Nolan himself recognizes Loeb's influence on his Dark Knight trilogy, and it is everywhere in these pages, but Loeb's The Long Halloween is much betteNolan himself recognizes Loeb's influence on his Dark Knight trilogy, and it is everywhere in these pages, but Loeb's The Long Halloween is much better than what Nolan did on screen. It takes the post-Miller Dark Knight back to his kinder gentler detective past without the cheese and stupidity. Loeb's Batman is morose and grey, but he's not bitter, nasty, or "dark," which makes him much more welcoming to the reader. I think this is the ideal beginning for anyone interested in Batman. Plus, it's not just a great place to start for Bruce/Batman, but also for an intro to all the major villainous players. ...more
For a few years now, I've been interviewing my twins after they finish reading their books, posting those interviews on their own goodreads profile. MFor a few years now, I've been interviewing my twins after they finish reading their books, posting those interviews on their own goodreads profile. My girl, Brontë, finished reading Little House in the Big Woods about a month ago, and I read it this week (I always read or reread the books they've read.) You can see that interview with me right here:
Brontë: So first ... did you like it? did you love it? or did you hate? did you think it was okay? or did you really like it?
Pa: I loved it. It was good. Much better than I expected.
Brontë: Who was your favourite character?
Pa: Hmmm ... that's a tough one because I loved Pa and Laura a lot, but I also dug Ma. Mary's a bit of pain, but to be fair, the story is being told by Laura, and little sisters don't tend to be too kind to their older sisters. So maybe I can't judge Mary on that. But I guess I like Pa the best because he's really the focus of the story for Laura. He's the one she talks most about. And he seems like a pretty good guy.
Pa: Did you expect something different? Did you think I'd like someone else?
Brontë: I thought you'd say Laura, but my second favourite was Pa.
Pa: So we're reversed.
Pa: I figured you'd like Laura best.
Brontë: What was your favourite moment and your favourite chapter?
Pa: My favourite moment was when Ma slapped the bear in the night. That was awesome. And my favourite chapter was the Maple Syrup dance on the day of the sugar snow. That was pretty cool. I loved how everyone really just had fun even with all the hard work that still had to be done.
Brontë: Did you like the Harvest chapter?
Pa: That must have been your favourite.
Brontë: It was one of my favourites.
Pa: Yeah. I liked it. It was awesome. Charley deserved to get stung by the bees.
Brontë: Yeah he did. When that happened I almost said, "Get off your lazy butt and do some work!"
Pa: Yeah he was lazy all right, and a total pain the ass. Pa didn't approve of the way Charley ignored his Dad, did he?
Brontë: No, he didn't. I thought the same thing. I love how in the picture when he was wrapped in the bandages all the girls were staring at him with mean faces on.
Pa: That's something else I loved, the art.
Brontë: Oh yeah, the art was beautiful.
Pa: But Laura's writing was even more beautiful. I was impressed.
Brontë: I agree.
Pa: It was so clear and descriptive, and I felt like I was there sometimes.
Brontë: Me too. Every moment I felt like I watched it in my head.
Pa: It's cool when you read a book like that.
Brontë: And then I could look at the pictures and think, that's what the boys and girls look like and watch it in my head as I read.
Pa: I think I could see what they looked like even without the pictures.
Brontë: Yeah, me too.
Pa: The writing was just that good.
Brontë: Especially what she said, like in the dance part when the girls were getting ready, and she described what the dresses looked like and you could totally see the dresses in your head.
Pa: Darn good book. Thanks for reading it so I could.
Brontë: No problem. Don't forget to say thanks to Auntie Marci too.
My Game of Thrones journals were so well liked I thought I'd do it all over again with A Clash of Kings, and I am finally finished. So this is my finaMy Game of Thrones journals were so well liked I thought I'd do it all over again with A Clash of Kings, and I am finally finished. So this is my final installment. This is my final star rating.
Sansa -- Two of my favourite speeches so far. First, the Hound delivers a speech to Sansa about the truth of knights and their role as killers. Second, Cersei delivers up her “love is poison” speech. Sansa could learn so much from those two, but I doubt she will. Excellent stuff regardless. Plus, Sansa has her first period. Menstruation is good, but not good for Sansa. And, yes, I continue to love Sansa, much more than Arya, and I think it is important to note Cersei’s words about Arya’s successful humiliation of Joffrey: “ You could thank your sister for that, if she weren’t dead. He’s never been able to forget that day on the Trident when you saw her shame him, so he shames you in turn.” In terms of right and wrong, Arya was probably right to do what she did in the moment, but being right about something doesn’t make it the “right” thing to do, and Sansa will continue to pay the price of the Stark tendency to march around in their self-righteousness doing stuff they shouldn’t.
