Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thoughts on Amazon Buying Goodreads

Let's set aside, for the moment, the huge miss Apple, Sony and Kobo made in not buying Goodreads if for no other reason that book reviews are scarce on those ebook sites apart from bestseller books. The two nagging questions I have relate to Google Books (now called Google Play) and the different review systems on Amazon and Goodreads.

Reviews on Google Books are populated by reviews on Goodreads. Expect this to end shortly. Did Google not go after Goodreads because it felt there was no need given the automatic porting of reviews? Wow.

What's of greater long term interest is that reviews are posted differently on Amazon and Goodreads. Currently on Amazon, the review with the highest number of likes (minus dislikes) sits in the top review spot. On Goodreads, the latest review gets top billing regardless of the number of likes. Watch for this to change. I also expect Goodreads will be adding a dislike button to its reviews in the near future. Here we go.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review of "Gormenghast" Book II of the Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake

Gormenghast is the second book in the fantastic Gormenghast trilogy. In it, Mervyn Peake has managed to make the sprawling, never ending castle of gray and stone, one of the main characters. Death is everywhere, lurking in dark corners and worn stairs and crumbling archways. Furtive and building horror sans blood and guts. As with the first book in the trilogy, Peake doesn't let up and cements his trilogy as one of the great Gothic texts of the twentieth century.

Robert Smith and his band The Cure were heavily influenced by Gormenghast. "A Forest" and "The Drowning Man" draw on Gormenghast and the ghastly doings that happen within it ever moldering walls. A must listen and a must read!