Readers of this sub-genre of Lovecraftian, pseudo-religion horror fantasy should love this book.
The Author generates a non-sensical slang of the stree...more Readers of this sub-genre of Lovecraftian, pseudo-religion horror fantasy should love this book.
The Author generates a non-sensical slang of the streets of London that makes sense and works well. A fairly broad familiarity with various literature of this type is greatly helpful, but probably not needed.
If the reader isn't familiar with squidian theology and fallen gods exegetical writings it may get more than a bit bizarre.
This romp across the waves of the ante-apocalyptic moment brought about by the theft of a museum specimen brings great entertainment to the initiated. From the special Police squad whose task it is to investigate these unusual events, to the complete send up of various pop culture phenomena, author China Miéville crafts a knack laden story of quality.
There are ultimate bad guys in Goss and Subby, end of the world politics and desperation, tongue in cheek humour and a very complete vision of this alternative world. And there is a really big squid.
So get ready to read a lot. This book won't let you get away from its multi-tentacled grasp on your attention until it wants to let you return for another cuppa' to the real.
A flaw? Kraken does lean a bit to close to the modern form of short chapters emulating or in the style of a movie script or long form treatment. On that note a final comment"
"Release the Kraken!" - Zeus ( You know the reference }(less)
One of the classic tales of darkest Africa from the Victorian era of literature. The style that a reader may find difficult is typical of the 'popular...moreOne of the classic tales of darkest Africa from the Victorian era of literature. The style that a reader may find difficult is typical of the 'popular' fiction of that time.
Haggard's work sets up the premise for an entire genre of stories in the twentieth century from horror to vampires to ancient gods. While not everyone's 'cup of tea' it is worth reading 'the diaries' of two men who journeyed far, lost much, and gained everything or were cursed with an obsession to the end of their lives.
The story concludes in Ayesha :The return of She and is almost a must read for the whole 'effect' to be realized. (less)
The first 40-45 pages are all but unreadable. The author's attempt to espouse 'angelology' is frightfully misguided and forced.
A story line suddenly e...moreThe first 40-45 pages are all but unreadable. The author's attempt to espouse 'angelology' is frightfully misguided and forced.
A story line suddenly emerges about chapter 5(?) that almost saves the book, it quickly becomes trite and borders on being apologetically anti-Semitic. The end of the book is a bad cliff hanger of a sentence..
I hope that Anne Rice can work out whatever is going on that has reduced her to writing this material that borders on the self-indulgent. She use to be a captivating and powerful writer. This and what I've read of the first work in this series, Angel Time, just are not worth much, if any effort to read.
I distinctly remember purchasing this one while traveling (not tripping please note!) in Missouri. It was marked down and I read most of it one week w...moreI distinctly remember purchasing this one while traveling (not tripping please note!) in Missouri. It was marked down and I read most of it one week while at a trade show.
[ June 2011
Another box of books has been reopened for cleaning, sorting, and reevaluation and lo and behold, many of the collected works of Carlos Castaneda are part of the contents.
Many years have gone but I remember this author and his works vividly. [Now don't get any ideas as to an allusion I may or may not be making] At some point I stopped purchasing more in the series and put them away. There's a 'blur' factor as I recall that happens with these stories of the metaphysical and magical journeys of learning (spelling of your choice for majic). Thus I finally put them down after a time. There's a new series of works by authors/students in the same genre. These are a continuation of the anthropological journey that Castaneda undertook to learn of his heritage and a way of life that existed if only in a shadow of the original form.
This generic commentary is going to be applied to all the writings of CC as a review until a rereading decision is made. I don't own all the books by Castaneda though I've read all his books through the mid 1980's. A couple more I have copies of in this collection but I bet I never read them. Each of these books will have this introduction bracketed and italicized when I add a more specific commentary regarding the individual entry.
An early footnote. Much of the fascination with fantastical dragon imagery is rooted in the first two or three of these works. Just thought you should know. ] (less)
What began as a great riff on Peter Pan, descended into something less. If the ranking of this story were based on it's concept, vision, and artwork,...moreWhat began as a great riff on Peter Pan, descended into something less. If the ranking of this story were based on it's concept, vision, and artwork, the ranking would be much greater. But it is not.
A classic story retold is often an advantage for the writer who then gets to revise dated concepts or styles. The later writer has a history of readers and assumptions about the story to play with and play on for a greater tale. The Child Thief is aptly titled as it simply stole.
There are too many different mythologies, story lines, and characters very similar at some level to other work for this to be an innovative retelling. Consistency in the world presented in this fantasy/horror story is hard to find. The author doesn't establish enough of the elements of a genre that root the story in a cohesive way.
