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David Bremner Locked account

bremner@book.dansmonorage.blue

Joined 1 week, 5 days ago

computer scientist, mathematician, photographer, human. Debian Developer, Notmuch Maintainer, scuba diver

Much of my "reading" these days is actually audiobooks while walking.

FediMain: bremner@mathstodon.xyz

bremner@bookwyrm.social is also me. Trying a smaller instance to see if the delays are less maddening.

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The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) 2 stars

Bad outweighs the good.

2 stars

Most of these stories are very old, and even the translation dates from 1909. I can forgive the (in modern terms) lack of character development and somewhat weak plotting in most of them. The glimpses into the early modern Arab world are occasionally fascinating (Sinbad was particularly interesting for me the discussion of trade and ancient Iraqi cities). The lack of interesting women characters is probably no worse than more recent "prince rescues princess" genre fiction.The casual violence and questionable morality is occasionally a bit shocking, but I guess one can make an argument for that as "thought provoking". I don't think I can excuse the occasional antisemitism and pervasive anti-black racism in the same way. Eventually it just dominated my experience of the book, which is kindof ick.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) 2 stars

The story of Sinbad the Voyager is probably the most interesting in the volume, although it is not without problematic levels of racism.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) No rating

Finished Codadad and his Brothers. The plot is moderately amusing, but the racism is really turned up to 11. The villainous giant is called simply "The Black".

The Windup Girl (2009)

The Windup Girl by 

The Windup Girl is a biopunk science fiction novel by American writer Paolo Bacigalupi. It was his debut novel and …

Piranesi (Paperback, 2020, Berryville, Bloomsbury Publishing) 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an …

I enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1) (2005) No rating

Consider Phlebas, first published in 1987, is a space opera novel by Scottish writer Iain …

Content warning mild spoilers.

Little Free Library (2020, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

From the award-wining fantasy author of the Dead Rivers Trilogy, comes Naomi Kritzer's enchanting Tor.com …

The story is free to read, what could possibly go wrong?

To be taught, if fortunate (Hardcover, 2019, Hodder & Stoughton) 5 stars

To Be Taught, if Fortunate is a 2019 science fiction novella by Becky Chambers.

I know nothing about this book but the author.

(That turns out to be because there a duplicate books; search by author to find reviews).

commented on The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) No rating

Content warning mild spoilers. violence mention.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) No rating

Finished two more stories, both of which I thought more interesting than Aladdin. The store of the Prince Agib and the Story of the the City of Brass are both allegories about greed. The City of Brass has one character who succeeds because he is devout and learned, which makes a change from just lucky.

I also happened to look at a few of the illustrations (by Maxfield Parrish) in the print edition, and they definitely add to the stories.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) Aucune note

In order that my comments not be entirely negative, I should note that at least Aladdin does not promote the inherent nobility of the ruling classes, unlike some of the earlier stories in the volume.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) Aucune note

As soon as Aladdin had seen the princess, his heart could not withstand those inclinations so charming an object always inspires.

The Arabian Nights

It remains to be seen if "object" is an awkward word choice, or a fair description of the Princess's role in the story.

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) Aucune note

perhaps you do not know that he is the greatest rogue even among the Jews, and that nobody of prudence will have anything to do with him

The Arabian Nights

Oh dear. The "cunning Jew" is a rather standard antisemetic trope.

commented on The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights (AudiobookFormat, 2000, Blackstone Audiobooks) Aucune note

Started to listen to Aladdin. It is worth linking to www.criticalmuslim.io/the-dark-side-of-the-arabian-nights/ for discussion of the racism in the Arabian nights. Here "African" definitely means bad, although it's less obviously anti-black racism (to this non-expert) than some of the other stories.