Monday, 25 May 2015

Tree Benreinyn

Nod oo feddyn y baatey follit 'sy chaslys-soilshey shoh?

Queen Elizabeth ayns Lerphoyll - ny share lhiam na'n ven elley aghterbee.

Ta slyst Virkenhead jingit lesh sleih, agh er fa ennagh cha smooinee y chooid smoo jeu dy gholl sheese er y traie.

Queen Elizabeth hoshiaght, as eisht Victoria as Mary.

Caslys lane reayrtagh dhyt.

Lerphoyll argid.

"Hoi, yillyn, bee y ven roayr ain dy leah! Cur aile da'n lostan, gow-jee ny muscadyn as kiare-jee ny baatyn!"

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 21

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

18oo-2400 Vee ny Boaldyn

Jerrey kied shiaghtin as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Jobnik! (Miriam Libicki)

Ta'n lioar chaslyssagh shoh ny bea-skeeal caillin hie stiagh 'syn Armee Israelagh. Eie mie, er lhiam, as smooinee mee dy doiggin ny smoo mychione y lught quaagh shen, agh dy jarroo she obbyr ayn-ass t'ayn. Ta cooid vooar jeh bentyn rish bea keintyssagh y ven, as e h-ennaghtyn hene er keintys as persoonid. Ta shen lane phersoonagh (as meegherjoilagh - t'ee feddyn deiney neuchooie car y traa) agh shegin dou gra nagh row eh feer anaasoil. Va mee jerkal rish smooinaghtyn er yn armee as y lheid, cha row mee shirrey "hene-veashnys insh y clane"! Cha nel bea cadjin anaasoil agh dhyt hene as da dty chaarjyn, son y chooid smoo, my vea hene noadyr. Ta naightyn çhellveeish er y chaggey gientyn aeraght dy mie, agh ta rouyr jeu as chaill mee anaase dy leah. Va ayrnyn elley soilshaghey magh bea laaoil 'syn armee (myr ben-oik), as nish as reesht hug ee shilley er lught-thie Israelagh ennagh - shen ny va mee jerkal rish, as ghow mee soylley jeh. Ny yei shen, shimmey cowag t'ayn gyn monney bree, nagh vel anaasoil chamoo t'eh soilshaghey magh red erbee da'n lhaihder. Veagh laue reagheyder lane ymmydoil, foddee. Er lhiam nagh vel y lioar shoh ny t'ee cur urree hene.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 97 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 96 faagit dou nish.

English version

18th-24th May

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

Jobnik! (Miriam Libicki)

This is a very personal account of an American girl who joined the Israeli army. The art is appropriately low-key realistic, and rather bleak, although this felt less appropriate to the lighter interludes. It offers some sense of what it might be like being part of that rather strange institution in a war-torn land. Unfortunately, I felt the personal side was overwhelming - this reads more like a diary than a book, and most diaries aren't thrilling. A huge chunk of pagecount is dedicated to the author's rather troubling sex life (she chooses poorly, it seems) - highly personal, but not very interesting, nor what the blurb leads you to expect. Many more pages are news broadcasts about the conflict, which help portray the atmosphere but soon outstay their welcome. There are some interesting interludes meeting other Israeli families, but a lot of the conversation is bland and doesn't seem informative either. This book just doesn't feel like what it purports to be, and seems like it could use an editor.


I read 1 book, I had 97 last week, so 96 are left over.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Yn Scaa Harrish Innsmouth: Sker y Jouyll

Hug mee y boteil da Zadok, as slug eh y bine jerrinagh jeh. By whaagh eh nagh row y jough ry-akin er; cha cheayll mee blass plooghit hene ‘sy choraa ard pheeaghanagh. Shliee eh mwannal y boteil as tuittym eh ‘sy phoagey echey, as eisht ghow eh toshiaght snoggal as loayrt myr sannish meen. Chroym mee rish dy eaishtagh son fockle so-hoiggal erbee. Er lhiam dy row mongey sharroo ry-akin ergooyl yn ‘aasaag hallagh skeabagh. V’eh loayrt dy jarroo, as va’n chooid smoo jeh ry-chlashtyn aym.

