Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reading Into the Past: Week of 3/11

This week the magic number is 6, so let's see what books I was reading at this time in 2001:
  • Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf & Cub, Vol. 6: Lanterns for the Dead (3/4)
    I'm afraid I can't remember which one this was, though I'm pretty sure Ogami Itto sulks around for a while, is hired by somebody to do assassinations for an exorbitant fee, and then chops off a lot of heads. It's a good series, but I'm not sure it really lends itself to synopsis.
  • Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Dart (3/5)
    I mostly enjoyed this, but it's not my type of fantasy at all -- too overheated, and too much sex (of the beat-me, whip-me, make-me-sell-used-cars type that seems to pass for "really sexy sex" in all media for the past couple of decades -- which I am heartily sick of, since I don't find beatings sexy). I'd probably have preferred James Morrow's take on the theological background (this is an alternate world where not-France is the land of free love, founded by the "son" of Jesus and Mary Magdalene and his rebel angels), but that's my quirky tastes for you.
  • Calvin Trillin, American Fried (3/6)
    The first of Trillin's "Tummy Trilogy" (there was a fourth, much later book, as well) is all about eating local favorites in random American cities, and it's wonderful. I'm glad I wasn't traveling the US on business in the mid-'70s, since it sounds like there were a lot of lousy expensive places that Trillin kept getting dragged to by associates, but there's a lot of fun writing here.
  • Kazuya Kudo & Ryoichi Ikegami, Mai the Psychic Girl: Perfect Collection 1 (3/7)
  • Kudo & Ikegami, Mai the Psychic Girl: Perfect Collection 2 (3/8)
  • Dennis Lehane, Mystic River (3/9)
    Lehane had a great mystery series going -- very dark and gritty, but exceptionally well-written and with a real flair for big but plausible dramatic scenes -- and then jumped into even more commercial thrillers with this book (which is also excellent). For whatever reason, he's published very little since -- and I haven''t managed to read any of it.
  • Kudo & Ikegami, Mai the Psychic Girl: Perfect Collection 3 (3/10)
    Hey, remember the first time manga were going to take over American comics? Dark Horse had Lone Wolf and Cub and Viz had about a dozen books? Well, I dove into a bunch of things at that time. (What ever happened to Area 88, anyway? It hasn't reappeared this time around, so was that just an early-90s flash-in-the-pan?) Mai was one of the best of them, a somewhat overheated but very entertaining Slan-meets-Escape To Witch Mountain kind of thing, only with more violence. And then, when the second manga invasion came around, the series was reprinted in three volumes, which I got in odd ways over a couple of years, and then finally read, more or less back to back, over this week in 2001. Ah, good times.
  • Mark W. Tiedemann, Asimov's Chimera (3/11)
    I enjoyed all of the sharecropped "Asimov's robot mystery" books I read, though each trilogy followed a linear progression downward. (So many Byron Preiss projects had that trajectory, though, so it's not a knock on anyone in particular -- it's probably just that old story, "the man who learned better," in action.) I forget where this one fell, but they were all entertaining, though I think they add even more extra Robot Laws and Codicils for added confusion.
Soon after that, I began my most recent attempt to read through Cerebus (the comic book) straight through -- it foundered, as all such attempts have, on the shores of Reads. I own three collections of that series that I've never read in any form (and two more that I read in comics form, but not as collected). Someday I'll try again; I hope to say, before I die, that I read Cerebus from beginning to end. But the tales of "Vertigo Horse" are hard to get through.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Calvin Trillin,I hope you're still considering a long post about About Alice-
I just finished it myself and would be interested in your opinion..

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