Sunday, 3 March 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 09

Jerrey nuyoo hiaghtin ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Walkin' Butterfly y.l. 1 (Chihiro Tamaki)

Mie dy liooar. Ta'n ellyn neuchramp, stark as niartal, shen cooie da'n ard-charracteyr feie corvaalagh, as da'n skeeal lhome. Cha nel reayrtyssyn mea ry-akin, ny caghlaaghyn myn aght tayrnee ta lhiasaghey Bakuman as e lheid. Shoh skeeal elley, skeeal uillinagh as corree. T'eh ard-haghyrtagh, as cha nel eh cho neuchramp as yerk mee; eer rish jerrey'n chied lioar, cha nel yn ard-charracteyr er gooilleeney monney agh gientyn eie ny ghaa er caghlaa y bea eck.

Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Fondagh, as breck dy eieyn noa as aitt ny trooid. By vie lhiam y shilley bieau er Quirm, Fenney as Jefferson. Er y laue elley, dennee mee nagh row ee lane saiagh; myr dy row cooishyn gyn jerrey ayn. Myr sampleyr, ta'n lane 'o-skeeal er y gharey tombagey jeant rish duillag ny ghaa, trooid pishagys noa. Ta unggue feer scanshoil hoshiaght, agh t'eh skellal roish ass y skeeal. Cha nel rheamys dy liooar da Miss Beedle, as ta peiagh scanshoil ny ghaa cooilleeney obbyr e lane vea, bunnys, dy aashagh, liorish cuirrey kiaullee as beggan tutlerys. Ta fo-skeeal ny briwnyn beggey caillt, bunnys, as bea thie y Curnal marish, ga dy row eh jeeaghyn dy ve anaasoil hoshiaght. Ta'n Summoning Dark 'sy skeeal, agh... wahll, cha red eh red erbee. Ta Stinky quaagh as neughooghyssagh, agh cha nel oo feddyn magh cre'n fa, ny cre'n kiangley t'eddyr eshyn as y Summoning Dark as... jee ny goblinyn, foddee? Quoi ec ta fys?

Chammah's shen, er lhiam nagh row karracteyryn y skeeal shoh casley rish obbraghyn s'leaie. Ta ny fir noa laccal beggan bree, er lhiam; ta Fenney mie dy liooar, agh cha ren eh monney, she skeeal Vimes v'ayn. Ta Stapleton ny ghunver as shen ooilley: va Carcer, ny Pin & Tulip, ny Teatime foddey ny s'mea myr karracteyryn. Cha nel oo geddyn monney ass ny sleih noa, son y chooid smoo; ny sharvaantyn, theay y valley... As er lhiam, ta Wilikins er ngoll tessen linney ennagh, ass "karracteyr mea anaasoil neuchadjin" dys "cool badass". Keayrt dy row, she fer quaagh v'ayn, dooinney boght straiddey v'er naase as er nynsaghey as er ngheddyn staartey mie ayns thie berçhagh gyn jarrood ny coayl lessoonyn aegid; dennee eh myr feer dooinney, son s'cramp eh bea, as skeeal cooyl cagh. Agh nish, aght ennagh, t'eh gennaghtyn dou myr stereotype: y marrooder kiune mie-choamrit. Ta Miss Beedle, er yn eer-vun, jus ny Miss Dearheart gyn wheesh rheamys.

Ec y traa cheddin, denee mee dy vel eh er nyannoo badass elley ass Vimes. Gyn scansh da eash nish, t'eh ny s'niartey as ny share na row eh. T'eh bwoalley deiney ass mioyr lesh un woalley, as geddyn laue yn eaghtyr er dunveryn reesht as reesht. Ta pooar neughooghyssagh echey, y Summoning Dark. Aght ennagh, cha nel eh wheesh failleilagh as v'eh, ny wheesh so-lhottey; as she dooieaght as troccairys Vimes by vie lhiam. Ny yei shen, ta cur caa da Stapleton (dunver agglagh) dy varroo eh gyn oyr ennagh - my ta fys ayd dy nee eshyn t'ayn, cre'n fa cloie mygeayrt lesh? Greim er! Ta fer ny ghaa elley 'sy skeeal - Wee Mad Arthur, a.r.e. - agh she Vimes ta cooilleeney dagh red, faggys.

