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First published in 1934, this book was subsequently banned from being imported into the US. BY 1938, it had also been added to the list of banned books in Canada as well. In the UK, the only copies available were smuggled into the country. I have always been a fan of banned books, because usually the controversy is over political or religious views. But in the case of this book, it is due to the blatant vulgarity, obscenity, and profanity. This is not a masterpiece with revolutionary ideas hidden inside that world leaders refused to have available to the public. In fact, the only claims to fame this book has is being banned due to obscenity, and the fact that it is one of the most horridly written books on the face of the planet.  This is the review I wrote of this a few months ago:

Started this before I moved, and lost the book. It was found and sent to me, and it’s time to finish reading it. So far, I’ve thought it was very messily written, jumping from one idea to another to another, until you’ve lost the original thought and then crashing back into the original idea, in a shattering, lose-your-train-of-thought way. It doesn’t hold your attention, in that it seems to be trying to make you lose where you were, but the parts that make sense and flow smoothly are enough to make you lose yourself in it for a few minutes until the jarring writing snaps you back into wondering what’s happening. One of the strangest books I’ve ever read, I’m not sure whether this is interesting and engaging, or a worthless waste of time and money. I suppose it takes some level of genius to write a book people aren’t sure whether they should put it down and never pick it up again, but keep reading to the finish. Very strange indeed.

Even now, I think this is a pretty accurate description. The thing I hate most about the book is the fact that the ideas jump from one place to another, back and forth, or will go off on a tangent, then jump back to an idea 5 or 6 pages beforehand. It’s like wading through the mind of a man who has gone insane, and then been shaken so hard everything in his mind crashes together into a huge jumble. I will agree with other reviewers in that this book is a brutally honest look into one man’s life, but at the same time, this is more a drunken rambling of sexual exploits and god knows what else I missed.

So bottom line: Don’t read this book. If you want to read it for the vulgarity or obscenity, pick up a woman’s romance instead (I swear those books are most women’s equivalent to porn). If you’re in it because it’s a banned book, there are much more intelligent books that have caused widespread controversy waiting for you to read them.

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I love music! While I typically stick to whatever’s on the radio, symphonic metal, alternative, or classic rock, I also love music that I can imagine doing a routine to (circus, dance, marching band, color guard, etc.). The one song I’ve become obsessed with is actually a cover of The Resistance by Muse. This version is by 2 Cellos, and the name describes it pretty well. Isn’t it amazing?

By the way, did you know that on youtube videos, you can type repeat into the URL between “youtube” and “.com” ? All it does is take you to a page where the video has been embedded and continously loops. That’s it. I use it all the time!

So I mentioned this book in my list of books that I loved and hated and wanted to read. Just to let you know, every book on that list that I labelled as being a recommendation or to avoid, I have read. I will not bash a book or gloat about it until I have read it and decided for myself. So, onwards to the review!

I wanted to mention Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky. It’s one of his short novels, but that makes it all the better. Personally, I’ve found his full-length novels drag on with a lot of filling, but not much plot. His shorter books are an afternoon read, but they keep you well entertained. The plot of this book is fantastic, and it gets 5 stars from me! If you have any used book stores in the area (especially such as Half Price Books in the US) try and pick up an older copy of the book. I paid 35 cents for mine. A great use for pocket change! Oh, and just another note, I use short books like this to clear my mind when I’m in the middle of a huge series that seems to be dragging on forever. A quick afternoon read to escape somewhere else, and you won’t have to worry about juggling books or plots. Plus it gets your mind out of the rut and makes the series easier to get through. Because face it, no matter how much you love reading, 14 1,000-page books is a bit of a challenge. So, onto the book. You can safely read the minor spoiler section… I’m just covering the premesis of the book. But make sure you don’t read the major spoiler section below! That’s my review and has info in it you won’t want to know beforehand!

**Minor Spoiler**

The back of the book (at least my edition) reads: The Universe was five miles long, and 2000 feet across. Men scoffed at the legends of such things as stars, or the demented idea that the Ship was moving… for the Ship was the Universe, and there could be nothing outside. Then one man found his way into a forgotten room, and saw the stars – and they moved….

The premesis of the book is that the crew of a spaceship, traveling to Alpha Centauri, mutinied and killed all of the officers and crewmen. Several generations down the line (it was supposed to take 2-3 generations, but when the crew was killed, the spaceship was shut down and simply drifted through space), the people aboard had forgotten that it was a spaceship, and believed that the ship was the entire galaxy.

I find the idea absolutely fascinating. I have never read anything even remotely similar to this, and it caught my attention from the get-go. If you’re interested in the book, don’t read on. It has spoilers. So go buy it! If you already have, read on to the bottom to see if you agree with my review.

**Major Spoilers**

Don’t read this until after you’ve read the book, or don’t plan on reading it. But seriously, go read the book.

Throughout the book, Hugh is talking to mutants and discovering more and more about the stars and the ship he’s on. It was really well written, and the characters were fantastically created. I loved the pace of the book; very little downtime or boring, dry chapters. My only complaint is the ending of the book seemed rushed (probably because at the length of the book, the end is only about 15-20 pages) and also a tad ridiculous. How is it that after magically escaping in a pod on the ship, they just magically happen to land on the one moon that can sustain life? How? I mean, come on. I would have been happier if they had all died! But aside from this mediocre ending, the book was amazing. Well written, and well worth the short read.