Morrison is a great comic book writer, but he has a few obvious flaws that can make his work difficult to digest, and have always kept him from reachi...moreMorrison is a great comic book writer, but he has a few obvious flaws that can make his work difficult to digest, and have always kept him from reaching the same heights as Alan Moore.
All-Star Superman, while using the same deconstructed narrative and mind-blowingly bizarre gift of invention that are his trademarks, manages to overcome those limitations and essentially create the platonic ideal of what a Superman story should be.
In twelve issues this series manages to truly show how an epic story can be told about a man who cannot be hurt by normal means. It throws us into a universe that is already deep and rich, and where this hero has been that planet's protector for many years. It unflinchingly goes from silly to hardcore sci-fi, all with a strong emotional undercurrent that drives everything forward.
It's not perfect, and I still found myself wondering what the hell he was talking about from time to time, but the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. And with his background in the occult and kabbalistic magick, Morrison manages to take Superman beyond just being a simple Christ figure.
I read someone describe this as is the "only Superman story you'll ever need" and they're probably right.
Note that you'll need to read both volumes to get the full story.(less)
I love Warren Ellis' writing, but he occasionally dips into what I call his "lazy, declarative style". This, unfortunately for me, is an example of th...moreI love Warren Ellis' writing, but he occasionally dips into what I call his "lazy, declarative style". This, unfortunately for me, is an example of that.
That said, many people love it when he does that, so if you do, then this one is for you. You are a book reading person!(less)
It's hard giving a book as timeless and important as A Canticle for Leibowitz only four stars. It certainly has all the pieces that it needs to be a f...moreIt's hard giving a book as timeless and important as A Canticle for Leibowitz only four stars. It certainly has all the pieces that it needs to be a five star story, but it somehow lacks that gripping prose that it would take to make this book one of my all time favorites.
A post-apocalyptic tale told in three sections over a thousand years, Leibowitz starts strong. It asks hard questions of both its protagonists and the reader, ruminating on the nature of humanity in a world where mankind has already managed to utterly destroy itself.
But by the final section it seems to lose its way a bit. Not that there aren't some haunting moments, but Miller's light touch seems to become a heavy hand.
That said, you'll be shocked at how modern this book feels for something written half a century ago. Even the anachronisms work in the book's favor. While reading it I was continually struck on how many genre worlds have obviously borrowed heavily from Miller's vision—from the Fallout series to Warhammer 40K's vision of a dark religious future.(less)
Having just finished this book with the next two volumes sitting on the shelf, I'm not quite sure what to think.
Wright has no end of imagination, and...moreHaving just finished this book with the next two volumes sitting on the shelf, I'm not quite sure what to think.
Wright has no end of imagination, and every new character is spelled out in loving detail, expanding a fantasy cosmology that covers everything from the true origins of Jesus Christ to multidimensional hyperspatial beings. While that sounds promising, the actual book itself doesn't really go anywhere, with the main character at the end of the book ending up pretty much exactly where she was at the start, although with quite a bit more understanding of how and why she got there.
Meanwhile we are told a lot, but shown very little, which is a shame I think, because the world outside of the tableau shown in the book sounds incredibly interesting, and the glimpses we get are really some of the best moments n the story. I wish we could have had more.
It's also one of those titles that clearly knows it's part of a trilogy from the start, and ends on what could generously called a "cliffhanger", but is really just a chapter break.
There's also a fascination with bondage and domination that can be a little odd at it times. To Wright's credit, he does manage to roll that into the context of the story, and even give us a reason why it's so, but there's no doubt that it's also a clear theme for the book. He also manages to make it about underage girls without having to actually make them underage, which is a neat trick, but a little creepy. (less)
I've written three published books. With each novel I improved and honed my techniques, and yet as I prepare to start my next book I find myself dread...moreI've written three published books. With each novel I improved and honed my techniques, and yet as I prepare to start my next book I find myself dreading having to slog through what I've come to consider the inevitable "crappy parts" of the writing and editing process.
This book offers a better way: one that will let newbies skip over some of the biggest stumbling blocks, and will hopefully help seasoned old(ish) salts like myself improve the experience of being a working writer. Like Rachel, I'm a big fan of organized writing, and some of what she suggests here i already do (in one form or another). Rachel places those simple techniques (like the to do list) into a larger context that I hadn't considered before. Most of the ideas in this book are eye-opening in one way or another, and I can't wait to integrate them into my process and see what happens.
Her writing style is clear, engaging, and informative. It's also personal and entertaining enough to keep you moving through the book.
If you're looking for a well-written book on the writing process there's lots more to discover here than just how to hack out a bigger word count. (less)
I love Elmore Leonard, so I'm a bit bummed that this book wasn't better.
Not that it doesn't contain his usual mix of conniving (but dense) criminals,...moreI love Elmore Leonard, so I'm a bit bummed that this book wasn't better.
Not that it doesn't contain his usual mix of conniving (but dense) criminals, and steely lawmen with a soft-heart for a damsel in distress, but this time it never really comes together to be anything but exactly the sum of its parts.
The book takes place in Detroit at the end of WWII, with a mix of (non-evil) Nazis, would be Nazis, and just plain criminals that are ripe for the kind of selfish shenanigans that are at the heart of every good Leonard story. There's plotting, planning, and double-crosses, all presented in the usual slightly laid-back and lyrical way that's the author's hallmark. And when it comes to historical detail, this is the best kind. The characters are living in the world, not just ticking off points for historical accuracy. Even if everything in here wasn't quite right, you'd never know it. This is a world that they live in.
That said, having read and watched a lot of noir fiction of the period, I feel like it doesn't really have the kick you want out of a tale from that period. With the world at war, and men being forced to make terrible choices, you'd hope for something that at least has the pull of a Gilda, if not a Casablanca. But for all the consternation the emotional and financial stakes always seem to be simmering instead of boiling over.
It's a decent read, but nothing to get excited about.(less)