As shen eh. T'eh mie dy liooar, ta spotçhyn 'sy chooish, as er lhiam dy row blass rieaughid ec Young Sam, agh... v'eh laccal kianglaghyn, as cooilleeney, as va scaa Vimes skeaylt harree.

Bakuman y.l. 12 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Kionnit er son turrys barroose 4-oor, gyn eiyrtys er y rolley.

Ym-lioar vie elley. By vie lhiam fakin Mashiro as Takagi rheynn voish y cheilley dys prowal reddyn noa, as feddyn magh beggan rieughid nagh ren ad plannal noi, shen politickaght keirdey cur magh lioaryn as anime. Va erree Moriya ry-yerkal, er lhiam, agh va so-chredjal ny yei shen (ta "ellyneyr coayl noa fer aeg jeean" shenn dy liooar, agh ta Moriya dy kinjagh currit gys ellyn hene as beggan ard-wannalagh myekione). Er y laue elley, va kynney Shiratori rouyr dou... y woir ro ard-wannalagh as ooilley shen, as ga nagh row fer erbee elley coardail ree, cha ren ad shassoo noi er chor erbee. Agh by vie lhiam ny karracteyryn hene.

Rhapsody in Black (Brian Stableford)

Skeeal taitnyssagh dy liooar, far-skeealaght heanse creoi (wahll, lieh-chreoi) mychione seihll as sleih credjue er lheh cummal ayns moggyl dy huill gollrish conningyn. Ta Grainger, ard-charracteyr y skeeal, goit oc erreish da imman lhong spoar da'n teihll dys dellal er son red ennagh gyn enney t'ad er ngeddyn ayns ooig follit. T'eh shirrey raad ass, as garganey ec y traa cheddin noi sheadane aigney ghreim er bleeantyn er dy henney er seihll caillt. V'eh mie dy liooar, agh dennee mee dy row eh laccal red ennagh. Cha nel Grainger loayrt rish monney sleih, as cha nel monney dooghys hene ocsyn t'eh loayrt roo. Cha nel eshyn jannoo monney 'sy skeeal shoh agh scapail, as feddyn magh red ny ghaa. Er lhiam dy nee shen doilleeid ard-charracteyr nagh vel ny 'eniagh, ayns skeeal lieh-chontoyrtyssagh gyn monney aase persoonagh. Aght ennagh, yiarrin dy nod oo er nyannoo skeeal giare jeh as eshyn lane vree, agh t'eh ro-liauyr myr noaskeeal. Cha nel mee shickyr.

The Celts: An Illustrated History (Helen Litton)

Coontey giare, aashagh agh scoillairagh dy liooar jeh ny Celtiee, as Celtiee ny h-Erin erskyn ooilley. T'eh goaill stiagh fys far-skeealagh, studeyrys shen reddyn, coontaghyn Romaanagh er ny Celtee, beggan çhengoaylleeaght as ooilley 'syn un lioar veg. Mie dy liooar. Un red, hoshiaght t'eh jeeaghyn dy derragh eh dhyt coontey unnanit er ny Celtiee, agh erreish da'n ghoan foshlee, t'eh rheynn ayns cabdillyn er cooish er lheh.

The end of week nine of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Walkin' Butterfly v. 1 (Chihiro Tamaki)

Decent. Quite simple art fits the angry, chaotic protagonist and the story's stripped-down feel. There's none of the lush backgrounds and delicate changes of style that lend richness to the likes of Bakuman here, but that's not a problem. It's a different kind of story. Dramatic, and not as simplistic as I was initially expecting; the protagonist's barely made any progress by the end of the volume, except to develop some ideas on changing the course of her life.

Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

A decent enough book, sprinkled with novel ideas and entertaining moments. I enjoyed some brief glimpses of the still-vague city of Quirm, as well as the characters of Fenney and Jefferson. However, I found it unsatisfying; unfinished somehow. The goblins' culture of unggue is thrown in as an apparently significant element early on, but basically dribbles out of the story. The entire tobacco plantation end of the goblin slave trade is over in two pages, through a new kind of magic Pratchett introduces (which feels rather deus exy), so the expected Ankh-Morpork end of the story is extremely sparse. The story of the crooked magistrates boils up early on, as significant as the plotting businessmen in Going Postal, only to melt away with only a note in the epilogue. The Summoning Dark crops up bodingly two or three times, but does nothing except granting Vimes some supernatural knowledge. Stinky the goblin is clearly something strange and supernatural, but you never find out what, how, or what the hinted-at relationships are between Stinky, the Summoning Dark and... something else, maybe, that seems to exist between the lines?

