Although I read the bulk of it in December 09, I actually finished it at around 6pm on the 1st of January, so I'm dubiously including it... I don't know if there's any benefit in writing what I liked about it but I thought it was a good book albeit very dense. As an overview of the first 50 years of human habitation on Mars it got a bit confusing. There were times where I didn't realise a decade had passed between one chapter and the next. Still, the characters were interesting and the politics, although often glossed over, were pretty absorbing. I wish I'd had more "space" to experience the trials that the characters faced.
Do you plan to read Blue Mars and Green Mars? I read the trilogy way back in the early '00s and remember enjoying the series, although I was young and some of it could be confusing (and sometimes boring). What did I expect? The series is hard science sci-fi, and, therefore, difficult to understand at times. I remember feeling smarter after reading it! Ha ha. One of its problems was lack of action--or not enough. It is a thinking man's science fiction series, for sure. I do think the entire series was worth reading. Arkady was a great character, I seem to remember.
I have periodically wondered if I should reread them, but then I think about all the books I haven't read yet. I'm already rereading another series of books, so Robinson's books will have to wait for their reread.
This is a novella about a girl growing up in pre-wartime Germany, whose father is a political exile. Kully, the main character, gets dragged around Europe and eventually America doing pretty much the same thing in each place: eat at restaurants they can't afford, stop in hotels they can't afford, and whinge about her selfish father. Keun tried desperately hard to write like a child but the truth it just sounded like an angry old feminist pretending to be an innocent little girl. There are some beautiful brushes of language and phraseology and ideas and I have genuine support for what Keun tried to achieve (indeed I have a vague measure of respect for what she went through as a writer), and there's enough literary hooks to get me thinking about subtext and deeper meanings, but all in all I found it to be the kind of arty, self-aggrandizing nonsense that I try to avoid.