rms10: (Default)
[personal profile] rms10
I just finished Blackout, by Connie Willis, with perfect timing -- All Clear comes out on Tuesday. (If that's not a reason to finally get a library card here, I don't know what is.) And oh boy, I need to talk about Blackout. Surely some of you have read it?

Since I am still all "EEEEEEE!" about it, let's go straight to bullet points. I probably need to re-read the first half of the book to figure out what is going on.
  • No one writes chaos and misunderstandings like Connie Willis. It's actually not a plot device I like, but she does it well enough that I genuinely find it more tense than annoying.
  • I was so worried that Polly, Eileen, and Mike would be the three casualties at Padgett's.
  • Have any of them changed history?
  • Okay, I have tried to accept the lack of cell phones in mid-21st century Oxford. It's actually a bit less annoying in this than in Doomsday Book. But I can't believe they're just sending historians willy-nilly into World War II. They all seemed unprepared for any loop thrown at them in their missions.
  • I'm not sure that we knew that there were "deadlines" in this time travel universe, and couldn't be in the same temporal location in two different places. But that makes sense, so I like that as a plot point. However, see above as to the carelessness of the History department.
  • And all that said -- is Dunworthy in London???? Was he killed in the raid? Is that why no one in Oxford can find Dunworthy?
  • Why aren't the drops working?



I'm sure that, like, half of my questions are answered in the first half of the book. Still, have any of you read it? What do you think?

Date: 2010-10-18 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zoje-george.livejournal.com
IT COMES OUT ON TUESDAY? I must make my reservation on a copy at my local. They're right next door to my work, so I bet I can get my friend A from there to bring it over the moment it arrives.

One thing I found a bit irritating was the character who interacted with the evacuated children, Merope, was suddenly turned into an irritating flibbertygibbet upon her arrival in London. Up until that time, Merope had been extremely competent and level-headed. [livejournal.com profile] pescana and I had talked about how Willis is very very good at writing irritating characters, but we both felt that this particular change, and it was a change, was a disservice to the character.

We will talk more on this topic once you and I have read the second book.

Edited Date: 2010-10-18 04:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-10-18 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rms10.livejournal.com
Ohhh, yes. Merope/Eileen was a wreck, moreso than the others. And not telling the others about her deadline, just, WTF. (This leads to the question of WHY the department let her go to VE-Day before the evacuation. I also have a suspicion that Dunworthy is trying to test Ishiwaka's theories, and changed everyone's schedules in an attempt to strain the time-travel system.)

Date: 2010-10-18 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pescana.livejournal.com
It's been a while, so I've forgotten quite a bit. Will have to wait until I get back to Chicago to read All Clear.

Who is the one that was dealing with the inflatable tanks in the field? It never said. I thought it was the obnoxious one (Gerald? Reginald? something like that) but then he was somewhere else. I went back and checked a few times and couldn't find anywhere that stated what his name is.

I don't understand why Eileen didn't tell the others about her deadline either. Maybe she won't make it and then we'll find out that the whole reason for the deadlines is invalid?

I like your theory!

Date: 2010-10-18 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rms10.livejournal.com
Oh, right. Who is dealing with the inflatable tanks? And who is the nurse with the upper-class women who are obsessed with the dances?

I'm really going to have to re-read parts of Blackout while waiting for All Clear.

Date: 2010-10-18 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensational.livejournal.com
I need to re-read this before All Clear gets here (it's on the way!). But I wanted to say that the Merope change irritated the heck out of me, too. I was like "really? she's falling apart NOW?"

But I loved it anyway.

Date: 2010-10-19 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rms10.livejournal.com
I think it didn't bother me all that much because I already thought that Polly was a bit of a wreck, so maybe I just lumped them together.

Anyway, eeeeee All Clear!

Date: 2010-10-18 02:15 pm (UTC)
listersgirl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] listersgirl
I picked up a copy of Blackout to re-read before my hold at the library on All Clear comes through, so that I wouldn't spend the entire time confused. Can't wait!

Date: 2010-10-19 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rms10.livejournal.com
I knew that reading Blackout right before All Clear came out was the right thing to do!

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