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(that's what my freshman-year roommate who became an anesthesiologist said surgeons were taught to say in the OR instead of "oops", as in "There. I have just opened the femoral artery. This appendectomy will take a little longer than usual.")

Just finished Man In the Iron Mask, the last of the musketeers books I downloaded to my gizmo sometime last year. Damn those things are long. You can see why people just watch the movies instead of reading them. I don't know how people reacted to them at the time, but as a sometime consumer of modern potboilers I was a little disappointed that not much has changed in a couple hundred years. Mostly I was sad because good fails, evil (by our modern standards) is rewarded, and ultimately nothing happens.

No, really, nothing. All the main characters die without issue (so that their estates escheat to the crown) leaving not a trace of themselves in any record that might have survived to the writer's day. When I realized this, it made me think immediately of the time loop in The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (ok, I had to look up the title), which even has a bunch of old french settings. So I slogged through 1400 pages of cynicism drenched with purple bombast, only to hear "And then they all got hit by a bus."

Yeah, some of it I liked. But I'm not even sure I'm glad it's over. On the one hand it's over, but as long as it wasn't, at least I could hold out some hope. I wonder what I shall read next.

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