Bath Time

Last night I sat down for my first tub bath with Jason.  Lately, we've been bathing him in the regular tub instead of the little infant basin we started with.  Since he still can't really sit up on his own, one of us will get in there with him.  (And, of course, up until last night "one of us" was Juliette.)

Afterwards, Juliette asked me if it was fun.  I told her that, on the one hand, yes, it was fun because he liked the warm water and was in a pretty good mood the whole time.  On the other hand, however, he also managed to kick me in the testicles no less than four times, which made it somewhat less than completely enjoyable for me.  I think Jason may have found it amusing, so I reckon that once he's old enough, he'll probably appreciate the Three Stooges.  And, on the bright side, I can tell that his leg muscles are developing well.


By Dan Simmons

It may not be completely legit to review all four of Dan Simmons' Hyperion novels in the same article--it's questionable whether the series functions as a single, cohesive whole, or two parts, or four. One review is less work for me, though, which makes me considerably less likely to quit. (Please, don't hurt me.)

The four novels of the Hyperion series--Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and The Rise of Endymion--easily split into two parts. The first two books follow a group of characters on a pilgramage to a planet on the edge of a huge interstellar empire--each one hoping to find the answers to the mysterious events of his life, while the rest of humanity is on the brink of war. The second two books are set several hundred years later, showing the aftermath and resolution of the events in the first half of the series.

The first book is just fantastic. Structurally, Hyperion resembles The Canterbury Tales--each of the pilgrims telling his own story to the rest as they move toward their uncertain destination--and it's very well done. Each story is distinct in style and memorable in its own right, and Simmons weaves them together wonderfully. In fact, if the series had ended with the first book, I think I wouldn't have minded, despite the fact that it ends in a cliffhanger.

The second book wasn't quite as interesting from a writing standpoint as the first, but the ideas presented were interesting and it provided what I thought was a very satisfying resolution to the action in the first. Several mysteries remain by the end of Fall, but somehow they seemed to be the sort that didn't need explaining.

Unfortunately, the third and fourth novels didn't really live up to the first two. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy them at all, but big chunks of the text got bogged down in discussions about human history and the nature of the universe. Even when there was action taking place, I often found myself skimming over the scenes, just trying to see what happens next.

Overall, I'd say that this series was worth the read, but I most likely won't come back to it.

Started: 7/21/2008 | Finished: 9/24/2008

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