If you come to it cold, Bosch does not read as the detective/protag at all. He's the random police guy in the background of the first half of the book, increasingly important to the lawyer detective in the second half. But Bosch does read as A Guy You Should Know, just not as a guy you do know.
Ahh, I've been a Nevil Shute fan forever! He does not seem to be much read anymore, which is a shame. A Town Like Alice is my favorite, but Trustee From the Toolroom is a close second...it's such a quiet but determined little story, with such an unlikely hero. On The Beach is his classic, of course, but it makes me so deeply sad that I rarely re-read that one.
Did you ever see the PBS adaptation of A Town Like Alice? It came out around '80, I think. Netflix has a 1956 movie version (which I have never seen), but the one I remember was a Masterpiece Theatre miniseries, 5 or 6 hours, with Bryan Brown as the Australian, Joe Harmon. I'd love to see it again if I could track it down somewhere.
The other one I've read is Trustee from the Toolroom, and I have to say I like it even better than A Town Like Alice. I never had any interest in On the Beach until now that I've read those other two and am beginning to think I should just get all his books from the library except the one I have left on my to-read pile.
I have not seen the adaptation. I checked, and our library doesn't have it. Sigh.
Find the video. It's wonderful. I love Trustee and Town so much that I bought Trustee in hardcover and only allow myself 1 reread per year each.
Thanks for the recommendation of the Jenkins book.
Is Zettel writing SF different from Zettel writing fantasy? Because I vaguely remember enjoying an SF book by Zettel, but I absolutely hated every fantasy book by her that I tried -- totally bounced off them (and I tried at least three of them because I had remembered enjoying the first book).
I think Zettel writing SF is different from Zettel writing fantasy. I also think Zettel writing fantasy is different from Zettel writing fantasy: she has at least two different fantasy styles that I've experienced. I would absolutely try Bitter Angels if you liked an earlier SF thing of hers.
It *is* awesome. Anything that can blow up does, in fact, blow up! Boom! (Or is that only the Michael Bay definition of awesome? Darn.)
I had less problem with the "instant motivation" than Marissa did, and still enjoyed the read. But it was not as engaging as others in the series.
I read through "Changes" faster than any of the previous Dresden Files books, and I've read them all, plus the short stories and the comic books! I don't know where "meh" comes from. :) I bought Harry's motivation regarding both his past and his noble impulses. If you agree with that, then you should like "Changes". Everything does blow up, go fast, or go zap.
It's not that I didn't buy his noble impulses, it's that I did not believe they were as noble as he wanted to believe, and I really didn't believe that some other characters' were noble at all. Which would have been less of a problem if Butcher had been willing to do some of the things he's done before where the main character and the book are not really in agreement, but I didn't see much of that here.
Also, I feel that if you-the-author are sick of the props you've given characters, simply not using them is fine, rather than lovingly and carefully blowing every single last damn one of them to Kingdom Come. In some ways losing one cherished possession is worse than losing bunches of them in fiction--reads less like an inventory.
Definitely Tatsinda is one of those "Read before third grade" books.
A Town Like Alice was one of the books in the small library available when we lived in Africa, and I must have read it a dozen times when I was in my teens. Loved it. It's been so long...have requested it again from the library. Ah, nostalgia.
I want to know who the Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors are, and neither the cover copy nor the Amazon reviews of that book are telling me. Halp?
Eudocia (wife of Theodosius II), Galla Placida (wife of Constantius III and mother of Valentinian III), and Pulcheria (daughter of Arcadius and sister of Theodosius II) are the clear choices for the three queens, but having read the book I'm not at all sure who the four patriarchs and two emperors are meant to be, as he talks about a great many more than that as important. And even with the queens, he talks about Theodora also, so...yah. I suspect that the subtitle was added later for the sake of catchiness or else was the first concept of the book that later had to be edited down for length's sake? Rather like the very pleasant history of the 18th century that was in no way a history of Five Revolutions and No More Nor Less Than Five.
Oh, Nevil Shute... I find it hard to decide if A Town Like Alice or Requiem for a Wren is my favourite book by him. Requiem for a Wren is sadder, but still hopeful in its way, and I think it wins by a hair. As you say, it would be good to read similar work with a more modern sensibility about ordinary people trying to make small differences.
Oh, lovely! Thank you so much.
And yes, with the ice cream parlor having a counter for the Aboriginal Australians and the reaction that got: it was very clear that introducing the segregated version at all was a major step of progress over just making ice cream completely unavailable to non-whites, and yet from where we sit, wow.
But ice cream in particular as a sign of civilization and generally nice things: you can see where that would sit well with me.
... not presuming inevitability of historical outcomes, which is a hard thing for an historian to do.
My step-bro-in-law studied medieval french literature and it's hard on me when he starts preaching the Gospel According to History. A body might think there was no such thing as free will.
I am also quite fond of the Melendy family -- I grew up with my mother's copy of The Four Story Mistake, and later found the other ones. The Gone-Away Lake books were also enjoyable. Haven't read Tatsinda; I think I will proceed wih caution if I encounter it.