The Man in the High Castle – Review

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Published in 1962

Pages: 274

Genre: Alternate history, speculative fiction

“For a week Mr. R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail.”

While this sentence might be used to begin any type of novel, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick relies on its innocuousness to segue into a world very different from ours. The year is 1962 and the Allies lost World War II, leaving Japan and Nazi Germany to divide the conquered land and lay claim to the world. Being almost two decades since the end of the war, many people have found new roles within the new society of the North American continent, but some patriotism still stirs in the hearts of those who remain. Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle – Review”

One Year Anniversary!

It’s a bit difficult to believe, but today marks the one-year anniversary of my first review on The Past Due Book Review.

Here we are; 43 book reviews, 15 editorials, and 263 total followers later.

I will keep this brief, but thank you again to everyone who has read my writing on here. I wasn’t sure if this blog would get much traction, but I have enjoyed every moment so far (even the daily revisions in preparation of posting) and I believe this blog makes for a unique record of how my writing has improved in the last year.

So here’s a rare picture of my cats getting along and one final thank you to all of my readers! I look forward to another year of reviews and writing!

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Mr. Grumpy Gills and Ms. Photogenic

 

The image featured in this post can be found through the hyperlink below.

Happy 1-Year

Gardens of the Moon – Review

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Published in 1999

Pages: 657

Genre: Fantasy

“The stains of rust seemed to map blood seas on the black, pocked surface of Mock’s Vane.”

In keeping with the typical expectations of its genre, Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson begins with a prologue in order to set up the scene for the epic journey to come. Showcasing a cast of characters that is as diverse as it is vast, the book follows the conquests of the Malazan Empire through pitched battles, political assassinations, and divine intervention. It is easy to get lost in such a dense and in-depth fantasy world, almost to the point of distraction, but Erikson keeps the narrative interesting despite the intense amount of background information to cover. Continue reading “Gardens of the Moon – Review”

On the Subject of Choosing to Read

In today’s fast-paced world (because apparently that’s a phrase that can still be used despite being what I assume to be decades old), it is difficult to hold someone’s attention for more than a matter of seconds. I wasn’t even sure there was an audience for my writing on here because I tend to stay away from short content; thankfully, I was wrong.

If I am going to write something and put time in revising and editing, I want there to be something substantial to show for it. However, there are countless blogs and websites that have more followers and clicks because they stick with short posts that fit into people’s limited attention spans. If reading long articles online barely keeps someone preoccupied, how can reading books for fun even compete in this age of micro-attention?

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I think this is supposed to be profound or something. I dunno.

Continue reading “On the Subject of Choosing to Read”

Interesting Times – Review

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1994

Pages: 399

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world.”

Such an enigmatic opening can only be the beginning to yet another Discworld novel. Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett, picks up the thread of Rincewind’s life and sends him sprawling into adventure once again. Fraught with peril, politeness, and parody, Interesting Times continues the story of Rincewind; a man who seeks boredom in lieu of his naturally exciting life. Continue reading “Interesting Times – Review”

Of Human Bondage – Review

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Published in 1915

Pages: 380

Genre: Fiction, semi-autobiographical

“The day broke gray and dull.”

This line sums up Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham incredibly well. Following the life of a newly orphaned boy in England, the book covers twenty years of indecision, romanticized lust, and attempts at self-discovery. Fraught with romantic entanglements and conversations of morality and religion, Of Human Bondage makes for a bit of a slog due to the immense amount of toilsome prose. Continue reading “Of Human Bondage – Review”

On the Subject of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech has long been a contentious issue throughout the history of not just the United States, but the world. How do we express ourselves without upsetting others? How do we go about hearing hurtful words directed at us and deal with them as responsible adults? What is okay to say, what isn’t, and who decides? The issue of freedom of speech has never fallen out of prominence in society, but it is especially prevalent today when people are afraid to speak their opinions. Continue reading “On the Subject of Freedom of Speech”