Magic exists yet its outlines are vague enough to question the inclusion of it for the reader. Immortality/long life is a given but as with so many stories death comes far easier to the 'immortal' character than seems practical. It, immortality, is bestowed as well by happenstance on folks just passing by or those 'caught'. Some it drives mad and they must be killed, and yet some it just makes meaner . . . Lots of time spent on these concepts without a solid story element or alternate reality truth emerging.
There's a modern undercurrent of pro ovo-vegatarian philosophy that is mildly amusing but the craftier creatures appear to be devourers of bunnies. They live fairly unscathed to the end and escape back into the Mist of immortality.
More than a hint of Politically Correct thought girds this story more than classic or neo-modern fantasy/mythology violence and terror. Men suffer and women suffer. But the men seem to be the uber bad guys, particularly boys.
The darker side of the Peter Pan story author Brom wants to bring out is clumsily handled. After a few belly wounds, head bashing's, dismemberment and immolation passages, it gets a bit predictable. Treachery is of the junior high drama type that becomes tiring and easily dismissible, if it were not for the incipient cruelty that springs forth in almost every character.
Brom's attempt to strip away the qualities of language and prose that shield Barrie's original dark story of Peter Pan dark story succeed. In doing so he removes the charm, magic, and most of the worth of the original story and leaves it with out magic and poetry that gave the original its lasting appeal and timeless quality.(less)
I am looking for a new copy of this almost unknown jewel of a story. There are a few listed on the web, but I'm not finding one at my preferred used b...moreI am looking for a new copy of this almost unknown jewel of a story. There are a few listed on the web, but I'm not finding one at my preferred used book dealers.
On the basis of the decade (or so) old memory of this I want to give it at least 4 stars. The copies available via inter-library loans etc., all seem to be 'currently unavailable for circulation'. Now if that isn't a great euphemism for 'we haven't the foggiest idea where the book is' I don't know what would be better.
Starlight is a Vietnam based Joseph Conrad influenced (think Heart of Darkness but with more accessible modern references) trip into the darkest night of the soulless. Reality and myth merge in moments of death, disobedience, and descent into a world of ghosts. No hero's here, only the ash left from the settling of the fog of war presciently magnified and illuminated by the sniper's only friend and perhaps his greatest enemy; his starlight.
Added note 3/22/2012:
A copy of this arrived from the bookseller today! Will start reading immediately. It has been awhile . . .(less)
Some people learn, just the wrong things. Like many of my ADF reviews/comments this is more about the writer than the work.
An opportunity to learn fr...moreSome people learn, just the wrong things. Like many of my ADF reviews/comments this is more about the writer than the work.
An opportunity to learn from this turkey of a film and book didn't seem to happen. How a skilled writer and talent such as ADF could countenance this work and continue with film story re-write novelization, after this one, I don't understand.
Admittedly I read the book several years ago. It was as much to see if there was something in the movie I missed. No. Just a bad piece of studio supported film.
ADF's early work such as this should have given us a clue. But we've muddled on for another 30 years with many clunkers and a few surprises; a very few surprises.
If it's an ADF work that hasn't been a movie, it has more than a good chance of being worth the time to open the book. Otherwise, approach (or not) with caution.
Kurt Russel is still thanking his lucky star that his next film was Silkwood and his star really took off after this turkey!(less)
My favorite from ADF. When I first read this I was in one of my Africa phases (currently in another but am reading an entirely different genre this ti...moreMy favorite from ADF. When I first read this I was in one of my Africa phases (currently in another but am reading an entirely different genre this time) and this little jewel caught my attention.
ADF was an author that I'd read before and liked his work (not so blatantly pandering to the Hollywood crowd at that point) and this was supposed to be the novel to read on a business trip. Surprise! Into the Out of became a favorite.
Highly recommended for fantasy/alternative reality fans who like their story rooted in the real world with transition to 'true reality'. Darkest Africa, saving the world and, well I won't spoil the 'catch' to this one, but it does make by list of 'goodreads'.
I think I read this one all the way through, but there are a couple of plot details that don't immediately come to mind. Hopefully I can find a copy a...moreI think I read this one all the way through, but there are a couple of plot details that don't immediately come to mind. Hopefully I can find a copy around somewhere.(less)
Lord of the Flies from Germany. With a twist and even redemption.
My bias towards Hesse is that I like everything he's written pretty well with only on...moreLord of the Flies from Germany. With a twist and even redemption.
My bias towards Hesse is that I like everything he's written pretty well with only one or two standouts. One of the post Nietzsche-an inspired philosophical tales that doesn't wander to far afield or down the final path of Jean-Paul's Nihilistic solution.
His tales work well in either the original or translation as the latter have been uniformly well done.