Show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I want to go to bed...
Sooooooo, here we are. Back to the more soap-opera-ish, plodding plot with a few in
Show me the way to go home, I'm tired and I want to go to bed...
Sooooooo, here we are. Back to the more soap-opera-ish, plodding plot with a few interesting "twists" (for lack of a better word) thrown in. I was not riveted. Maggie going toe-to-toe with dickhole parents of dickhole kids is a less than inspiring sub-plot. More scheming by disgruntled community members. Eh, we've seen that number before too.
The Whisperers are sorta kinda interesting and new, I suppose, if you look at them with your eyes scrunched and squinting. It makes sense to me that there would be a group like this that would come along eventually. The real surprise is that it's taken this long, and perhaps how many of them there's rumored to be. Thousands? Really? That would be shocking indeed. For now, it's just a rumor and my fingers are crossed that this new "threat" turns out to be more than what they appear to be which is a step above same shit different day.
And Carl? Sweet jebus. (view spoiler)[After nearly bashing in the skulls of two douchebag out-of-control violent teenagers, he gets hit on by a strange new girl from the Whisperers group. And she's totally got a kink for Carl's empty eye socket. As in, she's totally into it. So much so she French kisses the damn thing (ewwwww)
Yup, like that. Then she takes his virginity. For the record, Carl doesn't put up a fight. But what should have played out as a nice sweet innocent scene has a twisted underbelly cause you know this young woman has got some serious problems and that she's been abused and raped by her group. Great. Cause the one thing the Walking Dead has been missing is some good 'ol pedophilia. (hide spoiler)]
Sometimes this series feels like an albatross around my neck, a monkey on my back, Sisyphus's Rock. I NEED THIS TO END!!!! I NEED AN ENDING!!!! Do you hear me Kirkman???? For godsake man, take mercy on all of us and please JUST FUCKNG END IT.
This is the turning point us zombified Dead Heads have been waiting for -- a genuinely new beginning, not just the illusion of one immediately undone This is the turning point us zombified Dead Heads have been waiting for -- a genuinely new beginning, not just the illusion of one immediately undone by human depravity and Rick Grimes assholery.
A few years have past. We have actual thriving communities now. More than one! Fresh baked bread is happening! Can I get a hallelujah people? Community members are trading goods and favors and working together and sleeping with both eyes closed at night. Children are playing, carefree and silly. Adolescents are keen to take on an apprenticeship in order to learn a valuable skill. Good ol' one-eyed Carl is among them, eager for Rick to finally cut the apron strings so that he can forge his own path to independence and competency.
Maggie is thriving ruling roost over the Hilltop and breaking horses. She's also mom to Sophia and little Herschel. Glenn is a huge void in this scenario and I miss him still.
Rick has calmed the sweet fuck down. He even will take the time to watch a sunset now. And delegate and build partnerships based on trust and respect. But what of good 'ol Negan? He's still with us. Serving a life sentence behind bars and taunting Rick every chance he gets. Right now he's convincingly neutralized but this is the goddamn motherfucking Walking Dead. Guys like Negan don't survive to become the good guys or the defeated guys.
There are new characters who are behaving the way Rick's group would have three years ago -- angry, paranoid, mistrustful. They can't believe what they are seeing and are certain something more sinister HAS TO BE afoot.
If Kirkman wants us standing firmly in the middle of the rug so he can brutally and viciously pull it out from underneath us again I'm quitting this series for good. Don't take us this far only to HULK SMASH it all to pieces again. This new threat? (view spoiler)[ Quite frankly I was much more excited to think that the zombies had become sentient. That it's just sick mofos running around sewn up inside zombie skins TCM Leatherface style? Meh. Do we really need more human depravity at this point? Shit sake. (hide spoiler)]
On to the next volume -- Whispers into Screams. Uh huh. Here we go -- out of the blue into the goddam black of an Arby's abyss again. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Can this series get any better or more exciting, Other Barry? I'm here to tell you it cannot. Up against it, this series makes cyborgs as interesting Can this series get any better or more exciting, Other Barry? I'm here to tell you it cannot. Up against it, this series makes cyborgs as interesting as watching paint dry. Cyborgs -- watching paint dry -- even the ones with removable vaginas of the lighting up variety. Just the tip, Archer. You want to lose that thing or what?
