Wednesday, 3 February 2010

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover
The Robots of Dawn
by Isaac Asimov

narrated by William Dufris
"A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Detective Elijah Baley is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent."
This futuristic murder mystery makes the fundamental error of solving the case by introducing a twist at the end that the reader couldn't possibly have anticipated - mind reading. And there's too much sexy business in it, and Isaac Asimov's fame does not arise from the subtlety and elegance of his descriptions of relations between men and women. So a little unsatisfying for that reason, but all right on the whole.

Image of the book cover
Curse of the Spellmans
by Lisa Lutz

"When private investigator Izzy Spellman is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as an occupational hazard. She's been keeping surveillance on her new next-door neighbour (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good - even if Spellman Investigations management (Izzy's parents) disagree."
I mooched this, meaning that I received it free by post in exchange for Mooch points rather than money. I just wanted something easy to read, and very much chose it at random. It wasn't very good really, and written in a very quirky style with lots of annoying footnotes, except for one section towards the end where all the different plot points were brought together. Now that the exams are over, I should be able to read something a little more taxing, and therefore more satisfying than this pap.

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