I guess I am on a Violin Concerto kick these days. Here is Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61: I. Allegro ma non troppo by New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The soloist is Hilary Hahn. I am just becoming acquainted with her playing. I think she displays a controlled power tempered by a refined and polished technique.
This is the third book by Algis Budrys I have read but it won't be the last. I have a few to go.
The reason is because Josh and I were visiting one of our favorite bookstores, Gladewater Books.
Let me interrupt myself here and say that Gladewater is a rinky dink town, twenty minutes west of my home with a population of 6, 427 and I'm pretty sure that includes everybody's dogs. But they have a fabulous bookstore (and about a million antique stores, if you're interested). The owner and his wife are both lawyers. He was a prosecution attorney in Houston and came to Gladewater to relax. He picked the right place. If you have high blood pressure, move to Gladewater.
But as I said, it boasts of a wonderful bookstore run by this retired attorney and his wife, who is not retired which probably takes the stress off of trying to stay in business.
Recently they hired a young girl who knows where every single book you've ever wanted is in the bookstore. And that's saying a lot because there's a lot of books.
Anyway, I had just read Algis Budrys' marvelous "Who?" and was eager to get my hands on more of Budrys' books. The girl, who is maybe almost intrusively friendly, asked if I needed help. Usually I like to browse without a store clerk following me around begging to help me, but this time I asked,
"Have any Algis Budrys?"
She ran off so fast I thought I had offended her, but shortly she came back with a pile of old paperbacks and handed them to me.
And that, folks, is why I now own quite a few Budrys and you will be reading the reviews of all of them before the year is out.
While "Who?" was very good, the second, "Michaelmas", was a bit of a bore. Budrys can get bogged down in minutiae, which really does not propel the plot. I would place "Some Will Not Die" above Michaelmas and below "Who?" The review below will hopefully tell why.
Some Will Not Die by Algis Budrys
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this book to my husband as we were traveling from Virginia Beach to Washington D.C. I think if I was not reading this to Josh I would have given up on it. However, I am glad I finished it because the story was not without merit. I will briefly describe the plot, what I liked and what I didn't like.
A plague has hit America and the country is plunged into a culture of barbarism. Everyone is out for themselves, pillaging and looting and killing or being killed.
In New York City, Matthew Garvin is one man who struggles to survive, even killing his best friend (which is understandable because his friend wanted to eat him). He stumbles across a woman who is trying to steal medicine out of an abandoned pharmacy for her father. Garvin and the girl team up, cover each other for snipers on the roofs of buildings.
They finally reach the apartment but the father dies anyway. Garvin lives with the young woman and together they manage to scrape out a living.
One day, the encounter their neighbors and risk getting to know them. They team up and with the leadership of his neighbor, Gustav Berendsten, they eventually unite with all the tenants of their building. This leads ultimately to uniting with other apartments, which inevitably leads to turf and power wars. Berendsten wants to unite all people and he ruthlessly attempts it after building a powerful army which fights other factions.
The story jumps back and forth between prologues which are in the future and the past. Each new section takes place with a different generation. We see that America develops from tribal warfare, to gentry that fights with other towns to people eventually learning to live civilly with each other.
I liked how Budrys kept the story growing and not stagnate. We see multiple generations and how they differ from their forefathers. Budrys writes convincing, powerful characters that are worth reading about.
I did not like the detailed information about war strategy. It was just too mundane for me. However, Josh did like that so hopefully I provided everyone with enough information to decided whether this book is for them.
View all my reviews