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"Show me where them bombs will fall..."

It snowed again last night. A few inches.

I'm wondering how many more people LJ will lose over this hideous new retarded Playskool format? Someone in Russia thought this was a good idea. But look! I don't need to know any HTML code whatsoever! Whee! Now easier and friendlier and more accessible and...sigh.

"Insert social buttons"?

Day before yesterday, I wrote 1,425 words on Red Delicious and finished Chapter Two. Yesterday, I wrote 1,240 words, beginning Chapter Three ("The Big Sleep and Back Again").

Did I mention the snow?

Last night, Spooky made chili and we played Rift. Well, first we played a tiny bit of The Secret World, which we've been neglecting. In a moment of unrepentant silliness, we began a new Dragon cabal, Squamous Hell Muppets. Yep. Best cabal name in ALL the game. Anyway, in Rift we made Level 57.

Yesterday, before dinner, I finished Paolo Bacigalupi's first YA novel, Ship Breakers. I listened to the audiobook, reading along with an actual physical copy of the book (I can never listen to an audiobook unless the real book is in my hands). And...the reader was, bar none, the worst reader I've ever heard Audible.com employ. Which is saying something. Comically awful. Like some hybrid of an Apple PlainTalk voice and a nasally, demented Fred Rogers on helium doing fifty different accents and all of them atrociously. I commented several times that he sounded like he was reading the kindergarteners – a simultaneously condescending and placating tone – and after the night Spooky looked the guy up and, sure enough, he mainly narrates children's books. When he's not being voice talent for McDonalds and Honda. Oh, his name is Joshua Swanson.* He has a Wikipedia entry, but his website is funnier. Also, it's high time I sent Audible a note explaining that "kudzu" is not pronounced "kood-zoo," but "cud-zoo." I know Yankees can't be expected to know stuff like this, but I'm tired of hearing the mispronunciation.

Um...as for the novel itself. Yes, it is quite good, though not half as good as The Windup Girl, and – I hate saying this – certainly not good enough to have been a finalist for the National Book Award. The beginning is grim and very promising, and the second act is even better, presenting a vibrant and thoroughly believable post-apocalyptic Mississippi delta, cities drowned by rising sea levels, crushed by Category 6 "city killer" hurricanes, and swallowed by tropical jungles. But then...the last third of the novel collapses in a confusion of swashbuckling, piratical, maritime hijinks, topped of with an inexplicably hopeful ending. Perhaps these are parts of some secret formula to a successful YA novel. If so, it's a fucking shame. Regardless, I'll read the sequel, The Drowned Cities.

But, honestly. A bad reader can murder a good novel. Paolo, I love you, man. But get a better reader.

I should be working.

Aunt Beast

* Turns out Joshua Swanson has won a buttload of awards for audiobooks, which just proves that people are morons.


( 9 comments — Have your say! )
Feb. 17th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
proves that people are morons.

they prove that every day, and not just awarding to audio narrators...
Feb. 17th, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC)

Playskool -- I thought that, too. The new posting interface reminded me a lot of the "computer cards" that went into this toy.
Feb. 17th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)

Feb. 17th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
Now easier and friendlier and more accessible and...sigh.

The group which owns LJ also owns Waterstones. Extending its influence into the only bookselling retail chain left in the United Kingdom
Feb. 17th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)

The group which owns LJ also owns Waterstones. Extending its influence into the only bookselling retail chain left in the United Kingdom

Feb. 17th, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
That's fucking depressing. (I like the JGB icon.)
Feb. 19th, 2013 10:59 am (UTC)
Fortunately the owners have made an actual bookseller MD. As long as LJ technicians keep out of our network, there's some scope for optimism.

And thank you.

Edited at 2013-02-19 11:01 am (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on the choices Audible makes frequently suck, so much so that I've been unable to get through some of the novels I have there. But I've been having decent luck with some of their short story collections, mostly the ones where each story has a different narrator - even if I hate one it's at most an hour of bleh before someone new appears.
( 9 comments — Have your say! )