This is one of those books that really needs to be read more than once. The first time through, I was so caught up in the story & the suspense ~ a...moreThis is one of those books that really needs to be read more than once. The first time through, I was so caught up in the story & the suspense ~ and I am sure that there is so much more to this book that I simply wasn't able to appreciate after reading it so quickly.
I can say that I liked it better than I expected to. Don't remember what provoked me to add it to my TBR list in the first place. I am not particularly interested in Japanese culture or crime thrillers (which this actually wasn't ~ but could have been) And although this books wasn't misogynistic, nor did it glorify the murders ~ it certainly had the potential to (which is another reason I typically avoid this type of book) That having been said ~ I actually didn't find In the Miso Soup to be nearly as horrific as others seem to. Perhaps this is because I read a lot of horror? I mean, even though the violence in books I read is due to the supernatural, it is violence none the less, right? This is definitely creepy, but as a psychological thriller. The gore scenes are definitely, well... gory, but not over the top.
Anyhow, I'll have to get back to this one at some point in the future. (less)
Our first mention of the Nightside is (in my paperback edition) on page's 10 and 11 where we learn that, "The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark he...moreOur first mention of the Nightside is (in my paperback edition) on page's 10 and 11 where we learn that, "The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark heart of the city. London's evil twin. It's where the really wild things are."
From that point on, Green continues to write the phrase the Nightside on nearly every single page, often accompanied by a lengthy description of the horrors one will find in the Nightside. For example,
p.12 I considered the matter. How much, to go back into the Nightside?
p.13 ...compared to what was waiting for me back in the Nightside, her anger, and implied threats were nothing.
p.14 You know the Nightside.
p.15 Let me tell you about the Nightside... The Nightside is a square mile of city streets and back alleys in the centre of the city, linking slums and tenements that were old when the last century was new... In practice, the Nightside is much bigger than that...there are those who say the Nightside is actually bigger than the city that surrounds it... It's always night in the Nightside... You can buy or sell anything in the Nightside...
p.16 You can find anything in the Nightside, if it doesn't find you first.
p.19 My name is John Taylor. Everyone in the Nightside knows that name... so there I was, going back again, back to the Nightside...
p.20 I left the Nightside five years ago, fleeing imminent death and the betrayal of friends, and swore through blood-flecked lips that I'd never go back, no matter what.
p.21 I used to be a dangerous man, even for the Nightside...
p.22 My closest female friend is a bounty hunter, who operates exclusively in the Nightside... I'm more than just another private detective, in the Nightside... All routes lead to the Nightside.
p.27 Anyone can walk down the wrong street, open the wrong door, and end up in the Nightside. Most of them don't last long, though. London and the Nightside have rubbed up against each other for so long now that the barriers are getting dangerously thin. Someday they'll all come crashing down, and all the poison in the Nightside will come spilling out...
p.28 There are more worlds than we know, or would wish to know, and most of them send people through the Nightside sooner or later.
p.30 Something new has come into the Nightside
p.31 We have to travel through strange, harsh, places to reach the Nightside. Dangerous and unnatural places, that would blast the sight from your eyes and the reason from your mind.
p.34 There are a great many mysteries in the Nightside, and much against my will, I'm one of them
p.36 The only thing that moves faster than the speed of light is gossip in the Nightside.
p.37 Many of the sleek and gleaming vehicles darting through the Nightside had to be new to Joanna...Taxis that ran on debased holy water, limousines that ran on fresh blood, ambulances that ran on distilled suffering. You can turn a profit from anything, in the Nightside.
p.38 I've never been sure whether the moon really is bigger in the Nightside, or whether it's just closer... There were wonders and marvels to be found in the Nightside, sights and glories to be savoured and clutched to your heart forever... the Nightside is really just like...the city streets we walk in dreams and nightmares.
p.39 'Welcome to the Nightside,' I said, smiling. 'Abandon all taste, ye who enter here.'.. She gave me a hard look. 'I can never tell when you're joking.' 'Neither can I sometimes, in the Nightside. It's that kind of place. Life, death, and reality are all flexible concepts here.'
ENOUGH! I made it through 78 pages before giving up. Even if Simon Green didn't tell, rather than show... and even if his characters were well written... and even if this story is perhaps much spookier in his head than it is in the actual writing of it.... I am freaking sick to death of reading the phrase, THE NIGHTSIDE ~ let alone the multiple descriptions of it on every single page. Normally I am not an advocate of violence, but something really needs to be done about the person who let this book be published in its current state.
