That was my first impression upon reading The Luminaries. It's a mindful novel vast in scope, steeped in thought.
At least for this reader, the time taken to read it slowly, with diversions to explore astrology sites to plumb the many allusions and the story's framework, all proved rewarding, not that I claim any great degree of mastery after a single passage through its pages.
But, it is understandable why it took a highly qualified Booker jury no more than two hours to sort through a most competitive field of nominated tomes to arrive at the consensus (no vote was needed) that the most deserving of the lot is The Luminaries… Read more
Bond, James Bond, comes across as a very mortal figure in William Boyd's Solo.
And solo he is in this global caper with more turns than P. Galore had curves. And if that isn't bad enough, it's our man James just trying to find out what is going on as he negotiates a world defined by corpocracies. Every character in this book is a pawn to a greater corpocracy power, Bond not excepted.
It's almost enough to make one wish for the good old days of the Cold War.
The plot is well described here in other reviews. Briefly, Bond is sent to Africa with the vaguest of instructions (make a general in an African set-to ineffective, whatever the hell that means) and… Read more
My favorite episode deals with the Negro Leagues. Simultaneously uplifting and crushing to learn of the exploits of athletes who were denied the opportunity to compete against their white brothers. While I knew Jackie Robinson went through hell integrating baseball, I had no idea it was as bad as it was...especially in Philly.
I also had no idea that originally organized baseball did not racially discriminate.
As is the case with the Civil War series, this is worth watching again, and again.