Jon -- Finally, a great chapter from Jon. Two of his best moments in the tale come right here: admitting to Qhorin that he let the wildling girl go, and his wolfdream of Mance Rayder’s forces. Ghost gets hit by a bad assed eagle. Qhorin proves himself to be a phenomenal leader. Jon learns some sacrifice when Squire Dalbridge stays behind to slow up Rayder’s men. And the action is finally flowing in a way that I’ve been hungering for. GRRM is going to suck me back in right when I was about to take a long, long pause. Jerk.
Tyrion -- Cersei, Cersei, Cersei. Your decisiveness and cold, angry detachment can serve you well, but it blinds you just as often to those who would be most valuable to you, and it leads to all sorts of new and deadly enemies. Tyrion will fuck you up (and Tommen, literally and figuratively if you cross the Imp again), and you will have only yourself to blame. Excellent chapter, by the way.
Catelyn -- So she has her chat with Jamie after she gets word that her two boys are dead (which I don’t buy for a second) and the chapter ends with the “cliff hanger” of Catelyn calling to Breanne for a sword. And we’re supposed to believe that Jamie’s going to die?! It is one of GRRM’s more ham-fisted moments, and it’s so obvious that Catelyn’s going to let him go that I feel silly even talking about it, but what else is there to talk to about in this chapter? I suppose I could just say that Jamie was very cool in the scene. So yeah, Jamie was cool. There you go.
Theon -- I knew the boys were spared and some random kids were killed in their stead,so I wasn’t surprised at all, and it is a crime that will lower Rickard and Bran (especially Bran) in my estimation if it is revealed that they were in on being “let go” (they would have to have known, or Osha would have to have known, that Theon couldn’t return empty handed) I feel for Theon’s isolation in the world, and the fact that his miscalculation when it comes to Winterfell and his father and sister will probably be fatal. I am fascinated by Reek, the nasty man who can get things done in the North (a plant by Mance Rayder? some other piece of nastiness I'm missing? I wonder), but the raping of Kyra to soothe his personal demons -- an act that will in no way add to his demons -- put up a serious blockade between me and Theon. I don’t see how he can overcome that act.
Sansa -– The war has begun, and we’re stuck with Sansa wandering around praying. “At least we get to see Tyrion and Joffrey and Shae and Cersei, Brad.” Fuck all that. I don’t want to see them if it serves no good purpose, if we only see them to keep their threads fresh in our minds and their names in our face. GRRM is like one of those variety acts from the Ed Sullivan show, but an act who bombs because he spends all his time juggling and is never actually able to get to his big finale, the plate spinning, because he is so enamoured of his balls. This chapter also highlights my one big, big problem with GRRM’s story. The lack of POV from someone unimportant. One person, one working class person that isn’t tied to a big family, isn’t woven into the greater intrigues or struggles for power. One person who would feel the wars as a peasant or a worker of some kind. That person can bump up against the great ones of Westeros, but they should only bump. We need to see things from one of their perspectives. Without it a huge chance for understanding the world, and feeling like it is a real place are lost, and Sansa’s walk around King’s Landing while the war begins makes that lack intolerable for me.
Davos -- Always on the periphery. GRRM could take some Naval battle lessons from Patrick O’Brian, cause this on the edge of the fight stuff just so we can get the big picture is pissing me off. Davos will probably make it out of the conflagration and live to POV another day, but I hope he fucking dies. Along with Stannis.
Tyrion -- The Imp scores a palpable hit or two. His victory of the green flame is pretty impressive, and rallying the troops with potential shame is equally so. I hope he wins a victory so he can lord it over the King and his sis during the next book. I was hoping to finish it all tonight, but I seem to have left it in the car, which is now with my wife at work. Shit!
later -- I found my book and forgotten I’d already written something about this chapter, so my second journal entry is this: “Tyrion’s brain concocts the masterful double stroke of chain and wildfire, and his balls concoct the return to battle of the Hound’s men. I wonder if his balls smell as bad as Sir Patrick Stewart’s in that baldric?” I think I like this second one better.