All Archer joking aside (and yes, that was totally for you Mara), Saga is a tremendous graphic novel series that continues to blow my hair back, my skirt up and my socks off. Don't even ask me where I left my vagina, but I'm sure it's gotta be around here somewhere.
This third volume of the Saga saga (see what I did there?) continues to up the ante on the crazy and the thrills. What I love about this series the most is that even though every other page contains something I've never seen before anywhere else, it all feels so very sane, and beautiful and universal. This is a space opera dealing with an age old bitter protracted bloody war between two different races. But our heroes Marko and Alana, born to fight each other, raised to hate and want to kill the other, have fallen in love. They have given birth to a mixed race daughter -- Hazel -- our intrepid sometimes narrator, a living symbol of all that is innocent and good.
Marko and Alana (and Hazel) act as our sympathetic entry point into this story and the wacked out landscapes and sundry denizens we encounter along the way. Their plight might not be relatable, but the love they share for each other and their family certainly is.
The Will may be an assassin extraordinaire with plenty of blood on his hands, but he also has a conscience and a desire to be a good man, kept in line by his lie-detector cat creature (who is even more awesome than the exotic ocelot). I heart Lying Cat, okay? Okay.
There's so much to love packed into this story -- the action, the heart, the energy and passion and tongue-in-cheek humor. Always with the humor. Whether it's captured in the text or in the artwork, dynamic sensational duo Vaughan and Staples find the humor existing everywhere in their tale, in the absurd, the poignant, the raunchy and the ironic. It's addictive and cathartic and all I want is more. Just MORE. Of all of it. ...more
So this is how this one begins -- and let me tell you, the opening passage gave me the shivers, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood to atten So this is how this one begins -- and let me tell you, the opening passage gave me the shivers, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention. If Ms. Megan Abbott should ever wish to venture into horror, I have no doubt she could make that genre her bitch. Read this:
At night, the sounds from the canyon shifted and changed. The bungalow seemed to lift itself with every echo and the walls were breathing. Panting. Just after two, she'd wake, her eyes stinging, as if someone had waved a flashlight across them. And then she'd hear the noise. Every night. The tapping noise, like a small animal trapped behind the wall.
Eeeek! Like seriously, if that doesn't creep you out check your pulse because you might be dead.
So this gripping short story isn't Megan Abbott doing horror, but nevertheless does this lady have a flair for the dark and ... unhinged. She loves to troll the deep end of those viscous psychological waters, where things with teeth swim, and bite. On the surface this story is a period piece -- circa 1950's Hollywood. Abbott is comfortable here in her noir sandbox.
The Little Men features Penny, an aging actress who has given up the fight and has decided to move on and do something else with her life. A fresh start if you will. She thinks she finds it in a new place to live, a place that will be all hers that she won't have to share with anyone. Her landlady seems kind and generous (at first), her neighbors friendly and warm. But there's something not right about this new low-rent bungalow, filled as it is with a dead man's things.
As Penny begins to uncover more and more about the life of the man who lived in the bungalow before her, she also begins to see and hear things. Disturbing things. What's real and what isn't? Is Penny losing her mind or is there something more sinister afoot?
Reading this I could not help be reminded of the classic short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Both women in these stories are coming unhinged, but there's a gravity and justification to their decline that lends empathy to their plight. Both women are trapped in their lives with few to no options, and are suffocating from the stranglehold their current realities have put them in.
In Penny's case, 1950's Hollywood is a cruel and capricious mistress. Women are (ab)used until they are no longer wanted: "You were a luscious piece of candy, he said, but now I gotta spit you out." In the land of casting couches, you sleep with the devil and wake up in Hell.
This is a gripping read with layers and subtext and all the more remarkable for its short length. This is Megan Abbott at her most teasing and it is excruciatingly delicious. This woman will always leave you wanting more, always more.
A free advanced copy was provided through NetGalley....more
I freaking LOVE this series!! Believe the hype -- it's epically awesome. A heady mad mix of adventure, space opera, humour and a love story. You willI freaking LOVE this series!! Believe the hype -- it's epically awesome. A heady mad mix of adventure, space opera, humour and a love story. You will be shown things you have never seen before to defy your imagination. The characterization is phenomenal -- I love these creatures who have wings and horns and TV faces and giant lie detector cats. This has instantly become a favorite. Cannot wait to read more.
