Third Monkey, Hear Evil
Monday, December 08, 2003
  For some odd reason, I've been doing a bit of rereading of books recently. This week, I've been reading the Galactic Mileau (sp?) trilogy by Julian May - 'Jack the Bodiless', 'Diamond Mask' and 'Magnificat'. Although I've not quite finished the third one, I'm still going to comment on the set.

Just a few observations before I actually comment on what I think of the books. The further through you get, the more lavish are the descriptions of the clothes. And the more sex there seems to be. And the sillier the descriptions of the sex get. Until I find myself skipping sections, just to get back to the plot.

As to the stories themselves - nice space opera in some ways. But the sensation as I read the third book that she must be getting paid by the word (or the gram) intensifies. Descriptions are repeated. Information is repeated. Everytime a character is mentioned who hasn't been mentioned for a chapter or two, their description is reiterated, or their relationship to someone else is explained again. It just gets too much.

I like the set overall. There is a very nice juxaposition of family troubles against the background of a galaxy scale rebellion, even if it is a humans against all the aliens rebellion. And I find the narrator character to be very sympathetic. It doesn't matter that he is a 100+ year old grumpy old man with an obsession for naming all of his cats the same thing. He is funny and interesting, self-deprecating, and has a wonderful zest for life.

The other characters are also well-written, even the bad guys. The only ones that give a feel of superficiality are ones that are somewhat off stage, who aren't encountered often enough for the narrator to have a clear idea about them.

These comments are somewhat all over the place, but it is unfortunate that my response to the stories has been similarly fragmented. This is due in part to the way that the story seems to wander all over the place at times - I find myself rereading it the way I do Lord of the Rings - skipping the paragraphs/descriptions that I don't feel are necessary to the story as a whole.

Rating: Good for a first read, leave lots of time between subsequent rereads so that the mystery aspects have had a good chance to be forgotten. B+
Life and times of someone who should know better....

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