Saturday, May 30, 2009

too many books, not enough time, part 12

i should really just rename this blog too many books and not enough time

Archibald Cox – I finally, finally finished his Court & Constitution book. Some of most challenging and inspiring reading I have ever done. Next time I’m at that library, I’ll be looking for some of his earier works. Cox is quickly turning into a personal hero of mine. I hope I don’t come to discover he was actually a jerk.

Michael Chabon news – one of his lesser well known works is Gentlemen of the Road. I’m about half way through the book, and still getting used to it. In approximately the year 1000, two Jewish soldiers for hire are haunted by the deaths of family members in the Khazarian Empire. Living as mercenaries with the occasional con job, they end up as hired gaurds for Filaq, a dethroned prince looking for revenge. I’ve gotta say, the biggest culture shock for me while reading this book was the idea of Jewish kingdom. And it’s not just an idea, around this time the state religion of the Khazar Empire really was Judaism. A bit of culture shock to me. The Sunday school story I learned was one of the horse warrior kings said to the Jewish sage Hillel – tell me everything about Judaism while you stand on one foot, and perhaps I will convert. Hillel stood on one foot and said “Do as to others as you wish them to do to you”. The Warrior king was so impressed that he converted on the spot and his kingdom followed. I just never thought it really happened.

In other Michael Chabon news, I picked up a few more issues of his Dark horse comic The Escapist. Very good, and very fun. Highly recommended. sure, they are obviously contrived and more a fan "project" than an actual series, but that doesn't bother me. I’m hoping I can convince the library to buy this for their graphic novel collection.

Fullmetal Alchemist #18 is out, and I have a copy!! I’ve read it twice now, and things really are starting to come to a head. All the pieces are in the right place, if you know what I mean. Kimblee is politely holding Winry hostage, and offers Ed the philosophers stone in exchange for Ed becoming a human weapon. Kimblee is the perfect sociopath, no wonder the homunculi support him. Speaking of, how is Riza going to share her secret? Perhaps little Hayate may be of some help.

I just can't get enough manga. my house will be full of it, and i will still be aquiring more.

Revolutionary Girl Utena – the best way to describe this is pure zany. Tomboyish Utena is raised by an aunt who lets her get away with just about anything, including designing her own fuschia colored school uniform in a boys cut. Every year, Utena gets a rose scented letter from a mysterious man. Each letter is written on the back of a picture, and the final picture is of the wealthy prep school Ohtori Academy. Utena is accepted into the school, and immediately, accidentally picks a fight with a member of the school council. The fight turns into a duel, and as winner of the duel, Utena “wins” a young woman named Anthy, who is the “Rose Bride”. Anthy becomes Utena’s personal servant, and “belongs” to her. As melodramatic and somewhat sexist as this sounds, it really is a comedy, with Utena constantly questionting the sanity of everything going on around her. Determined to meet the mysterious sender of the letters and protect Anthy from abusive members of the student council, Utena stays at the academy. I’ve read two volumes, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Blame . . I'm slowing purchasing this series as I can find it. It's out of print, and i'm pretty sure i'm the only one who enjoys it. Killy is working his way up through abandoned cities, where humans have been wiped out by the machines (think the matrix meets terminator, plus insane AIs?). I really enjoy this manga for the artwork and the cyborg designs, and pretty much the design of the whole thing. Sure, there isn't much said, but it's mostly just Killy and his gun, so who is he gonna talk to anyways? he's a pretty shy, quiet guy. Not a series most people will gravitate towards, but i like it.

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