The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

There Are Doors

There Are Doors - Gene Wolfe I had a bad experience with Gene Wolfe. I read his Book of the New Sun a long time ago, and found it both confused and confusing; I didn't like it.I can enjoy complexity in a novel, but I like there to be a point to the whole thing. I like there to be some sort of fundamentally coherent plot. Too many books lack that. I hate books in which the protagonist (if there is one) is insane, or reality changes in arbitrary and unexplained ways...much as I love the 60's, I don't care for a lot of the writing that came out of that era. I don't like psychedelic works for the most part.Music, of course, is a different story. And I loved the movie of The Yellow Submarine. But I detest books which are basically incoherent ravings while the author was high (or even if he wasn't).I don't remember a damn thing about The Book of the New Sun except the mercury-filled sword Terminus Est (which was a cool concept, but seemed structurally unsound), but I know I didn't like it. It was confusing and unsatisfying. So I avoided Wolfe for many years, despite all the raves.But I must have picked up There Are Doors for free or almost-free some time ago, and I grabbed it at random when I needed a new book to read on my commute.And it actually wasn't bad! True, there were changes in reality (actually, switches between two realities) that happened without much explanation until near the end of the book. True, the hero was somewhat passive and a bit stupid, and spent a fair amount of time in an insane asylum under the influence of electroshock and drugs. The whole thing was a bit confused. But all in all it actually worked reasonably well, and by the end I found myself wishing for a sequel.There isn't one, of course. Oh well.

Currently reading

Basic Roleplaying: The Chaosium d100 system (Basic Roleplaying)
Sam Johnson, Charlie Krank
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit