This is one of my favorite books from childhood. I probably read it for the first time in 3rd grade. I've been looking forward to reading it to my nepThis is one of my favorite books from childhood. I probably read it for the first time in 3rd grade. I've been looking forward to reading it to my nephew, Antonio.
Antonio is sleeping over tonight (11 October 2008) and as he wound down, watching my Discovery Channel Shark Week discs (which I got with him in mind), he asked me to read The Enormous Egg to him.
There are pictures, but not many as far as a 5-year old is concerned (he turns 5 on the 25th). I began reading Nate Twitchell's story to him and he snuggled up with his head on my chest, wrapped in his blankie.
He was asleep before I finished the second chapter - but that's because it was about 9:45 and he was tired!
Hopefully, he'll want me to continue to read the book to him whenever we get together over the next few weeks. I love reading to him as he falls asleep!...more
Oddly enough, my favorite adaptation of this into another medium is (film) A Muppets' Christmas Carol, followed by Patrick Stewart's one-man performanOddly enough, my favorite adaptation of this into another medium is (film) A Muppets' Christmas Carol, followed by Patrick Stewart's one-man performance of it (audio, from his stage performance) and (film) Scrooged....more
A notable flaw in Clarke's classic novel, and in many of his works, seems to be a lack of understanding of human nature. He seemed to believe that ratA notable flaw in Clarke's classic novel, and in many of his works, seems to be a lack of understanding of human nature. He seemed to believe that rationality would triumph over fear, superstition and emotions. We're adaptable, but the last decade in particular has shown that we're very, very emotional creatures. Still, it makes for entertaining reading.
Childhood's End also features one of Clarke's recurring themes, that of human evolution (possibly manipulated as in 2001<.i>, though it's not quite clear) into beings of thought, capable of manipulating the universe around them, and part of a hive mind. I find the uni-mind concept a bit scary - I don't like crowds and I rather like my individualism. (Then again, the last decade has also shown a lot of herd mentalities, too. See? Scary!) :)
Another of Clarke's themes is here in the unseen alien - the ones directing the Overlords are unseen (althought there's a possible sighting) and their motives and methods largely unknown. Sir Arthur further - and better - develops the mysterious unseen aliens in both 2001 and Rendezvous With Rama.
In short, Childhood's End is a solid early novel from Clarke - with many grand ideas that he revisited and improved on in later works. That does nothing to detract from this novel's classic status....more
The Reposession Mambo is another winner for Eric Garcia. I've loved his work from the begining, with Anonymous Rex. His work is often silly, irreverenThe Reposession Mambo is another winner for Eric Garcia. I've loved his work from the begining, with Anonymous Rex. His work is often silly, irreverent, funny, telling and always entertaining. With The Reposession Mambo, his timing was also inadvertantly impeccable; while not intended as economic commentary, the bank failures of the past several years and attempts at health care reform certainly add levels to the book that an earlier publication would have rendered... not subtle, exactly, but the wit would certainly have been less sharp. The book (and film, Repo Men) was 12 years in development.
The central element of the story is this: artificial organs are readily available and people get them as life-saving procedures, status symbols, or simply elect to get them because they can (like elective cosmetic surgery today). They are axpensive and are usually acquired with the assistance of interest-heavy loans.
What happens when you default on a home or auto loan? It's repossessed. What happens if you default on a artiforg (artiicial organ) loan?
And what happens when a heart, lung, liver, etc., is removed from your body?
So here we have a moral conflict between economics and life, and concepts that spark much more thought than those simply surrounding the events of the book. And a book that promotes thought is a good book indeed.
The book and the screenplay (co-written by Garcia with Garrett Lerner) were developed alongside each other, but go in different directins, including having different resolutions; variant explorations for different media, each quite effective....more
I give up. After two attempts to read this and finally making it 2/3 of the way through (p 121 of 182), I just can't take it anymore. It's a silly conI give up. After two attempts to read this and finally making it 2/3 of the way through (p 121 of 182), I just can't take it anymore. It's a silly concept (haunted houses), but having the characters alternate between over-reacting to extreme panic and then indulgently laughing and smiling at each other as if everyone else was a silly, delusional child (prettty much on alternating pages) just got on my nerves to the point that I might have thrown the book accross the room if I hadn't been on a train at this point.
