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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy So are we gonna talk about No Country For Old Men, he said.

Why not, she replied.

Then we gotta do it like McCarthy, he said. Short sentences. Southern dialect. No punctuation.

I can drop the punctuation, she said. But I can't do Southern.

You can try.

Well then I caint. That good enough for you?

Youre tryin. That's the important thing. Caint do more than try.

Thank you. I wish I could speak it. It's a beautiful language. But I aint got his ear. He's got the best ear for dialect this side of Mark Twain.

He's got a mighty fine ear, that's for sure.

Well like I said I loved the language. And I loved the characters. Sheriff Bell and Llewelyn and Chigurh and even the minor ones. Carla Jean and Loretta and Carson and the hitchhiker.

They are all fine characters. They just come alive off the page.

They do. I aint gonna forget none of them soon. But I dont know what it's about.

It's gotta be bout somethin?

Hell yes. Chigurh is more than just a man. He's some kinda elemental force. A symbol of somethin.

A symbol.

And his duel with Llewelyn. That's a symbol too. It's like that Swedish movie we saw. Where the guy plays chess with Death.

The Seventh Seal.

That's the one. But I dont think Chigurh is Death. He's somethin else. Somethin else we caint escape from.

Now what would that be.

I bin lying here thinkin and I caint rightly say.

Maybe he aint no more than what he looks like.

I know what I know, she said. But I caint put it in words.

I dont think this conversation is goin noplace, he said.

They lay there for a while until she heard he was asleep. She got up quietly so as not to wake him and checked the door was locked. Then she got back into bed.

This review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures