Showing posts from September, 2013

Cumberbatch reads Kafka

For a limited time, you can listen online to Benedict Cumberbatch's recording of The Metamorphosis.  This (only slightly abridged) version is divided into four half-hour segments.  There are commercials before each part, so you will have to skip ahead a few minutes on each track.  I just finished the whole thing, and it's super good!

The Moon, a Violent Frontier

Previously there occurred to me an idea for a post (since scrapped), called something like "H.G. Wells, Master of Humor and Pathos."  The gist of it, which I saw again in The First Men in the Moon*, is his unique knack for combining both emotions to pull you into the scientific-adventure plots.  Though having enjoyed his other best-known novels, I had middling hopes for this one (perhaps guided by the bias that it was not included in my hardback anthology, but never mind that).  Turned out to be every bit as good.

If Cavor is the model mad scientist, then Bedford is the archetypical starving writer, whose moment of inspiration is abruptly disturbed by Cavor's customary stroll by his house.  An unexpected collaboration on creating the scientist's Cavorite (a sort of anti-gravity substance) sends them literally to the moon.  The moon, contrary to Cavor's expectations, is not uninhabited.  This sets the two inventors at odds with each other, since Cavor is quite take…