Book Buying on the Cheap

11 January, 2007

I can’t remember the last book that I purchased for full price from a local bookstore. And at $24 for a paperback, or $35 plus for the annoyingly larger trade paperback size, it’s no surprise. So , when Dymocks has a sale, I’m there with bells on.

So, I picked up these the other day for $10 each (all in trade paperback size, sigh):

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Judas Unchained by Peter Hamilton.

It’s the second in his series, started by Pandora’s Star, of which I’m working my way through at the moment, and enjoying. But, damn, they’re long books.

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Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville.

The oddly named bloke from London has put out a collection of short stories. I’ve read the title story, and it’s a nice elegy of loss in a weirdly de-populating London. So classicly Mieville that it’s almost asking to be parodied, though. A concordance of Mieville’s works would probably consist entirely of words like: dark, soot, gibbering, wretched, soot, trash, lurking, smoke, grey…

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The Etched City by K.J. Bishop

From Publishers Weekly:
Combine equal parts of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, throw in a dash of Aubrey Beardsley and J.K. Huysmans, and you’ll get some idea of this disturbing, decadent first novel from Australian author Bishop.  

 Similar quotes on the book’s praise pages inspired me to try this one out, and yes, I did judge it from its pleasantly dark and gothic cover.

OK, it’s fantasy, but at least it’s darker, more “realistic” fantasy, and a random reading of a couple of pages suggested that the writing was not your normal fantasy-styled adverbial overload (Prince Goober scowled darkly; the unlikely band of misfits rode uncomfortably; the fairy laughed airily, while the dark lord growls menacingly), or ridiculously named orphan boys who are unknowing royalty/wizards/gimps saving the woman/world/universe after some turgid, three-book-long  trek over an unlikely map that you have to keep referring to if you want any idea of what the hell is going on.

It was dark, it was readable, and the bit I read contained a threat of sewing up a religious nut inside the belly of a dead mammoth. That sold me.