…grammar drills present pupils with an apparently trivial and
pointless task which must nevertheless be performed precisely on command. The
point is not to teach the task in and for itself, but to teach discipline –
obedience and punctiliousness – in all tasks.
The sequel to Empire State which, you may remember, did a lot of stuff well but
never quite recaptured the same WHIZZBANGWOW scale of imagination that marked
its opening few pages. This is quite a different beast (and you should probably
be aware there’ll be spoilers ahead).
One of the boys got sick and, as is now traditional, that means we all got sick. Sitting round the breakfast table this morning with everyone wheezing and rattling it felt like a particularly mucus-filled Darth Vader convention.
Which is good, because it means I can post this. I've got nothing else as I've spent all week trying to wipe snot of the faces of people who fight and scream and whine every time you try to do them a favour, even though if they just let you sort things out it'd be over in half the time. I've also been cleaning up after the boys.
Well now. An unsolicited ARC*. This, I don’t
mind admitting, is something of a first (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD). The
fact that it’s coming from a publishing house/enterprise/concern I’ve
previously been quite enthusiastic about is very nice, but I’m aware that this
is the first step down the fraught and slippery path towards Industry Blogger.
In an effort to keep my Fandom credentials intact as best as possible, I shall
of course try to ensure my comments here are as (un)fair and impartial
as they are for everything else. Professional detachment is, somewhat ironically,
very much the name of the game (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD).
Growing up in rural Middle-England it’s
fair to say I didn’t have much exposure to the seedier aspects of the human experience.
I mean, sure, there was the village tramp who everyone viewed with a sort of
tolerant condescension and the church committee would give a hamper to at
christmas.* Looking back, the guy was clearly suffering from at least one sort
of mental illness, but talking about these things isn’t done so the fact his
lifestyle choices included living under an upturned bath in a cave was publicly
attributed to nothing more than good old-fashioned English eccentricity.
Difficult to pigeonhole, this one. That’s
good; books that are difficult to pigeonhole generally promise to be much more
interesting than those that neatly slot in the middle of your main genres. But
convention demands some sort of slotting should occur, so let’s say magical
realism and move on, shall we?