Log in

Notes from the Labyrinth
Unobtainium and Dragons' Bones
Recent Entries 
ws: hamlet

This is the blog of Sarah Monette/Katherine Addison, a professional writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sarah Monette is my real name; Katherine Addison is a pen name, intended to be transparent.

If you've found me here, odds are pretty good you're looking for something to read, so the following is--to the best of my knowledge--a complete list of everything I've written that's available online:

STORIESCollapse )
ESSAYSCollapse )
Unread Book ChallengeCollapse )
Sidneyia inexpectans
Underfoot Cat and I have conversations in the early morning. Catzilla and I have conversations at night, which generally go something like this:

ME: [reading in bed]
CATZILLA: [materializing out of freaking nowhere] Kitty is adorable.
CATZILLA: Kitty is adorable.
ME: Kitty is walking on my book.
CATZILLA: Kitty is adorable.
ME: Kitty is walking on my hair.
CATZILLA: Kitty is adorable.
ME: Kitty is standing in my light.
CATZILLA. Kitty is adorable.
ME: Oh god, no. Not the tail-across-the face trick.
CATZILLA: Kitty. Is. Adorable.
ME: [through Catzilla's magnificent plumy tail, draped elegantly across my face] Mmmmhnmph.
CATZILLA: Admit it. Kitty is adorable.
ME: Yes, okay, okay! I give! Kitty is adorable!
CATZILLA: Le chat, c'est moi.
ME: [pets Catzilla]
Sidneyia inexpectans
The Assassin"s AccompliceThe Assassin's Accomplice by Kate Clifford Larson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There are many phrases I can think of to describe John Wilkes Booth's plot against President Lincoln, but "madcap scheme" (118) is not one of them.

Short version: I recommend American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies instead.

Slightly longer version: Despite its claims to the contrary, this book has no new evidence or insights to offer, unless by "insight," you mean unsupported speculation about what various people must have been feeling during interrogations or while giving testimony. Larson's writing ranges from pedestrian to awful. She makes only clumsy and superficial gestures in the direction of social and gender history. She gets basic things wrong, like claiming that "a crazed John Wilkes Booth burst into [the President's] private box" (89) to assassinate Lincoln (Booth proceeded calmly, stealthily, and with obvious premeditation until after he shot Lincoln, at which point he became very stagey and theatrical . . . but still not crazed) or failing for some unfathomable reason to note that Sic semper tyrannis is the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia and not only the slogan of John Wilkes Booth. She can't decide what her own position is, whether she admires Surratt and deplores her death as a travesty of justice, or believes that she was a contemptible traitor who was justly executed, or any of the many possible judgments in-between. Nor can she decide what she thinks about Louis Weichmann or about the military tribunal who sentenced Surratt to death. This indecision incidentally makes it impossible for her to articulate or support a thesis.


View all my reviews
This page was loaded Jan 19th 2017, 5:02 pm GMT.