Erika Dorsey Dorsey itibaren 43403, Estonya
Bir başka çok iyi kitap. Serinin sonraki kitabını okumak için sabırsızlanıyorum. Harry Potter'ı kesinlikle tüm yaratıcılıkla hatırlatıyor!
14'üncü seri. 1988
I knew this was going to be a really good book, one that was right up my alley and that others had recommended, but I had no idea just HOW good! I usually get a bit frustrated by books that switch between narratives, but in the case of this story I found it so great getting to hear the thoughts and live the lives of the 3 different women whose voices were recorded in this book. If you enjoy reading about how social change starts, particularly the civil rights movement in the deep south, then this is definitely your book! Very well written and a great story to boot!
I loved this one. The Aunt Dimity series is one of my favorite series when I need just a small puzzle in a good setting with fun characters. This one did not disappoint. I totally enjoyed this book.
And, with the third and final installment of the complete, unadulterated Robert E. Howard Conan stories, we have the final piece of proof, should any more be needed, that this is how anyone and everyone interested in reading Conan should do so. I could leave this review right there but reading these books lead to research and contemplation, which leads to the following… Speaking to the “coauthored” Conan stories and the dozens of pastiches, I present a fine article by Dashiell Hammett Tour leader, Don Herron: http://www.donherron.com/?page_id=1539 Written all the way back in 1977, this article does the right thing by running L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter through the ringer for being both mediocre writers and heartless butchers. ‘Nuff said. I had this idea, when I first started picking up these three Conan volumes, that I would re-read ALL of the Conan novels and stoies in the chronology as laid out by William Gray: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_Ch... Even throwing out the four books that contradict events of Conan’s early life as detailed by Howard himself (Conan Of Venarium, Conan The Bold and the novelizations of the films Conan The Barbarian and Conan The Destroyer), this would have involved purchasing some sixty books, most of which I have read before and reading them. Reading sixty Conan novels. Even spread out over a year or two and reading other sorts of things in between, I don’t think that’s healthy. Having read the unedited Howard versions, I’m certain the de Camp and Carter abominations featured in the Lancer/Ace series would have both cracked me up and pissed me off. I remember enjoying all of them and the Robert Jordan, etc. pastiches as a kid, but I was a kid. I was ten or twelve or fourteen as I read and re-read these books. I was unable to think critically about the quality of what I was reading past whether or not it was interesting enough for me to keep reading. I’m disappointed that Howard didn’t write more Conan stories, but I don’t think I need more Conan stories enough to read every damned one of them in existence. I may as well finish my collection of the original Marvel Conan comic, get all the issues of Savage Sword Of Conan, get all the new comics, watch all the cartoons, re-watch the movies… you see where I’m going with this. It’s just not worth my time. And it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders! I do already have some of the pastiches, however. I may just go ahead and read what I have to spite myself. Robert E. Howard was a RACIST. Sure, he was one of many, many, many bigots of his time, but he was, without a doubt, racist. So it goes. I suppose we have to accept that a significant number of authors of the early 20th century were confused, misguided and ignorant when it came to issues of “race” and I suppose anyone setting out to read popular fiction from the 20’s or 30’s (or 40’s or 50’s or 60’s or 70’s) is going to have to expect the possibility of writing shaped by the racism of the author. Let’s talk about artists. Gregory Manchess paints very well. His paintings in this volume are wonderfully executed. However, they fail almost completely to capture the character Howard created. I think this stems from the use of models in creating images, which I feel I can safely assume Manchess is guilty of. “Wait,” you say. “Artists have used models in drawing, painting and sculpting for hundreds of years.” Yes. True. So what? It may improve the artist’s chances of correctly rendering lighting, anatomy, etc. but it doesn’t necessarily make a good painting. Frank Frazetta, arguably the artist most successful at creating images of Conan, brought a sense of action, movement and life into his paintings. What he rarely did was use models. Boris Vallejo, a fine painter in his own right, used models for many of his paintings and there is none of the explosive, action packed feeling of Frazetta’s paintings in Vallejo’s work. Manchess’ cover painting of Conan fighting a Pict is easily the best piece of art in The Conquering Sword Of Conan and it’s about the only one in which Conan looks like Conan. If you’re going to use models, you can’t just get your buddies or hire some local agency models. If you do this, your paintings will look like you did this. Always. I do love Manchess’ oil painting technique, however. These paintings are, at least, pretty. But wait, there’s more… Manchess said in his forward that he “never knew Conan” and, in acknowledging that the “words with which [Howard] chose to describe certain passages were themselves descriptive and visual,” admits he was sent “running for the dictionary.” Let’s examine the dictionary thing first. Maybe I’m being a horrible snob but, really? This is what sent you running for a dictionary? Yes, okay, I am being an *sshole. I see it now. But I don’t care. If English were a fourth or fifth language for Manchess, I would understand the dictionary thing. As it is… I am at a loss. Then, having spent some time with a dictionary (not his, I would have to assume), Manchess, like Mark Schultz, is guilty of not painting what Howard wrote. Y’know, chainmail in the story, no chainmail in the painting, stuff like that. Maybe I’m being horribly anal but it seems so, so, so very simple. The worst is his portrayal of Olmec in Red Nails as clean shaven when Howard’s text clearly makes several references to Olmec’s enormous beard. Oops. To the more important point, the one massive failure of Del Rey in these Conan volumes was to not find artists for whom the idea of illustrating a collection of Howard’s unadulterated Conan stories was not akin to the ultimate dream of their life coming true. Del Rey should have bent over backwards to find artists who had been drawing and painting Conan since they were children. Manchess is talented but he was not familiar with the character he was chosen to illustrate, therefore he was not even remotely qualified to illustrate this character. I’m sure there are those who would argue this but they would be wrong. Would Peter Jackson have been qualified to make them Hobbit movies if he had never read The Lord Of The Rings? No, absolutely not. I know I have been super picky about the art in all three Del Rey Conan volumes but I won’t apologize for it. Frazetta. Buscema. Conan has been diluted from Howard’s original vision, watered down, cleansed, manipulated, simplified and exploited. As much as I liked the Schwarzenegger films at the time, they’re pretty bad. The 2011 film was vile. Those films are not of what I might call “Howard Quality,” nor are the Conan stories and novels of those who are not Robert E. Howard. That’s just the way it is. Regardless of my low opinion of the art in these three Del Rey volumes, they are truly the best and, in my opinion, only way to read Conan. I am forever grateful to Del Rey and those involved for making this project a reality.