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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton


Almuric - Robert E. Howard My long nightmare is over. I've finished this truly awful book. I think it's time for a dose of something more girly, perhaps the one Jane Austen I've not re-read over the past three or four years.

Esau Cairn is basically a brute, someone who is strong as an ox and also someone who has no self control. Wherever he goes, mayhem is sure to be present. It's not really his fault, he's just a manly man, perhaps the manliest of all men. Other people contrive to piss him off, thereby bringing mayhem upon themselves. Then, there are those who are just not manly enough to stand up to physical competition with him, e.g. when he tried organized forms of mayhem, such as football and boxing. How's it his fault when the damn pussies become permanently crippled or die on him? Suffice to say, he doesn't belong in polite society.

So, an astronomer friend contrives to transport him into another universe, a place where Cairn fits in better. Everyone in the new universe is a brute. The men he meets are all hairy ape men, whose idea of a good life is drinking and brawling. He becomes sort of a major figure in the hairy ape men tribe and leads them off to rescue their women—all lissome and fair—from a race of black, winged men. Something like that.

So if you like brutish behavior and lots of cleaving of skulls and limbs with swords and cracking bones and blood and guts flowing all over and dead bodies heaping up and so forth, perhaps this is a book for you. As for me, it's back to something a bit closer to reality, which in some people's eyes will tend to be a bit on the girly side.

I think this is the last of the pulp books I managed to snag from Munsey's before they got closed down by the lawyers, or something. Some of Munsey's pulp offerings were quite fun, some, like this one, not so much. Still, I'll miss Munsey's. Bummer that for me their lights went out for me, so to speak, on this piece of dreck.