Book review: Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All – by Jonas Jonasson

hitman_anders.jpgI bought the book because I loved the idea: a failed priest, the grandson of a millionaire, and a geriatric hitman just out of prison. Circumstances throw them together, and together they come up with some pretty odd ideas to scam money out of their fellow Swedes. The book is a good long poke at organised religion, which manages to deliver a few smiles and the occasional raised eyebrow along the way, but if I had to sum it up in one word, then I’d probably go for ‘likeable’.

Hitman Anders showed great promise in the early chapters, but it lost its way a little bit towards the middle. It kept me reading, which is good sign because I’m happy to drop a book if I’m not enjoying it. The author delivers basic but workable characterisations and keeps things moving at a mild canter.  He does have  to resort  to the occasional ‘lookahead’ though, to keep the reader moving to the next chapter.  Yes, it works, but I always feel it’s cheating for some reason… Still, it doesn’t happen too often so I’m probably being picky.

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Dom’s pet hate corner #2

html.pngOkay, not HTML per se, but HTML when it applies to eBooks.

HTML for web sites? Brilliant idea, and even it if it wasn’t, I’m not going to suggest changing it now.

But when the idea of eBooks was first floated, we had a completely clean slate; we could have gone anywhere, done anything. Instead, we plumped for a technology that had already shown how difficult it is to get the same look and feel across different devices.

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Welcoming our new robot author overlords

Ignoring everything they’ve seen throughout the Terminator franchise, a group of  Japanese researchers have come up with a computer that writes short stories… and it’s actually produced a piece of work that got through the first round of a literary competition.

AI-written novel passes literary prize screening

Creative writing as a manufactured commodity – that’s a scary thought, but perhaps it’s inevitable. Companies love automation: feed a few instructions in one end and get a finished product out of the other. It’s always been a popular notion that there are only a handful of stories and that everything written is a variation on those; if that’s true then why can’t a machine just write a half decent story?

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