It’s a rare rare book that can capture the weird heat that permeates your being when you’re in love. Movies almost never do it, or swap out subtlety for explicit and over the top renditions. This is a book of short stories with a theme, two themes in fact. One of them is “love” and the other is a particular date in 1929 when all of the stories took place. From there, they run the gamut from allegorical exposition to steamy romance to the old “so *that’s* what that was all about” twist-at-the end stories. They’re great. It’s rare that a group of stories is able to cohere as a set and yet have most of the stories stand alone as individual pieces, not as, say, chapters in a book.
You read these tales and there is a familiar heat behind the ears, you know what these characters are going through and how tough their trials must be for them. So complex, so moving and so readable, even though this collection was translated from the original Danish. The yearning of his characters is palpable and yet the whole scenario is removed just a little bit in time and space so that they also feel somewhat ethereal.
This book is more fun than you expect it to be. It’s a semi-autibiography written by Linus and David Diamond who seems to have done a lot of the legwork to keep the book going. It’s a fun book that gets inside the head of a true techie geek and explains how single-minded determination to solve tech problems led to him spending long amounts of time inside, living with his mom, tying up the phone line and creating Linux.
Despite the title, it’s not a “blah blah open source is the only way” title. Linus of course is a fan of open source, but this book isn’t his soapbox for OS, this is a book about him. He talks briefly about the differences between Stallman’s GPL and the open source model Linux was released under, but doesn’t get too into the various pissing matches, or open source politics much at all. He tries to set the record straight about his own personality -- he was always out to be well-known for Linux, he just wasn’t expecting a band of geeks to propel him there -- and what he’s been doing since RedHat’s IPO. The book was written in 2001 and there have been a lot of changes in his life since then that aren’t mentioned, but as a readable and inteersting introduction to a tech.legend, this book is worth the read.