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somewhat weekly reading meme

What are you currently reading?

When Gravity Fails (Marid Audran #1) by George Alec Effinger
Cyberpunk noir. My third or fourth time through this novel, although I've read the other two in the series only once so far. Effinger creates/captures a culture different from his own and people with sexualities and genders that aren't the same as his in ways that seem compassionate and mostly non-Othering. The novel is set in the future in a city where the majority population is Arab and Muslim. I can't speak to how accurate Effinger's portrayal is of this culture, and I'd welcome opinions about that. This time I'm listening to an audiobook version narrated by Jonathan Davis. Overall Davis captures Marid and the other characters pretty well, but I'm a bit frustrated because I can't figure out the rules he is using to decide when to use his native American accent and when to use other accents.

On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews
Urban fantasy. Ilona Andrews is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team. I've read a couple of books in their Kate Daniels series, but I got stalled in that series for some reason. Part of it is that there were a lot of fight scenes that I found too long and boring; that's not the only thing, but I'm not sure I can articulate the rest. So far I'm liking this one better but I'm not very far in.

A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King (#3 in the Mary Russell series)

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

Larger Than Death by Lynne Murray (#1 in the Josephine Fuller series)

What did you recently finish reading?

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner (Riverside #2), audiobook narrated by Ellen Kushner, Barbara Rosenblat, and others

Produced by Neil Gaiman. Read by Ellen Kushner, Barbara Rosenblat, with the help of some other actors. I thought the production (which is being marketed as "illuminated") was too busy—there were random sound effects such as swords clashing, people murmuring in the background, doors opening and slamming. The narration was also very theatrical. I like more low-key narration, so this took some getting used to. I ended up liking the narration OK but I never did get used to the sound effects.

I liked the story quite a bit—the playfulness of this setting; the way sexual orientation is almost entirely a non-issue; the exploration of adolescence, gender roles, and class. Most of the characters are complex, interesting, and on journeys that involve growth and change (although there's a cardboard villain and another character who is entirely admirable...and I REALLY wish the female scholar hadn't been stereotyped in the way she was).

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/814730.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
hitchhiker
Jul. 4th, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)
i grew up in the middle east, and it seemed to me that effinger had extrapolated a future arab/muslim city pretty well. it felt slightly exoticised, but then again that was probably more a result of the cyberpunk noir setting than any real exoticisation of arabs. satsfying books, though the second two were a lot less memorable than the first one.
firecat
Jul. 4th, 2013 08:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for your perspective!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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