Sigh. This almost got two stars. Almost. I mean, I liked it. There are things to like, but it's so far underachieving for King, so sub-par of his tale Sigh. This almost got two stars. Almost. I mean, I liked it. There are things to like, but it's so far underachieving for King, so sub-par of his talent and storytelling capabilities that it made me cringe in parts and left me embarrassed for the guy. The last third of the book with Hodges and Holly and Jerome running around trying to solve a mystery like an after-school special mixed with an episode of Scooby-Doo was just paaainful. Nothing about any of that was worthy of King for me.
I know Mr. Mercedes had it's many problems and weaknesses: I present to you Exhibit A and Exhibit B. But I really liked it. A LOT. Mainly because the villain -- Brady Hartfield -- is some nasty piece of psychotic work. One of the better, more convincing villains King has written about in a long time. Brady isn't just a one-dimensional evil dude with sick tendencies and impulses -- King managed to flesh him out some and gave him an appropriately damaging childhood replete with a disturbed and abusive mother. There was some context there. Some texture and layering.
Unfortunately I do not feel the same about the villain presented to us in this book -- Morris Bellamy. Bellamy is a petulant, spoiled asshat -- entitled and vicious. I HATED him. He did not interest me in the least and the only satisfaction I was able to take from his legacy of brutal violent impulses was (view spoiler)[to see him die a burning fiery death (hide spoiler)].
For me, the most terrifying villain King has ever written is Annie Wilkes. On cold, dark winter nights I can still have feverish nightmares about her. Annie is the consummate fangirl gone wrong. She is a study in complexity and contradiction, a woman suffering from real mental illness and a menacing determinism and world view that bears no bargaining with. You're either one of the good guys (a "do-bee") or one of the bad guys (a "dirty bird"). And god help you if you turn out to be a "cockadoodie brat".
Morris Bellamy is just a selfish, shallow, ignorant prick who loves to blame the world for all his problems. He blames his mother for the first time he ends up in juvenile detention. He blames author John Rothstein for "selling out" and destroying his favorite literary creation thus setting in motion a terrible series of events. And most pathetic of all, he blames his "friend" -- future rare book proprietor -- of making him so mad that he goes out and (view spoiler)[gets blind drunk and brutally rapes a woman, a crime which lands Bellamy in prison with a life sentence rather than the home invasion and execution of the recluse author of his precious Johnny Gold. (hide spoiler)]
Whenever King writes about writing and the synergy that happens between reader and author I'm there. He captures some of that magic in these pages but I feel like it all gets poisoned with the less than inspiring creation that is Bellamy.
Since King is determined to get to the end of this foray into crime fiction, I am hopeful that the final book in the trilogy (if there has to be one) will return its focus to Brady Hartfield who may have developed some unusual skills. ::cue ominous music:: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Carol! I am so glad I didn't make you suffer through this with me. I took one for the team!
Oh my bleeding eyeballs, but I am very disheartened to repoCarol! I am so glad I didn't make you suffer through this with me. I took one for the team!
Oh my bleeding eyeballs, but I am very disheartened to report that very little in this book's almost 500 pages did anything for me. Despite the zombies, despite the post-apocalyptic landscape, despite the grappling, unending confrontations with human depravity and the silver threads of uncovering and recovering pieces of our humanity --- ALLLLL of my favorite things -- David Wellington's Positive still managed to bore the pants off me. Over and over again.
The prose is just too plodding, too clumsy, too eager to tell -- tell everything about everything! -- rather than ever get out of the damn way and show. The unending, unforgivable descriptions of what characters think and feel are wearying and unsatisfying. Show me dammit!! Let actions speak louder than words. Then perhaps a plodding 500 page novel can be edited into a leaner, meaner 350 pages.
Sigh. Characters are very cardboard cutout and as the hero -- Finn is just too goody-goody unbelievable to the point of being grating. As the first-person narrator his voice fails miserably doing no justice to himself, supporting characters or the novel's action. His unflagging "do the right thing never give up" attitude is sanctimonious and unrealistic as Wellington fails to balance it with anything deeper or nuanced. And then he just becomes so insufferable in his "my people" way of speaking and thinking. YOU'RE NOT MOSES, FINN, AND THIS AIN'T THE EFFING DESERT. I kept longing for the uber-dysfunctional assholery of Rick Grimes to give the story some texture and believability.
Anyway, this was supposed to be my great summer zombie read. No. Not. Negative.