Tag Archives: Vonnegut

Three New Book Reviews

Three New Book Reviews

Haven’t made much of a dent in the writing objectives this year.  While the creative brain took a vacation most of the year I met and will surpass my goal of reading 24 books. It will be gangbusters on the writing front next year–stay tuned!

Gather the Sentient (The Sevens Prophecy, #2)Gather the Sentient by Amalie Jahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great read–the circle of light expands and more becomes known about the dark/evil ones. The great thing about this series is how the psychic powers are applied to current political and social events–focusing on greed vs things like healing and putting criminals behind bars. You need to read book one–don’t just jump into this one.

OutinOutin by Brandt Legg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Keeps things moving along at a decent pace for the story line. The YA situation raises it’s head a little more with a challenge for the 16-17 year-old protagonist having in dealing with relationships between himself and two girls. If it weren’t for that and occasional age mentions, I’d overlook it and forget about it. That said, it’s a great read with all the extra-normal powers being developed continually and constantly dealing with the threats posed by the bad guys. For mystery lovers, there was some foreshadowing of an issue about who was leaking the info about where people were–but you’ll have to figure it out for yourself. By the time that was resolved, I’d forgotten about my early suspicion. Lots of action and suspense. If you liked the first book in the trilogy, you’ll like this one too. But you should read the first one before this; it won’t work well as a standalone.

GalápagosGalápagos by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This could be perhaps more accurately be labeled satire, literary fiction or simply fiction–all with Vonnegut’s typical “humor.” I’d have to say he was running out of gas at this point in his life. It could reasonably be written in half the space it takes if 2/3 of the continual redundancies about “big brains” were eliminated. Likewise the asides about Trout’s ephemeral self-assessments. Most of all, the “development” of the characters. Just not that funny, too telegraphed and too despairing without a rational explanation about why the devolution of the human race happened. He told the reader it had happened within the first chapter and spends the rest of the novel somewhat fleshing out the characters that take us there. I’d really like to give it 1.5 stars, but that’s not an option. Disappointing from one of my favorite authors of long ago. I once wanted to write like him; but I don’t have that dark a view of humanity anymore so I can’t.

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Lindsey Graham is a Pissant

Vonnegut. Cat’s Cradle. 1963. In classic Vonnegut form, the character Crosby says,

“A pissant is somebody who thinks he’s so damn smart, he never can keep his mouth shut. No matter what anybody says, he’s got to argue with it. . . . No matter what you say, he knows better.”

A pissant, in the common parlance, is a small man–not so much in stature but in significance, import, perhaps in intellectual weight. In the midst of an international crisis, threatening the security and sovereignty of the nation of Ukraine, on Sunday’s State of the Union show, Lindsey Graham said that

President Obama “should stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators.” [like Putin] Whenever he does, “everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”

So, instead of considering the well-being, the safety of the citizens of the Ukraine, Graham plays the pissant, mocking Obama. Contrast that with the sensible, supportive and bipartisan approach from (of all people) House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who released a statement yesterday saying:

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violates international law and its long-standing agreements. Russian aggression must cease, . . .

I have spoken to Administration officials to express our interest in working together to ensure that President Obama has the appropriate tools to impose real consequences on Russia for this aggression.”

So, take your pick, pissant or bipartisan patriot. There’s a reason no one expects Lindsey Graham ever to be Commander in Chief. This is the latest example. Facing four Tea Party primary opponents, he has his own small-minded interests at stake rather than international affairs. There are few who could underestimate the political astuteness of the Tea Party, but Graham may be one of them.