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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

Maître Du Monde

Maître Du Monde - Jules Verne - Excuse me sir, you're Jules Verne, aren't you?

- And if I am?

- Well, I'd just like to say I'm a fan.

- Ah, thank you! And did you enjoy my latest book?

- Maître du monde?

- Indeed.

- Well, to be honest, I didn't think it was one of your best. No offence, sir, but I'd have done some things differently.

- And what exactly would you have done differently, young man?

- Ah, to start with I wouldn't have had just one machine that could be an airplane or a submarine or a supercar. I'd have had four or five different machines. I think that would work better.

- I suppose...

- And I didn't like you putting his secret lair on the top of a mountain. I thought you got it right in the first book where it was on an island in the Pacific.

- Yes, maybe I should have stayed with that choice...

- And another thing I thought was wrong was that he never did anything with his amazing machine. I loved the ending of Robur-le-conquérant, where he rescues the guys from the airship that's about to crash. I hoped you were going to develop that further. You know, go around rescuing people. That would have made a better story.

- But, that would go against my central message...

- Yes, I know, Man can't challenge the Divine. But I still think it would have been more dramatic to go around performing daring rescues. And you know, maybe this will sound weird...

- Go on.

- I don't think it should really have been a novel. I'm somehow sure it would be better as puppet theatre.

- Puppet theatre?!!

- Uh, yes sir.

- Young man, if you think you can make that work then you're welcome to try.

- Maybe I will.

- Then good luck to you, Mr... I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name?

- Anderson. Gerry Anderson.