Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wine Review: Zinfandel: Castoro 2004 Whale Rock

Castoro, Zinfandel Whale Rock 2004, Paso Robles
A big but not overpowering Paso Zin. A real pleasure to drink. A bit tannic with a long finish. This is one of those wines that reminds one why Paso is Zin country and why Castoro is one of the best producers there.

My Rating; 90

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Altered Carbon: Book Review

Read November 2008
This is a good book. It is interesting, but drags at times. My "new scale" rating [Link] 75.

According to Wikipedia: Altered Carbon (2002) is a hardboiled science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan. Set some five hundred years in the future in a universe in which the United Nations Protectorate oversees a number of extrasolar planets settled by human beings, it features protagonist Takeshi Kovacs. Kovacs is a former United Nations Envoy and a native of Harlan's World, a planet settled by a Japanese keiretsu with Eastern European labour.

I found this book at Powell's in Portland. There was a sign on the shelf that said, "If you like (the book) Snow Crash, you will like Altered Carbon." Sorry, IMHO Altered Carbon is no Snow Crash. Yes, I immediately got into the book. Initially it seemed well written and innovative.

But, as I read it I noticed, in spots, the quality seemed to go downhill. It was like the author was forcing the content, trying to force more action into it than the story needed or he was rushing to meet a deadline. There was this long side thread regarding the character Kovacs's battle with the character Kadmin that seemed to have no point except to make the book thicker or to up the violence level in the book.

Morgan has other books in this series. I did finish Altered Carbon. I mostly enjoyed it. But, I am not going to be in a hurry to read another of Morgan's books.

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