Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reading: Evil Genes

.. by Barbara Oakley.

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the lack of any actual science (it starts out much more promising than it then ends up being).

But that disappointment is balanced by the fact that it was actually a fun read, mostly because you end up trying to match some of the traits being discussed to yourself, your crazy relatives, your psychotic co-workers etc.

So I'd say that it ended up having not a lot about genes, and a lot of armchair psychology of people Barbara never actually met (apart from her sister). But I'll still have to give it a thumbs up just for being entertaining.

The merge window is calming down, so I've been reading other things too, but they've been eminently forgettable. I'm now steeling myself to begin "Renegade's Magic", the third installment of Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy. The two first ones were big disappointments, and I had already decided that I'm not even going to bother finishing the trilogy, but I guess I can't.

Here's to hoping Nevare turns out to be less of a fat whining idiot in the third book. But I'm not really holding my breath.

48 comments:

alvaro said...

you should post something about your scuba diving adventures. :)
By the way, have you read "The Stars My Destination", it's the last book I've read and I highly recommend it.

Alpha0 said...

Looks like you read a lot!

Tom said...

Thanks for the recommendation.

BTW Do you read on one of those Linux-powered E-Ink readers?

Aaron Davies said...

hobb is ... interesting that way. i'm glad to have read the fitz and liveship books--the ideas and settings were wonderful--but the books themselves were painful to get through, and i could never reread them. apparently she's staying true to form.

Linus said...

Aaron: the thing is, I've liked just about everything else Hobb writes. She can write, no question about it. But the "Soldier Son" trilogy has a main character that is simply so totally unlikable (he really is fat, stupid and whiny) that it's painful to get through. It doesn't help that the setting isn't interesting, and that the story is ploddingly slow.

If I liked childish, fat, stupid, whiny people, I'd move to some deep-fried-KFC place and sit in a mall all day, people-watching. Free entertainment.

In contrast, the story might be slow in the Fitz books too, but at least you can respect the protagonist, and the world is a lot more interesting. I don't mind verbiage - in fact, I'm a fast enough reader that I often look for thicker books - but I do mind not liking the people I read about for enjoyment.

Wolfwood said...

Linus, if you are into lightish but well-written fantasy, I'd certainly recommend you try Dave Duncan, Joe Abercrombie or Scott Lynch (Lies of Locke Lamora). The last one is my favourite of the three.

Linus said...

Wolfwood: tried them all. Like Lynch, so-so on Dave Duncan, not so much a fan of Abercrombie. Found the "First Law" trilogy to be something of a slog.

Enis Salih Reyhan said...

I'm sorry because it's irrelevant. Mr Torvalds, I'm writing an article on motivations behind writing free software.

Would you like to give me some precious time to answer my questions?

chillyb said...

I've not read that trilogy yet. I'm currently reading L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Saga of Recluce series. It's 15 or 16 books long I forget. A fantasy setting that comes from a scifi universe. I'd even go so far as to equate it with Tolkien's Middle-Earth. If you like fantasy style reads this series is a for sure don't miss. Modesitt Jr. has replaced Margaret Weiss as my favorite author!
imchillyb@hotmail.com

Barb Oakley said...

Linus, your comments made my day! Most people think there's too much science in Evil Genes, not to little. Hallelujah to someone who realizes just how important science truly is in understanding the human condition.

Barbara Oakley
author, Evil Genes

wanglei_王磊 said...

测试发布评论。

wanglei_王磊 到此一游(我素质似乎很低)。

caar said...

good!!!!

Toni-Toni said...

Por que vocês não traduzem o blog para o português. Por favor, este blog é de Linus Torvalds, ajudem...

Um Abraço!!!

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