Ivan The Terrible Part II last night, it was terrific, in spite of (because of) bearing as little relation to the historical notes provided as Shakespeare's Macbeth does to the historical record. Fantastically stylised, fantastic Prokofiev movie music. If they carry on like this I'll have to forgive LoveFilm for their relentless delivery of ancient culturally improving movies that certainly were not my "high priority" titles. Also watched Ghosts Of Mars, through not having the will to switch the telly off.

Reading: Charles McCarry's post-9/11 revival, Old Boys Can the grey tigers of the old school CIA reach the secret location in the Central Asian desert, where along with the Kirghiz Light, one can discover the secret scroll revealing that Jesus was a Roman agent, and Paul of Tarsus his case-officer??? Or will grizzly Osama bin Laden (okay, another name, and invented by McCarry 35 yrs ago) get to this world-destroying treasure first???

I've just discovered McCarry, which puzzled me, as I've been very curious about the fantasy/fiction half-life of World War II, for several years (cf Bold As Love). Oh, now I see. The first one I snagged was catch-up, filling in the ancient history of his main characters. Really it's Cold War spook nostalgia (though that means a world frozen in time circa 1945/50) In Old Boys the project is rolling back the callous, stupid current regime, and reinstating the old-school decent-conservative God's on our side days, when CIA operatives were a league of maverick gentlemen, doing good by stealth. Ah, how we all miss those guys! . . . It's nice enough, it's travelogue with violence, and interesting things to eat (which our heroes can't digest as they are all over 70 and used to proper American food). Don't think I'll pick up another.

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