“Matt boght—v’eh dy kinjagh n’oi—jannoo eab dy haglym feallee marish, as loayrt dy liauyr rish ny sharmanee—gyn bree—raoie ad y saggyrt Cohionnalagh ass y valley er çhea, as scuirr y fer Saasilagh jeh—cha vaik mee rieau y saggyrt Bashtagh Resolved Babcock reesht. Farg Yahvey!—mish my eean aeg dy liooar, agh cheayll mee ny cheayll mee, honnick mee ny honnick mee— Dagon as Ashtoreth—Belial as Beëlzebub—Lheiy Grainnit as jee-jallooyn Chanaan as ny Philistinee—feodyssyn Vabylon—Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin—”

Scuirr eh reesht, as rere y jeeagh ‘sy tooill fluigh gorrym va aggle orrym dy tuittagh eh my-neealloo. Agh tra hug mee laue meein er e yeaylin, hyndaa eh orrym dy tappee thanvaneagh as deayrtey magh raa quaagh elley.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 20

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

11d-17oo Vee ny Boaldyn

Jerrey feedoo shiaghtin ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Moonlight Kreuz (Hazaki Yasumi)

Reih mee y lioar shoh gyn tort, myr shen t'eh so-chredjal nagh nee skeeal lane chooie t'ayn. T'eh bentyn rish conreeaghtyn - 'syn aght cheddin ta Twilight bentyn rish sooderyn-folley, foddee? Dy ghra myr shen, ga dy nee "conreeaghtyn" t'ayn, cha nel ny h-ard-charracteyryn caghlaa cummey. Ta'n fer soaral dy niartal, as ta'n chaillin... jannoo ben aasit aalin jee hene as niart neughooghyssagh eck? C'red? Ta ny noidyn lieh-chaghlaa - king voddee oaldey as y lheid. Ta'n ughtar jannoo eab er leshtal, agh phobble, m'ockle er...

Cha noddym moylley eh, atreih. Ta'n skeeal beggan neuvaghtal, gyn soilshaghey magh reddyn dy fondagh. Cha nel eh corrym-cheimagh noadyr: tra erbee ta reddyn scanshoil taghyrt, cha nel rheamys chamoo traa dy liooar currit daue, myr shen ta sleih çheet rish ass yn aer hene car y traa gyn soilshaghey erbee. Cha nel blass corrym echey noadyr: shoh duillag lane dy spotçhyn clichéagh mychione y çhennayr quaagh, as eisht ta conreeaghtyn geabbey peiagh ennagh y ghoaill ersooyl son geddyn sliught. Ta scansh cultooragh ayn, foddee, agh cha nel raipey as spotçhyn nyn biyr cooie er lhiam. Cha ghow mee soylley jeh skeeal, aght screeuee chamoo ellyn, myr shen cha lhiahym ny smoo.

As shoh red elley: cha nel moddee oaldey ny stroshey chamoo ny smoo tramylt na deiney. Myr shen, cre'n aght hooar lettyraght bishaghey jeh "fer ta jannoo moddey oaldey jeh hene" dys "fer ta geddyn niart as aalheimmaght neughooghyssagh voddey oaldey, gyn boirey er granaghey as y lheid"? Mannagh vel oo caghlaa cummey er chor erbee, cha nel oo dty conreeaght. Ta feme er y "chon", eh?

僕だけがいない街 (三部 けい)

Chionnee mee y lioar shoh ayns shapp er son y choodagh, dy firrynagh. Va mee jerkal rish skeeal mychione paitçhyn as scoillyn, s'cosoylagh. Wahll... marranys, chaarjyn. Marranys anvaaragh. Cheau mee ram traa roish my dod mee toiggal taghyrtyn y skeeal shoh: t'eh cast dy liooar, as cha dod mee er nyarkal rish er chor erbee. Ayns beggan focklyn, ta pooar ec y dooinney shoh traa y "aahogher" er son dy lhiettal baaseyn. Cooish anaasoil, nagh nee? Bun mie son skeeal contoyrtyssyn. Agh ta daa skeeal elley ayn myrgeddin! Hoshiaght, t'eh son cur gys cooinaghtyn yn amm paitçhey echey hene, as cre'n fa nagh dod eh kiangley rish sleih elley - er son y yioot, foddee? As ny s'anmey, ta treeoo skeeal çheet rish bentyn rish kimmee gaueagh. Rish jerrey'n skeeal, ta'n trass er nyn sniemmey ry-cheilley myr un skeeal lane chraueagh.

