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Rarely There

A collection of discourses - myriad, profound, uplifting...
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Professor Moriarty

Professor Moriarty series
by Michael Kurland

As mentioned earlier, I sort of accidentally stumbled upon The great game: A professor Moriarty novel by Michael Kurland.

Having been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan back in my high school days, I just pushed Prof Moriarty to one corner, labelled as Holmes' nemesis, evil-incarnate etc. never to be spoken-of or venerated in any way.

So, when I came upon a novel with Moriarty as the central character, I was intrigued.

Michael Kurland has created such a suave and respectable Moriarty, while presenting a bumbling Inspector Clouseau-esque Holmes; it was quite refreshing to see Holmes and Moriarty from another perspective.

After The Great Game, I went ahead and read the first two novels in this series: The Infernal Device and Death By Gaslight.

To be honest, some parts were a bit tedious, however, I could not help but be impressed with M.Kurland's flair, style and story-telling.

I was quite disgusted by the villainy in Death By Gaslight, pretty macabre, but, loved the scientist-inventor side of Prof Moriarty. I probably should have read them in order as The Infernal Device tells about how Barnett and Moriarty's paths crossed and such, but, no matter - the books filled in required pieces without having to read them in sequence.

Then, I read The Empress of India - another Moriarty novel by M.Kurland. Without giving much away, I can safely state that Mr.Pin Dok Low will help me remember this book for a long time, not the Prof! The little bits about the British Raj and colonial India gave a nostalgic feeling and made me stay with the book till finish.

All in all a good October for me: read 4 Kurland books about Moriarty and managed to enjoy them! yay!*

Now, I am on to another of my favorite genre: fantasy.

After a series of Weiss&Hickman's Dragonlance, I found David Eddings' Belgariad such a breath of fresh air.

Then it got a bit boring: there is only so much of unlikely-boy-turns-hero-battles-and-saves-world-from-EVIL one can take, even with a fair measure of dragons and mages thrown in. Besides, even if the plot is age-old, at least the style of writing should try to over-ride it, but, somehow the books i stumbled upon were written very badly that I had to stay off fantasy for a while.

Loved two of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and am itching to devour all of them in the days to come...

But, as before, on a whim, just 'coz I liked the name/title of the book, last weekend I picked up Bartimaeus (book 1): Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud.

The first day with it was slow going and tiresome with a dozen footnotes on every page. But, when I crossed about first 50 pages or so, I was hooked.

Is it evil to like the 5000+ yr old djinn Bartimaeus? In which case, Mr.Stroud is to blame for making him so darned interesting!

Of course, as this is the first book in the trilogy, I know I will be busy for the next several weeks with this delightful work in the fantasy genre. I was highly skeptical when I read the cover describing London ruled by magicians who don't derive their magic like Harry Potter - viz., from birth, but through summoning and controlling the various assorted categories of imps and demons! (addendum: finished the trilogy - review here)

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Blogger LeeAndra said...

Hi was scrolling through blogs and found yours. I think your t-shirts are cute! My daughter would love them.

A good fantasy writer to try out if you haven't already: George R R Martin's books. I was burnt out on fantasy for years until I picked his books up.

:) LeeAndra

12:08 PM  

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