Before I go rambling on about the Vorkosigan series, I thought I’d share with you a few things my recent perusal of Montgomery county’s library’s e-audiobook collection:
Maybe the fact that I find this funny merely points to my extremely narrow knowledge of James Earl Jones’ acting career, but whatever. It’s hilarious.
And then there’s this.
Read the description. Capricious parents? Leopard-shifting ability? (I read this to Shu–maybe I stuttered a bit, maybe I didn’t–but she misheard it as leprechaun-shifting ability, which added a whole new dimension to the hilarity.)
Anyway, on to the blather.
This is actually an omnibus edition, containing Komarr, A Civil Campaign: a comedy of biology and manners, and the short story “Winterfair Gifts”.
Komarr—Half of the book is told from Ekaterin’s viewpoint, which was cool. I was annoyed at first (where’s my Miles, damn it!), but I was quickly sucked in.
A Civil Campaign—As the subtitle states, it’s a comedy, which means that quite a number of people who started out single in the beginning of the book end up rather attached (or optioned, in one case) by the end. It’s a distinct change of pace from the other Vorkosigan books; for one, we’ve got five different narrators. When a number of the narrators were in the same scene, I’d sometimes have trouble keeping track of whose thoughts and opinions I was reading, but it wasn’t too annoying.
I saw a hilarious parallel between Ekaterin’s relatives’ reaction to her attraction to Miles and Cordelia’s psychologist’s reaction to her attraction to Aral. They were both cornered by people who a) didn’t understand what Cordelia/Ekaterin saw in Aral/Miles, b) believed Aral/Miles had an ominous hold on Cordelia/Etaterin’s mind, and c) misguidedly thought they had Cordelia/Ekaterin’s best interests at heart. I wonder, isn’t it somewhat ominous that people have misgivings about family members marrying Vorkosigans? Oh, and then there’s Kareen and Mark, but, well…I’m trying to figure out whether Mark could actually be, objectively, considered worse than Aral or Miles. They’re all quite damaged and deranged in their own special ways….
I absolutely loved the Donna/Dono subplot. Oh Barrayar, do the balls make the man? Feel free to think it over before you answer.
Bujold’s humor was in excellent form. The butter bugs were hilarious, and then there’s this—
“My glimpse of her was so frustratingly brief. What little I could see was very attractive, I thought. Not too thin. She squished well, bouncing off me.” Count Vorkosigan grinned briefly, at this memory. Miles’s father shared an archaic Barrayaran ideal of feminine beauty that included the capacity to survive minor famines; Miles admitted a susceptibility to that style himself. “Reasonably athletic, too. Clearly, she could outrun you. I would therefore suggest blandishments, rather than direct pursuit, next time.”