Va mee moal dy liooar rish y chied lieh, son v'eh orrym lhaih beggan er veggan dys toiggal ny va taghyrt as myr shen y skeeal hene. Lhaih mee y nah lieh gyn scuirr erbee, as y kerroo s'jerree gyn tayrn ennal er lhiam. T'eh jeeaghyn nagh vel y nah lioar ry-gheddyn ayns ny h-Inshyn Goaldagh, as t'eh angaishagh dou. Cha ren lioar cur wheesh greesaghey orrym rish eashyn.

Language Endangerment in the 21st Century: Globalisation, Technology and New Media (re. Tania Ka'ai)

Lioar vie dy liooar. T'eh goaill stiagh ymmodee artyn, kuse jeu lane phersoonagh, kuse jeu lane ard-scoillaragh. V'eh castreycair, agh cha ren art erbee geddyn greim orrym, er lhiam. Ta kuse ayn bentyn rish y Yernish as loayr ad er y Ghaelg nish as reesht!

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 3 lioaryn, va 100 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 97 faagit dou nish. Ta mee goaill cree lesh fakin ad lheie ersooyl. Va mee boirey er y gherrid, agh ta mee er ngoll tessen scansh aigney, er lhiam. Un doilleeid: ta ram lioaryn ayn nagh vel 'sy Vaarle, agh ta mee er lhaih y jees oc lieh-as-lieh, bunnys. Myr shen, ta cooid ny Baarle leodaghey dy tappee, as ta mee foddey ny s'melley lhaih ayns çhengaghyn elley!

English version

11th-17th May

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

Moonlight Kreuz (Hazaki Yasumi)

I picked this up more or less at random, so I suppose it's be expected that it wouldn't be a fantastic match. The story is about werewolves, in the same sense that Twilight is about vampires: the hero is just athletic, and the schoolgirl heroine turns into a stunning adult with superhuman strength (yeah...). Spurious handwaving is applied to try and explain this away, but seriously guys. The antagonists, however, do get all wolfy.

It's hard to tell what's the writing and what's the translation, but the story felt rather incoherent, quite generic, and not very well paced. The tone is also hard to judge: one page full of joky asides with the (manga cliché) loony grandfather, the next page a plot to abduct one or other character as breeding material. I think this is getting into cultural differences to some extent. Either way, neither story, writing not art sold me on this, so I won't read any more.

Random aside: Given that wolves *aren't* stronger or tougher than humans, how did this mythology go from "turns into just an actual wolf" all the way to "gains the superhuman strength and resilience of a wolf, without any of that awkward not-being-sexy stuff"?

僕だけがいない街 (三部 けい)

I picked this up on spec in a bookshop because the cover looked pretty cool. I was expecting probably a story about being a primary school (middle school in Japan, I suppose) kid. This is... not that. Very much not that. It took me a long time to get to grips with what it actually is, because it's both unexpected and complicated. To cut a long story short, the protagonist has a strange "rewind" ability that lets him skip back in time to prevent disasters. However, the story has two other major plot strands, which complicates matters. One is his ongoing attempt to understand his inability to connect with people, and to revive buried memories of the past. Later, a third strand appears involving a dangerous criminal. As the volume finishes, these three strands have converged into a single pulse-pounding story.

I was slow reading the first half, taking a good while to understand where things were going and so to get immersed in the story. I read the second half without stopping, and the last quarter without breathing. I am tormented by the fact that almost certainly no copies of the next volume exist in my country. I have not been this excited about a book for ages.

Language Endangerment in the 21st Century: Globalisation, Technology and New Media (re. Tania Ka'ai)

A decent read, with a fairly varied array of articles from the very personal to the very academic. Interesting enough, but I don't think any particular article really grabbed me.


I read 3 books, I had 100 last week, so 97 are left over. It's nice to see them going down. I was feeling fairly despondent about my book mound only recently, but now it feels like I've broken some kind of psychological barrier. They fit on one page of my LibraryThing account now. On the (possible) downside, because so many were non-English to begin with, and I've read a fair few English ones, the proportion is rapidly becoming overwhelmingly non-English, which means slower reading.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 19

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

4oo-10oo Mee ny Boaldyn

Jerrey nuyoo shiaghtin jeig ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Waking in Dreamland (Jody Lynn Nye)

Ta'n skeeal shoh soit ayns Çheer ny h-Ashlishyn, crooit ec sleih nyn gadley. Chionnee mee yn lioar shoh erreish dou lhaih skeealyn Tildi Summerbee ayns 2013. As nagh dug ee gys cooinaghtyn y chied lioar shen, An Unexpected Apprentice!