Even though the protagonist was frequently referred to by his full name, John Taylor ~ and even though that name (as always) brings me blissful images of my favorite sexy bass player ~ that still wasn't enough to rescue this horrid book. Ugh. Let me go listen to some Duran Duran, remember the good John Taylor and get this back to the library ASAP. (less)
This is clearly a children's book, and I bought it at a state park camp store ~ so it should go without saying that my expectations were low. Unfortua...moreThis is clearly a children's book, and I bought it at a state park camp store ~ so it should go without saying that my expectations were low. Unfortuantely, I was still dissapointed.
The stories are interesting, but the story telling sucks. Which is ironic, because S.E.Schlosser (according to her forward) considers herself a master story teller. Perhaps she is ~ when she can act out scenes, add voices, etc. But her writing skills are horrible. Again ~ I didn't expect this collection to be great literature. But Schlosser definately "tells" rather than "shows." To be fair, though, this is a children's collection ~ so perhaps these stories are meant to be shared and acted out around a campfire where atmosphere, visual and audio effects can make up for the bad writing.
Another irritation is that so many of the stories end with the phrase, "and he/she never (fill in the blank with any random activity) again." Quite a few are actually morality stories with the protagonist giving up drinking/dancing/trouble making to become a good Christian and faithful church goer. Nothing wrong with that ~ but I expect some variety in a collection. Different stories should have different endings to them. There are other ways of saying a person changed his/her ways than the above example.
For now I am keeping this book in my collection... the "meat" of many of these stories are good ~ which is the only reason I gave this 2 stars instead of 1. But the telling of the stories is so bad that I won't buy another one of Schlosser's books.
I was tempted to put this on my "children" shelves, but it deals with some topics that some parents may not want to explain to young children, and bes...moreI was tempted to put this on my "children" shelves, but it deals with some topics that some parents may not want to explain to young children, and besides it is sort of scary ~ not from my adult point of view. But I can see how some kids may be frightened. It's a good book for middle school kids ~ maybe younger, depending on the maturity level of the reader.
Anyhow, a great book and very creepy in parts. I regret that this book wasn't around 25 years ago! It is filled with a lot supernatural happenings, and did a great job of mixing "made up" magic with "real" spooky events. Reminded me of séances and other crazy stuff that I did as a kid :)(less)
The great thing about James Herbert is that you know that before the book is over he is gonna bust out some fucked up scenes. "Once" did not dissapoi...moreThe great thing about James Herbert is that you know that before the book is over he is gonna bust out some fucked up scenes. "Once" did not dissapoint =)(less)
As much as I love to read... and as much as I love this story... I grew up watching the Disney cartoon, and the actual story always seems to pale in c...moreAs much as I love to read... and as much as I love this story... I grew up watching the Disney cartoon, and the actual story always seems to pale in comparison :(
Reread 10/11/11 The trees are beautiful, the pumpkins set out, apple cider in the fridge & so the hubby and I decided to get into the season by reading this out loud to each other. As always it is the imagery from Disney which is stuck in my head. Those folks definitely got it right when they animated poor old Ichabod Crane. Once again I was reminded by the fact that Disney actually added some depth to this tale. It's a cute little story but the animated version gives it some serious scares that is simply lacking here in Washington Irving's printed book. Even so, it's a classic for a reason and I can't imagine Halloween with out it!(less)
"The Suprising Story of Real Life Vampires in the 20the Century" Meh. I remember this being slightly on the kooky side back when I first read it somet...more"The Suprising Story of Real Life Vampires in the 20the Century" Meh. I remember this being slightly on the kooky side back when I first read it sometime in the 1990's. Haven't found the motivation to read it a second time, so I am getting rid of it during the Great Home Library Purge of 2010.(less)
Can't remember when I actually last used this book. However, I was a huge fan of Rice's vampire chronicles (before she took them too far & messed...moreCan't remember when I actually last used this book. However, I was a huge fan of Rice's vampire chronicles (before she took them too far & messed them all up!) so, at one point in my life I felt it was neccessary to own this book because it somehow completed the series for me. Again, I very rarely use it or read it, but still feel compelled to hang on to it.