Sunday, September 20, 2009

Number 27 is Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. Time was I used to read everything Pratchett put out, but the sheer number of books he manages to write actually made that a daunting task, so I slowed down in my Pratchett consumption. Also, I discovered I liked some of his groups of characters more than others. My favourites are the Watch, and my second favourite is Death and his family. Thief of Time concerns Death and his granddaughter Susan.

Honestly, I didn't like this one as much, I didn't find it as... funny as I usually find his books. Discworld's version of Death is usually amusing, but he didn't have an awful lot to do in this book, other than to send his granddaughter Susan to look into the matter of time being stopped and the world ending, and then try and convince the other three, er, rather four, retired Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride out with him.

I think I didn't like this one as much because there was too much chronobabble, as an impossible clock is built, time is collected and delved out by a group of enigmatic monks, and Time has a son, twice, who is both destroyer and savior. Something about it all just didn't work for me as much as it usually does in Pratchett's books.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Number 26 is Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen. I've previously only read Striptease by Hiaasen (and it is a much better book than movie, even with Burt Reynolds hilarious turn), which I enjoyed, so I decided to give another of his books a shot.

Sick Puppy tells the story of Twilly Spree, an independently wealthy eco-terrorist who one day spots political lobbyist Palmer Stoat chucking litter out of his Range Rover, and so decides to teach him a lesson. Stoat, however, isn't the type to get a lesson, he lives in his own world of wealth and political fixes and fixed big-game hunts. After Twilly abducts Stoat's dog and wife, the fun really begins.

It is a darkly funny novel, and even though what Twilly does is highly illegal for the most part, you definitely cheer for him over the slimy politicos who want to turn a pristine Florida island into yet another condo development with a golf course. Twilly is an angry young man, but with the means and smarts to make things happen. He 'abducts' Stoat's dog, Boodle (renamed McGuinn by Twilly), an affable black Labrador retriever, in order to get Stoat to stop the development on the island. Hiaasen's use of the dog is hilarious, he's obviously owned a Lab before and therefore understands that breed's mindset.

The climax of the story occurs at one of the faux-big game hunts that Stoat embarks on, where he basically 'hunts' poor old animals procured specifically by the owners of the game preserve. Stoat and his toady friends are there to hunt a rhinocerous, but the tables are wonderfully turned and it is a stangely happy ending.