  • Ard-charracteyr gyn cosoylaght er y fa dy vel tro quaagh eck/echey ✔
  • Noid keoie as nhee druiaghtagh niartal echey ✔
  • Noid by vie lesh jannoo red ennagh, as bee y jannoo shen cur jerrey er y teihll s'cosoylagh, as t'eh jeean ny yei shen ✔
  • Possan dy 'eniee geiyrt er y noid er turrys liauyr tessen y teihll, shirrey luirg ny druiaghtys ✔
  • Ta drogh-ymmyd druiaghtys caghlaa as leodaghey yn çhymbyllaght ✔
  • Red niartal follit ayns mean sleityn ✔
  • Druiaghtys ta bentyn rish caghlaa reddyn son y chooid smoo ✔

Ta scansh elley eddyr y daa skeeal, dy jarroo, agh t'ad casley rish y cheilley gyn ourys. Ta JLN screeu skeealyn taitnyssagh dy liooar, as t'ee er ngientyn seihll anaasoil noa. Ta blass gennalys er y skeeal shoh nagh row er AUA, as ghow mee soylley jeh. Agh shegin dou gra dy row yn ennaghtyn orrym dy mennick dy row mee er lhaih y skeeal shoh hannah! S'treisht lhiam nagh bee y lioar elley lioree chionnee mee y red cheddin myrgeddin...

By vie lhiam ny karracteyryn son y chooid smoo, agh shegin dou gra dy row yn ard-charracteyr lane chiart mychione ny ven-phrinse. As ish gyn schlei ny oayllaght ymmydoil hoshiaght, she sondid hene eh soie er goaill ayrn 'sy turrys as gaue naardey er y lane teihll, as dy jarroo t'ee ny doilleeid daue ooilley rish tammylt. T'ee gynsaghey as gaase dy ve ymmydoil ny s'anmey, agh cha nel shen caghlaa firrinys ny dooyrt eh. By hreih lhiam fakin dy vel eh cur meehastey da shen wheesh tappee, as lieh jee - dy jarroo, t'eh gaghtey myr va kiart ecksh as eshyn er nyannoo brock ennagh as shirrey lieh!

Kwaidan: stories and studies of strange things (Lafcadio Hearn)

Skeealyn beggey çhyndaait ass yn Çhapaanish, ny screeuit liorish Haern hene rere sannish ny cowag ennagh. Ghow mee soylley jeh, ga dy vel mee er lhaih lhieggan Gaelg cooid jeu liorish Rob y Teare. T'eh beggan quaagh ec y jerrey, as screeuyn mychione shey-chassee jingit stiagh 'sy lioar shoh... ta art mychione snienganyn nyn moylley derrey oddagh oo credjal by vie lesh jannoo sniengenan jeh dagh ooilley pheiagh! As ta blass fallsoonys quaagh far-skeealaght heanse 1970yn er as eshyn loayrt er aafilleydys.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 102 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 100 faagit dou nish. Ta blass caarjoil ec shen, er lhiam... agh aght ennagh, ta "100 lioar ry-lhaih" gennaghtyn ny smoo na "159 lioaryn ry-lhaih"...?

English version

4th-7th May

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

Waking in Dreamland (Jody Lynn Nye)

This is a fantasy quest story set in the titular Dreamland, a self-aware world where everyone knows they only exist in someone's dreams. I bought it after reading the Tildi Summerbee duology in 2013. I've got to say, it was uncannily similar to the first of those, An Unexpected Apprentice, in some respects - not identical by any means, but I had a constant flow of deja vu while I read, feeling that despite the obvious differences they were very much akin. Both are fantasy quest stories set in a world where magic changes things, featuring a mad rebel 'wizard' who has obtained a powerful magical artefact and intends to use it in a ritual he knows to be dangerous that may destroy reality. In both stories, a party of heroes follow the madman using the trail of magical distortion left by the artefact's presence; they include a protagonist with a highly unusual trait, who is also a wizard, as well as a taciturn yet likable guard captain whose stony exterior conceals their deep love for another party member. An adventurous young man who carries out missions for the king is in love with a princess, and angers her through trying to juggle his love with his obligations to the king, but is eventually forgiven as their joint efforts bring the quest to a successful conclusion.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of original touches, both in the world and in the story. For example, this one features a whole party of antagonists, who suffer from internal bickering; while both books are light-hearted, Dreamland is more openly humorous with its focus on dream logic. The characters were pretty likeable, and the book as a whole mostly very readable, so I barely stopped from start to finish. I enjoyed it, but found some sections dull - it opens with a substantial infodump full of setting jargon, which very nearly put me off entirely.

