Thursday, 13 January 2011

Bound to Books

Gonna try a little harder in 2011 to post about the fiction I read so first up this year is Smiley's People the third in Le Carre's trilogy about the quiet bespectacled spy master. People finds George's enforced retirement disturbed by the death of an old emigre at the hands of some Ruskies and he's called in to smooth things over, after a little digging it appears the tangled web starts with Smiley's old nemesis Karla. It's a nice end to the trilogy but feels a little lightweight both in length and substance in comparison to the previous labyrinthine plots of Tinker and Schoolboy.

Frederik Pohl's Gateway is a decent read, well one half is decent. The main premise is brilliant - humanity discovers an abandoned, hollowed asteroid filled with alien spaceships with preset courses and an industry develops around the risky flights taken in search of more fancy alien technology but the novel is split between the protagonist Robinette's therapy sessions and flashbacks to his traumatic Space adventuring. Sadly the interesting setup is hamstrung by the interspersion of tedious, badly dated therapeutic guff Broadhead goes through with his robotic counsellor called Sigfrid. Despite all this I did enjoy it and I'll have a look for more Pohl stuff.

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