Friday, November 26, 2010

A New Heuristic

I think I have formulated a new heuristic for selecting reading material: avoid add-ons to an existing popular corpus. I just finished "The Children of Hurin", by J.R.R. Tolkien (and his son Christopher). Not as disjointed as "The Silmarillion", but very stilted in its narrative style. Not quite sure what the moral was. The bad guy (Sauron's old boss) curses the family of the main characters, curse seems to work pretty well ?!?!?

I also read two of the follow-up Dune trilogies. Really schlocky. Not that I don't mind schlock -- I still read graphic novels (aka comic books) -- but there's schlock, and then there's schlock. One thing that made most of Frank Herbert's novels so good what that, under the covers, they were about evolution. Completely lost in the follow-ups -- of which there are now two more. Also, they were prequels, which seem to obsess in making sure to fill any questions that one might have had in the originals. So you wind up with checking things off a list rather then getting a decent narrative.

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