One problem with dream logic is that it makes for low consistency, and allows a lot of author fiat. This is okay in a pure comedy book, but problematic is more serious stories like this. There were a couple of times where it felt like the antagonists only escaped because the author wished it, with the questers becoming suddenly ineffectual and failing to use their resources, and the rules of the setting conveniently arranged to let the bad'uns get away. The scene where Roan is arrested was particularly irksome, and though the courtroom and testing scenes were reasonable observations of dream logic, they also seemed a bit of a waste of time. The test was very long for a diversion, and quite dull in my opinion, and I ended up skimming it. I can't help feeling that either Nye had the idea and was determined to shoehorn it in somewhere, or suddenly felt the urge to add more depth to Roan's philosophy and his feelings for Leonora and couldn't work out a way to do this in the actual story - sorry! If it was meant to be a humourous diversion, it didn't feel funny enough to do that, and it seemed to sit oddly in the story's pacing.

I also found the handling of Leonora's escapade somewhat frustrating. Right in the beginning, Roan points out that she's a liability to the party - and he's absolutely right. Her wish to somehow contribute to their efforts doesn't give her any right to do so, nor grant her any actual ability, and looking at things dispassionately it's a desperately selfish action on her part to force herself on them. As predicted, she delays them and allows their enemies to gain ground. While she does contribute later in the quest (and allows for the romance sideplot!) there was no reason to think this would happen, so Roan's objection remains sound. Her main contribution is her mere presence: the antagonists pull their punches to avoid hurting her out of sheer monarchism, and one adores the Lovely Princess enough to spark a fatal crisis of conscience. Roan is perfectly right, but frustratingly abandons his ethical position at the first hurdle, and begins to act as though he was in the wrong, even seeking her forgiveness. The guards, who should be pragmatic, apparently choose loyalty to the Princess over common sense, despite the fact that she's leaving without the King's permission, so they're probably actually going against their own orders and allegiance to the royal family and the realm... it's all rather peculiar. Makes perfect sense from the point of view of writing the story, mind, you need her along for the plot. I really wish Nye had deal with this better, as it undermined my sympathy for the characters (and the author) right from the start by putting the two main characters clearly in the wrong, yet refusing to acknowledge it.

Kwaidan: stories and studies of strange things (Lafcadio Hearn)

An interesting little collection of short folk-tales and bits of legend, translated and explained by Hearn. There's a good mixture of stories and I enjoyed them. The closing section is rather random - a set of little musings on insects, including a distinctly weird piece which ends up speculating on how evolutionary and societal advances could allow humans to reach the ethical perfection of ants, and perhaps become near-immortal. Sounds like a quote from a transhumanist character in a bit of 1970s sci-fi.


I read 2 books, I had 102 last week, so 100 are left over. A nice number! But somehow, it feels almost more than the 159 I started with. Something about hundreds, I suppose...

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 18

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

27oo Averil-3oo Vee ny Boadlyn

Jerrey hoghtoo shiaghtin jeig ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Citadel of Fear (Francis Stevens)

She far-ennym t'ayn - screeu Gertrude Barrows Bennett y skeeal shoh.

Cha row mee shickyr er ny va mee jerkal rish, agh cheayll mee reddyn mie mychione Stevens liorish HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast. She skeealaght whaagh t'ayn ('sy cheeal sar-oaylleeagh). Hoshiaght, t'eh jeeaghyn dy ve ny skeeal contoyrtys - ny skeeal er creau shicklaagagh, foddee - agh dy leah t'ou toiggal dy nee neughooghys t'ayn. Ta'n ard-charracteyr feddyn Balley Caillt 'syn 'aasagh raad as cultoor er lheh echey, beggan gollrish obbraghyn H. Rider Haggard ny Conan Doyle. As eshyn credjal dy nee branlaadys paays as çhingys v'ayn, ta'n skeeal goaill toshiaght ass y noa bleeantyn ny s'anmey, as eisht myr skeeal er creau neughooghyssagh.

