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[books] Recent reading: Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Ethical Slut - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-04-03 05:19
Subject: [books] Recent reading: Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Ethical Slut
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Tags:books, klog, reviews
Last week I finished reading Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red SkiesPowells | BN ], the second of his Locke Lamora books. I really admire Scott's writing. He combines an absolutely byzantine flair for plotting with a profound ruthlessness toward his characters which hits all my reader cookies, hard. Especially when wrapped in such lovely language. There were points in this book where I had to look away or even put it down, because I was so dreading what was about to happen next. At this point in my life, with my critic/author brain more or less permanently stuck in the "on" position, it's a fairly rare writer who can grab hold of me so thoroughly.

Action, adventure, conspiracy, magic, antiheroes on the hoof — what more could you want of Locke and Jean? I confess about 4/5ths of the way through the book I started to wonder how he was going to wrap it all up. Well, he did. The ending might have taken up a few more pages without annoying me, but in truth, this is a minor quibble.

Anent Scott's work, one of my favorite reader emails I ever received was regarding my own book, Trial of FlowersPowells | BN ]. The reader took me to task for writing such grubby, degrading prose and doing such awful things in that book (guilty as charged, btw), and asked me why I couldn't write something clean and fun like Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke LamoraPowells | BN ]. Considering that in Lies people are drowned in horse piss and stuffed into barrels of ground glass, I can't think how anyone would think it was a cleaner book than Trial.

Prior to that, I finished reading the new edition of The Ethical SlutPowells | BN ]. If you're not familiar with the title, that's a lifestyle/self-help/inspirational book aimed toward people engaged in open or polyamorous relationships. I will comment that at least half that book applies to anyone with an active emotional or sex life, regardless of their particular lifestyle arrangements and sexual orientation. I recommend it highly on that basis if you're interested in exploring your boundaries or otherwise doing some hard thinking in those areas.

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Jay Lake: cancer-skull_tattoo
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-04-03 17:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cancer-skull_tattoo
Thank you.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-04-03 18:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I stopped reading _Trial of Flowers_ when that dwarf couldn't stop hearing "Cover of the Rolling Stone" in his mind. *shudder*
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Swan Tower: Hel
User: swan_tower
Date: 2012-04-03 20:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Hel
I have to admit my impression of The Ethical Slut isn't that good, but that's because my primary association with it is an acquaintance -- I would not say a friend -- who missed the "ethical" target by rather a wide margin. (It isn't terribly kind of us, but based on the human wreckage she left in her wake, we said she aimed for "postmodern ethical slut" and landed instead on "po-mo ho.")

I am sure this is a failing in her, not the book -- and I should note that my disapproval is for the harm she did to other people, not her sleeping around in the first place -- but it means I kind of roll my eyes every time I see that title.
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