Sansa -- Cersei is a negative-Nancy, isn’t she? What a shame she’s without joy. I wonder if even Jamie can make her happy?
Tyrion -- Shit. I thought Tyrion had finally earned some bellicose respect from those “tough guys” around him. I thought he was going to have Balon Swann’s and Mandon Moore’s loyalty forever, but it looks like someone else had already bought the latter to assassinate him (Cersei? Most likely. But it could just as easily have been Joffrey trying to get a little vengeance hidden by the war, vengeance that wouldn’t leave him having to answer uncomfortable questions from his real dad and his granddad). Breathless chapter.
Sansa -- Renly’s alive? That’s the biggest “what the fuck?” moment in the books so far, but I don’t buy it; just like the supposed deaths of Bran and Rickard, this is more bullshit. It’s probably one of Robert’s bastards dressed up to look like Renly or something even more mundane. Fucking hilarious that Stannis has had his ass handed to him. I hate that jackass.
And what about the Hound? Unmanned by the fire, clearly in love with his “Little Bird and too damaged to do anything about his love (and too honourable, it should be said).
Two more things: one, Sansa’s POVs are vastly more interesting to me than Arya’s; two, Sansa is a much better person than her sister. Arya is an angry, mean, nasty little girl, who delights in the deaths (or humiliations) of her enemies (whether they are deserving of their deaths or not), and she seems to be getting worse; Sansa, however, is kind, caring for her enemies, bringing solace when she can; she is much braver than Arya too, and has had a much harder time since the death of her father. Of the two sisters, my allegiance goes to Sansa.
Daenarys -- Dany finds her ship, she finds the captain of her father’s King’s Guard (that old guy with the beard has to be the old knight that Joffrey cast aside, doesn’t he? It feels right), and right there in front of her are the other betrayals: Rakharo is going to sell her dragons for gold, and Mormont will betray her because of love. I am playing a big guessing game here, and I tend to be wrong more often that right, but I have a good feeling about these predictions. I am still loving the Daenerys sections; there aren’t enough, though.
Arya -- I am about to start an Arya chapter again. Ugh. Finished it just now, and I don’t like Arya any better. She is much more likely to become like Roose Bolton than Jon Snow. But I don’t have to like her to respect her, and I do respect her. She’s decisive and growing moreso, and the things she’s seen at a young age have jaded her more than enough to keep her alive. I don’t like her, but I think she’s the most dangerous Stark, and that makes her an interesting character. And I am interested in her POVs again because she’s on the move. Her stuck at Harrenhal was making her POVs insufferable. Just wondering (and I am too lazy to look back and figure it out) but was that jackass Frey she was pissed off at supposed to be marrying her?
Sansa -– Accolades for everyone. Everyone and their dog. But nothing for Tyrion. Is Tywin the nastiest father ever? I think he probably is. As for Sansa ... naive much?
Theon –- I knew Theon was fucked but I didn’t expect it to happen quite that way, and for a second I was pretty stoked about the possibility that he’d take the Black. I’ve thought of Theon as a survivor all along, and the Black is often the option of a survivor. Can Theon survive this mess, though?
Tyrion -- What’s this going to look like?
halfway through –- Is it just me or did Tysha actually love, Tyrion, and when Tywin found out that Tyrion loved her, he forced Jamie to lie about hiring of her? I bet she wasn’t a whore at all, but a simple woman who actually loved Tyrion.
finished –- Tyrion is fucked. Fucked up and fucked. No recognition, no love, no power and no nose. Will he find a way in the world or will some other brilliant mind appear to take his place in my heart? I hope it is the former.
Jon –- I thought Theon was the most isolated character when this book began, and perhaps he still is (if he’s alive), but he has some serious competition in Sansa, Tyrion and Jon Snow. Jon’s probably the winner in the “so lonely” sweepstakes at the moment. Poor bastard.
Bran –- I was sure Theon was responsible for hiding Bran and Rickard after the mill, but nope. Bran outsmarted Theon from the start (or Osha did), and Theon murdered a pair of kids with no “honourable” mitigation for the shortest of victories. I figure he's alive, though, because someone has to provide some POV of Reek Bolton.
So that’s it; I’ll read the next one come Spring....more