Ta Stevens gientyn aeraght vaggyrtagh as ouryssagh. Ga dy vel feanish dy liooar da'n lhaihder dy nee neughooghys t'ayn - wahll, s'cosoylagh! - ta ourys dooghyssagh er ny karracteyryn. Ta boayl garroo ny ghaa ayn, agh son y chooid smoo dod mee credjal nagh vel O'Hara kiangley cooishyn y laa rish ashlish bleeatyn er dy henney, as eshyn gyn mian dy smooinaghtyn er y traa agglagh shen noadyr. Ta aght screeuee baghtal eck ta soilshaghey magh reddyn dy cruinn, gyn çheet dy ve yl-chast (noi, m.s., H.P. Lovecraft hene). Ta ny karracteyryn neuchramp dy liooar, as cha nel monney bishaghey ayn er-nyn-son, agh t'ee cur coontey giare as baghtal daue, as ta dooghyssyn ny karracteryn scanshoil goll er soilshaghey magh er feie yn skeeal. Er lhiam dy nee y ven 'olliaghtagh ta'n karracteyr s'annooiney; er y fa dy nee folliaght ish, cha nod Stevens cur dooin monney fys urree dy leah. Ny s'anmey, ta'n skeeal roie dy tappee as lane dy anhickyrys, as dy jinnagh Stevens brishey stiagh son karracteyrys, chaillagh shin keimyragh y skeeal.

金魚屋古書店 y.l. 2 (芳崎 せいむ)

Ny smoo skeealyn beggey bentyn rish shapp shenn vanga. Ta dagh skeeal kiangley stayd beaghee peiagh ennagh, as ny cooishyn smoo oc, rish cooid vanga mie er enney. Shegin dou gra nagh dod mee toiggal y clane - cha nel skeeal erbee foast er mentyn rish manga ta lhaiht ayms! - agh ghow mee soylley jeh ny skeealyn hene. Y doilleeid smoo, shen y fa nagh vel yn ellyn lane baghtal ny keayrtyn, as t'eh cur orrym cur yn enney foasley er karracteyr ennagh. Ta ny skeealyn dy mennick goaill stiagh aachooinaghtyn as y lheid, myr shen ta eash as eddyn ny karracteyryn corragh.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 104 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 102 faagit dou nish.

English version

27th April-3rd May

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

Citadel of Fear (Francis Stevens)

A surprisingly engrossing weird adventure story. I went back and forth on this a couple of times. The early stages have two explorers encountering a classic lost city in the desert, where Aztec gods are still worshipped. When a fifteen-year time-skip intervened, my interest waned as it usually does in those circumstances. However, Stevens soon gets things going again, now in weird thriller mode. This is good stuff, keeping things weird enough to signal the reader that it's all Aztec all the time, but equally just plain weird for the characters trying to understand it.

The decision not to use amnesia per se is fairly sound, I think. O'Hara hasn't forgotten everything, but it's been fifteen long years and he has good reason to think his whole fabulous experience in the desert was simply hallucination and dreams, brought on by a terrible journey that killed his partner, which still causes him guilt. Presumably he doesn't want to think much about it either. As such, he doesn't immediately assume a connection between that time and the present peculiar events. Meanwhile, Kennedy has changed enough that it's not surprising O'Hara doesn't recognise him. I will say, though, that there are a couple of times where O'Hara is kept in the dark because other characters don't quite manage to say something that would make all clear. I disliked this device ever since Romeo and Juliet, and I felt it was a bit unsatisfactory here too.

I have no idea how accurate any of the Aztec mythology is, but once I'd got into it, I found this an enjoyable and novel story. Stevens maintains a good foreboding atmosphere, and I half-expected it to turn into a horror story. Nevertheless, the writing remains very readable. The characters are simple and see minimal development, but play their parts perfectly well.

金魚屋古書店 v. 2 (芳崎 せいむ)

Another interesting collection of stories, tied to a used manga shop in some way, and each one themed around a specific manga and its resonance. Not knowing anything about the original manga is of course an issue for me, but I found them worth reading nonetheless. Yoshizaki depicts characters well, giving an array of new characters a touch of life even in the few pages each chapter permits. My one criticism would be that artwise, it's not always easy to tell characters apart, and this has particularly been a bit confusing when older characters recur. It doesn't help that stories often include flashbacks, and so age can also vary considerably. On the whole though, good.


I read 2 books, I had 104 last week, so 102 are left over.