Monday, August 30, 2010

Book review: Boring Postcards USA

This book is exactly what it sounds like: boring postcards. It contains the images of old postcards of American scenes from the 1950s.

Boring Americana. Regular scenes of restaurants, malls, hotels, highways, donuts, couches, trucks, aluminum awnings, etc.

While I can’t help wondering why someone would think people needed a postcard of an airport parking lot, for instance, I also can’t help admiring the glimpse of what daily, mundane life must have been like. I somehow got a feeling of shabby optimism from the postcards that so proudly proclaimed the names of ordinary little places and attractions.

It is heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. Difficult to get in a book with no text, eh?

This is definitely worth “reading.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: Beyond the Imperium, by Keith Laumer

This is the sequel to Worlds of the Imperium (which I reviewed in an earlier post). It is much better in every way, in my opinion. For starters, you get two stories for one. The first stars the same hero as the first book, and gives him a truly unsolvable problem which is nonetheless tied up neatly and in a realistic way by the end, in my opinion. I never felt like there were too many coincidences, and the hero really does act, not just have things happen to him.

It was an edge-of-your-seat read for me, and I enjoyed it very much.

The second story in the book was shorter, and had fantasy overtones, although it still took place in the same science fictional world. It was a story with resonance, meaning, to me, that it will stick with the reader for awhile. It seemed to mean something. The most important story in the character's life.

The ending seemed open to conjecture to me, but it was all the better for it.