Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Book-blog's best reads of 2007 | Main | Labriola, Jerry: The Strange Death of Napoleon Bonaparte »

Somoza, José Carlos: Zig Zag

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Rayo © 2007, 504 pages
3 stars

Note: I read this book in part for The Sunday Salon. See related posts here and here.

Elisa Robledo is a physics professor at Alighieri University in Madrid. She's brilliant, beautiful, thirty-something, and enigmatic. She keeps to herself. And she harbors a horrible secret. In 2005, ten years before the story's narrative present, Elisa and a handful of similarly gifted intellectuals were selected to take part in a top-secret project. Hidden away on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, Elisa and her cohorts attempted to prove that images of the past, preserved in particles of light, can be unlocked and viewed in the present. Of course, the idea of seeing the past is immediately appealing: images from antiquity, from pre-history, from the Crucifixion; historical mysteries laid bare. But further reflection yields at least as many nefarious uses to which such historical sight might be put. There can be no secrets in a world in which all past action is viewable. Suffice it to say that in playing with time the scientists unleash unanticipated horrors that, ten years later, still haunt them--those of them that remain alive, that is.

[INSET TEXT: There can be no secrets in a world in which all past action is viewable.] Elisa is joined on the island by Ric Valente, an equally brilliant fellow student with whom Elisa has an unpleasant history: Ric is a misogynist and, perhaps, a sociopath. They are both friendly with a certain Victor Lopera, a colleague of Elisa's in 2015 who, however, did not take part in the temporal experimentation of 2005. David Blanes is the professor who devised the theory the scientists are out to prove. Other secondary characters in the book are less important and less memorable.

Zig Zag is billed in its blurbs as a must-read thriller, but though the book's premise is interesting, it fails to thrill. One problem is that, at just over 500 pages in hardcover, it's too damn long. And there is much that could have been edited out, parts of the story that never amount to anything. Much is made in the book, for example, of David Blanes' apparent hostility to Elisa--his favoritism of Ric, his refusal to acknowledge Elisa in the classroom--but this hostility evaporates once Elisa graduates from Blanes' classroom to the island, and it turns out not to be important to the story. Similarly, there is a great deal early on in the book about Elisa's relationship with Ric--a bet they made, on which a good deal was riding, over the solution to a problem posed by Blanes--but it turns out not to matter. And we hear about Elisa's relationship with her mother, who doesn't really "get" physics or understand her daughter, but the mother soon disappears from the story and could as easily never have been mentioned. Beyond this, I never cared about the characters who were being killed off in the story, and never felt any particular concern for those left alive. The threat to the group is two-pronged. On the one hand, something is killing them off one by one. On the other, there is the enigmatic government group that has been involved from the beginning but is, in ways that never became clear to me, now up to no good. Since the bad guys' motivation is hazy, they failed to interest or frighten me as much as they might have.

Zig Zag could have used a lot of editing. Knock out a hundred pages or so and the story would have been much improved.

Tags: , , ,

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2007/12/somoza-jos-carl.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.