Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book Report: Forty Signs of Rain, by Kim Stanley Robinson

One upon a time, I read Red Mars. That was as far as I got. For reasons lost in the mists of time, it didn't move me enough to buy the next book. Now, I've read Forty Signs of Rain, and I am ashamed to say that history has repeated itself.

I had no difficulty reading this book, in the sense that it read fluidly and I never felt compelled to put it down. However, once I put it down, I never felt compelled to pick it up again. I found the characters realistic and believable, so that wasn't my problem. I think it was the plot. Much of the book seemed taken up with the minutae of the everyday lives of several scientists which, although written well, did not seem to signify much. At one point, a character breaks into his office building using climbing gear in order to retrieve a letter he had regretted writing. He failed, but the episode left me scratching my head. I couldn't figure out why it was important enough to have been included in the story.

The truly significant events occupied only the last fifty pages of the book, during which all the major characters are helpless in the face of angry nature. I'm afraid I just didn't care enough about the characters or the events to feel satisfied by this.

Ulysses Rating: 2 - I finished this, but I didn't enjoy it.

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