Ooo, noises. Writing on walls. Scary stuff. No wonder they panicked! /snark
Interesting that the noises were always said to be doing something, not something was making noises.
I've enjoyed other pieces by Shirley Jackson, but this... no. Not at all....more
I'd always been interested in Gasoline Alley - I'd seen some of Dick Moore's continuities from the late '70 & early '80s but never any runs of FraI'd always been interested in Gasoline Alley - I'd seen some of Dick Moore's continuities from the late '70 & early '80s but never any runs of Frank King's original work. These volumes are a delight, collecting 2 years' worth of strips in each volume - like Fantagraphics' Complete Peanuts series. Gasoline Alley is rare among strips in that the characters age in more-or-less "real time". (The only modern strip I know of that has done this is the recently concluded For Better or For Worse.) By this reckoning, Dick Tracy, Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead and so many others would be long dead by now or very, very old.
Anyway, I guess the syndicate wouldnt allow the use of the Gasline Alley trademark, so these public-domain (1920s) strips are collected under the names of Walt Wallet and his adopted son Skeezix.
This volume contains the 3rd & 4th years of the strip with Skeezix as a baby (the pre-Skeezix material, a couple of years, have not been collected), with the primary focus being Walt's struggles with the adoption process of the abandoned infant.
I started reading this shortly after reading Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company, and anyone who knows me knows how I dote on my nieces and nephews when I can, especially my "adopted" nephew Antonio (the only one geographically "local" to his Unky these days). I really relate to the affection Walt shows for his young ward/son, and the view of impoverished life in the 1920s - in the decade before the Great Depression - is interesting, as is the views of America as it was at the time (including some of the racial caricatures sadly in vogue then), politically, philosophically and physically.
Also included in each volume are essays on creater Fran King and on the world around him at the time he created these wonderful cartoons....more
I started reading these a little out of order; I found volume 2 first and devoured it.
I'd heard about Gasoline Alley but never saw the strip until aroI started reading these a little out of order; I found volume 2 first and devoured it.
I'd heard about Gasoline Alley but never saw the strip until around 1978; Dick Moores was doing it then, in a wildly different (but still wonderful) style in that early era of truncated comic strip size. It was a good strip even then.
I found Walt & Skeezix: 1923-24 at a beloved and missed Barnes & Noble a few years ago. I was curious about the strip anyway, and reading more about it, the story of a man adopting a baby really appealed to me. (I have a small nephew I'm very close to, so it tugged at my heart strings.) Needless to say, I loved the book and pounced on volumes 1 and 3 when I found them in the next few months.
Which brings us to this volume, wherein Skeezix was first laid at Walt's doorstep and changed the direction of the strip, probably cementing its place in comic strip history. Gasoline Alley was initially, as mentioned in the introduction, a gag strip about a community with a love for that new fad, the automobile. (Whatever happened to cars, anyway? Do people still drive them? ;) ) With Skeezix, the characterization shifted; the automobile focus and gags remained. Cross-country and leisurely New England drives still became backdrops to the stories, or became stories in themselves. There were a few concerns about a man being capable of taking care of an infant, then toddler, but Walt's affection for the little boy rolled right over those concerns. Walt, a confirmed bachelor (his catchphrase was "I'll say that I know when I'm well off!"and usually expressed whenever one of his married friends had to do something the wife wanted or had to check with the wife about something. His "batch" status seems very threatend when the mysterious and attractive MRS. Blossom moved into the apartment at the end of the Alley. Everyone is eager to learn anything of her background (is there a Mr. Blossom? Where is he?), and the married men fall over themselves practically in coming to her assistance at every little need with her car. She takes a keen interest in both Walt and Skeezix, which leads into the next volume...
The only drawback to the book is the reduction of the strips' size makes it difficult to appreciate some of the sketchy details of the art. The bookboasts nice dimensions, but newspaper strips were printed so much larger back then. While these strips are so much larger than strips today, they're still smaller than at their original publication. There are frequent background visual gags that almost turn those strip into two strips, and sometimes they're a little harder to see. But this is wonderful material, highly recommended. And volume 2 is even better!...more