Friday, September 25, 2009

Harry Turtledove non-starter

The alternate history fiction of Harry Turtledove has been reviewed and discussed with some regularity over the years on this blog. As a friend of John's, and at his recommendation, I did read one of his novels, Guns of the South several years ago, and found it enjoyable enough, although I didn't follow-up on it at all. Therefore, when I was at my public library last week selecting books to take on vacation, I saw a new Turtledove title, The Breath of God, I thought "No time like the present to grab a good alternate history novel . . ."

Well, considered yourselves fairly warned - Harry Turtledove writes fantasy in addition to alternate history. I have read about 150 pages, but just won't finish it because, well, it just isn't very good in my estimation (although the fantasy genre is starting with two strikes against it in my mind anyways). I won't say anymore - just remember, reading the book jacket before buying (or checking out) never hurts . . .


bob said...

Havimg an author write outside their normal genre isn't so bad. As long as the author is one you truly enjoy.

Heinlein has written travelogues, and books on politics and I enjoyed those almost as well as his Scifi.

John said...

I haven't read any of Turtledove's fantasy novels.

I think that he's a fairly mediocre novelist. But I read a lot of his alternate history because (1) he creates historically plausible and well-researched scenarios and (2) he produces them in volume.

larry said...

Bob and John,

Bob, I definitely agree with you that reading an author's writing in a genre different than what he or she may be known for can be a good thing. However, based on this experience I definitely agree with John that Turtledove in particular is perhaps a mediocre novelist, because a better novelist would have kept my interest in spite of being a genre I don't really follow.

jeff adams said...

I have just read his novel,
"Give me back my legions!"
What a load of RUBBISH! badly written, cliche-ridden, lazy writing.
Ugh! Riddled with 'you guys,' 'big shot'-for goodness sake it's supposed to be set in ancient Roman times!!! It's worth getting for "How NOT to write a novel!"