As well as that, the characters just didn't seem as alive as in earlier books. The new ones felt rather cardboardy; Fenney seemed promising but did virtually nothing. Stapleton is a killer and nothing more, without any of the depth of Carcer, Pin & Tulip, or the insane Teatime. The servants and locals don't really do anything, despite early hints that they'll be important or interesting. I also felt that Wilikins had crossed some kind of line, between "a rich, interesting and unusual character" and "cool badass". Over time, he turned from a snooty name into an odd fish, the poor street kid who'd fought his way up society into a decent job in a rich house, never forgetting the life-lessons of his youth; he felt to me like a real, complicated person. But now, somehow, he's drifted into a sort of stereotype, the polite well-dressed killer. Miss Beedle, when you get right down to it, is just an undeveloped Miss Dearheart, who doesn't even get the satisfaction of goblin emancipation: a couple of nobs (the Vimeses) effortlessly accomplish her lifelong goals with a concert and a bit of gossip. She's basically pointless.

At the same time, Vimes has turned from his usual flawed, angry and self-knowing self, an aging man forced into an unwelcome world he detests, into some kind of badass. Despite his age, he's tougher and better than ever. He takes out opponents with one blow, and repeatedly gets the better of Stapleton through violence, not just cunning (though in fairness, there's plenty of that too). He's gained a full-blown supernatural power in the Summoning Dark, which no longer really feels like an enemy. He doesn't feel as fallible as he used to, nor as vulnerable, and the humanity and flaws of Vimes were what endeared him to me. Despite all that, he allows the dreadful murderer Stapleton a chance to attack him by pretending he doesn't recognise him, which achieves literally nothing and just allows the man better opportunities to hurt him or someone else. Why play with a murderer? Catch him! There's a couple of other people in the story, but they never feel anything more than bit parts to Vimes.

And that's it, really. It's okay, there's jokes and some interesting bits, and Young Sam felt very convincing to me, but... it felt disjointed, and unpolished, and inconclusive somehow, and entirely under the increasingly long and all-engulfing shadow of Sam Vimes.

Bakuman v. 12 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Bought for a 4-hour bus journey, so no effect on the list.

Another good volume. It was good to see Mashiro and Takagi going their own ways in pursuit of their art, and facing some realities they hadn't planned for in the shape of the social politics of publishing and television. Moriya's arc was a bit predictable (the arty one is turned down for the punk kid, who'd've thought it..?), but not unbelieveable considering Moriya's snooty approach to manga. On the other hand I found the Shiratori family a bit much, with the rest of the fairly normal family failing to resist the mother's high-handed arrogance despite disagreeing with her, and in some pretty serious circumstances. I liked the characters, mind.

Rhapsody in Black (Brian Stableford)

A decent bit of hardish sci-fi about a world where a religious colony inhabit a network of underground tunnels. Grainger, the protagonist, is drawn in when he pilots a spaceship to the world, taking his employer in search of an unnamed treasure they've unearthed. Most of the plot follows Grainger's arrest, escape and attempts to get offworld alive, while he argues with the psychic parasite he picked up in a previous book. It was fine, but felt a bit flat somehow. I think it's just maybe not quite enough of anything. Grainger doesn't talk much except to his parasite, and there are enough locals involved in the case that none of them get enough time to feel like substantial characters; the parasite conversations are a bit repetitive (and cover similar ground to the last book) so that's not giving you loads of rich development either. On the other hand, mostly what Grainger does is run away, observe and follow instructions, and it's not quite adventurous enough a book to be thrilling, while the speculative crunch of the mystery isn't substantial enough to make a whole novel either. That leaves it as neither one thing nor t'other, and therefore slightly unsatisfying. I got the feeling it might have made a better short story, cut heavily to focus on the highlights, where the flatness of the characters might not be so apparent.

The Celts: An Illustrated History (Helen Litton)

A brief, accessible but scholarly introduction to the Celts, and especially the Irish Celts. It includes legendary, archaeological and linguistic information, as well as accounts from Roman and Mediaeval scholars. A decent book, though it starts out seeming to offer a coherent narrative and then mostly seems to just split off into themed chapters.

No comments:

Post a Comment