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MannyRayner

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
Ada, Or Ardor: A Family Chronicle - Vladimir Nabokov Suppose things had worked out better for Humbert Humbert. Suppose he'd gone to jail for a while but hadn't had a heart attack there, and suppose Lolita hadn't died while still a teenager, giving birth to a stillborn child. Suppose instead that they'd both survived, had various sordid adventures, and then miraculously reconnected twenty years later, at which point they suddenly realised that they had some something beautiful and unique together. And suppose that Humbert actually wrote his memoirs when he was a near-senile old man, confusing his native country of France with his adopted country of the US and cheerfully twisting all the facts to present them in as rosy a light as possible, while Lolita edits his manuscript over his shoulder with a quirky, loving aside every now and then to her darling Humbie.

You got all that? Well, the result might be a little bit like Ada, an imaginative and disquieting novel even by Nabokov standards. If you appreciated Lolita and thought, as I did, that it was essentially a very moral book, you might want to check it out. And if Lolita left you feeling angry and indignant, then stay well clear. You really won't like this one.