Book Report: Kiln People
21 November 2005, 5:48 PM
Two more, and I’ll be caught up. Nearly two years ago, I seem to have noted that the sequel to Kiln People would be called Kiln Time, and that they worked better if you give kiln two syllables. I don’t know if there’s any sign of the sequel. That’s fine; the book starts off just grand and deteriorates through the course of the plot, ending in a horrible mush. It’s hard to imagine that a sequel would be any good.
So, my experience with the David Brin novels that I enjoy the first time through is that they don’t hold up to re-reading. The problem, I think, is that Mr. Brin is an asshole, and that his personality breaks through the decent plotting, clever narrative handling, and provocative world-creation on the second time through. Postman holds up, somewhat, although I am much more irritated by the irritating parts when I reread it. Kiln People isn’t as bad as Glory Season, which is just awful on reread, but then it wasn’t very good the first time through.
You know, I insult David Brin (who seems to me to deserve it) but I should put the thing into context: there is no way that I could write a novel or even a blog entry that would have enough entertaining stuff to tip the scales for somebody who finds my personality irritating. I am satisfied by a book that is good once through, and that covers its flaws (in this case, Mr. Brin himself) with enough good stuff to keep me entertained that once. Frankly, all the re-reading I do is a sign of just how lazy I am, and is one of my own character flaws, for which it seems unfair to blame Mr. Brin.
chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,