Thursday, September 28, 2000

An Edge in My Voice

by Harlan Ellison

When I was a young lad, in my second decade, I discovered the speculative fiction (science fiction is too confining a label) of Harlan Ellison. I was quite taken with the man and thought him the greatest author around. Now I'm older and not quite as awed by him. I still think he's a great writer, certainly, but I no longer see him as a literary demigod -- just a man with his own gifts and passions. A man who, like the rest of us, can be wrong. An Edge in My Voice is a collection of columns written in the early 80s for Future Life, The L.A. Weekly, and The Comics Journal. (Read the book if you want a timeline of when and where each installment appeared.) The topics all fall under the category of "life in these times", which runs the gamut from politics to cookies. Rereading this collection was enjoyable in two ways (besides the obvious pleasure of reading the words of a master craftsman): first as a nostalgic remembrance of the early Reagan era, second as a glimpse of life in Los Angeles. That's a bit surprising because I have no special fondness for either L.A. or Mr. Reagan. Maybe I just like seeing life through the eyes of another. Or maybe, as I've implied, Mr. Ellison is an excellent writer. You should definitely check this out. That being said, however, I have to confess that I'm not hanging on to this volume. I no longer agree enough with Harlan to take a steady diet of his opinions and while he speaks the truth as he believes it (an admirable trait), he does not often do it with love.

LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, September 12, 2000

The Great Comic Book Heroes

by Jules Feiffer

There are a couple of books that I got when I was a kid that are true gems; books that I never fully appreciated at the time. This is one of them. Mr. Feiffer tells about his discovery of superhero comics as a kid in the forties and a bit of how the genre progressed in that time. Then he gets done with the boring text pages and reprints a number of comic stories from that period. All great tales (for old comics) which would undoubtedly cost major bucks to obtain today. I don't think my mom realized what a treasure she gave on that Christmas Day, so many years past. (Or maybe she did. My mom has given me a lot of nice presents.) Anyway, now that I'm an old geezer, I can appreciate the text almost as much as the reprints. This one will stay on my shelf.

LibraryThing link


Saturday, September 02, 2000

Job and Science

by Walter Lang

I've come to really appreciate Bible commentaries. I don't always understand or agree with the author, but I appreciate how it forces one to slow down and think about what God's trying to say. (Actually, I suppose I have to say that God has said it just fine -- I'm the one trying to understand.) Rev. Lang's commentary on Job certainly had me thinking. In a way, the book is two commentaries in one. Lang is involved in promoting creation science, and he sees the book of Job as having many things to inform and inspire a scientist. But Job and Science is also a good, solid, theological commentary. It challenged me to see just what was going on in that dialogue between Job and his friends and I was impressed how Lang could see Jesus in so many of Job's comments. Many people may be put off by the creationism included throughout the book, but I would encourage them to read it anyway. Rev. Lang probably knows more about the book of Job than you do. If I had a choice, I would put this on my shelf, but my wife beat me to it.

LibraryThing link


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