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Phil's Rambling Rants

April 23rd, 2004

April 23rd, 2004
08:28 pm

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Book Review: Passage
Today's book review is Passage by Connie Willis. It's been a while since I've posted a review, and that's because it took me a long time to slog through this one. It's long, and I've been too busy most days to read more than a few pages before falling asleep.

Why I hate Connie WillisCollapse )

The novel got off to a pretty good start. Plausible, if not completely believable science (at least to this moderately well informed layman), and a plot actually about scientists doing science. I was just getting into it, and the main character started getting a little funny in the head, and the writing started getting a little less coherent and more stream-of-consciousness. I'm sure it was a deliberate stylistic thing -- the main character is *supposed* to be going a little funny in the head and the reader is supposed to be helped to feel it by the writing -- but I hate that style of writing. And it took hundreds of pages and a really really long time for that to resolve into a "She (Willis) can't do that, can she?" plot twist, and things picked up again. I didn't give up during the long boring middle, and by the end I was getting into it again, although the very end was somewhat dissatisfying.

I felt very constrained writing that by my own no-spoilers rule, but I still want to stick to it. But anyway, I'll give the overall book a 6 out of 10. The first hundred pages and the last 150 or so were dragged down by the 400 or so in the middle.

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TimeEvent
09:47 pm

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Time Travel
I think I'll take a stab at explaining why I hate time travel stories so much. I'm very definitely a science fiction buff, and time travel is one of the gimmicks that's so standard that it's actually part of some people's definitions of science fiction.

This ran to well over a page, so I'll cut it here.Collapse )

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