At the weekend I downloaded Tarzan At The Earth’s Core onto my Kindle and sat outside in the sun and read it in a few hours. This was a book I loved when I was fifteen. It involves Tarzan joining an expedition to the hollow world at the Earth’s core, the dinosaur haunted setting of Burroughs Pellucidar novels to rescue David Innes from the clutches of the Korsars. It’s an odd book which features a lot of running around, cliff-hanger endings and prehistoric monsters. It ends abruptly as if Burroughs had reached his contractual word count for the project and just shut the whole thing down. There is no real structure, very little characterisation and the writing is clumsy. And still, I not only finished the book, I enjoyed it, even though I was aware of all these things. Some of it was nostalgia for sure but some of it was the sheer efficiency of Burroughs method and some of it was the pure pulpy joy of reading about adventures in a stone age world full of dinosaurs and sabre-tooth anachronisms. I downloaded this book for free from Feedbooks.
On Sunday evening I downloaded Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage (available for free direct from Amazon). This was something entirely different. The opening drew me in, the characters large-scale but complex feeling and the descriptions of the landscape astonishingly evocative. I’ve only read the first few chapters and I am gripped.
I spent part of Sunday afternoon reading The Ubuntu Linux Bible as part of my ongoing attempt to educate myself about the operating system. This is the sort of book I skim, dip into and re-read in chunks just to make sure I understand what it is saying. This version of the books covers the 10.04 Long Term Service release. I am waiting to see how the whole Unity thing turns out so I haven’t moved to 11.04. I suspect I will probably wait for Gnome 3 and the 12.04 LTS release before I upgrade.