There's a point, when the creature is in the glacier, where the book stretches infinitely into forever. It's a book I'm glad I read, but also one that...moreThere's a point, when the creature is in the glacier, where the book stretches infinitely into forever. It's a book I'm glad I read, but also one that has quite a long even horizon where it just won't end. (less)
As King grows older, his books seem to turn ever more emotionally overwhelming and wistful -and this one, particularly, very sweet. Lisey's Story has...moreAs King grows older, his books seem to turn ever more emotionally overwhelming and wistful -and this one, particularly, very sweet. Lisey's Story has a thread of fundamental wrongness going through it that keeps the suspense going -the horror side of King's narrative is strong as ever, the descriptions of the physical hardships are engrossing and captivating in a level that makes you feel terribly uncomfortable, but there's another thread of horror, a very human, everyday thread, about love and loss, and how no matter how special we might be or feel we are, we all have to reach the end of the road, and there's no coming back home after that.
The characters are all fantastic. Lisey and Scott are the romance story I always want to read, the one with hardships but that conquers everything -almost everything- with their love and respect for each other. The sisters are all... very sisterlike. It's funny and annoying and infuriating, but under all of that there's definitely love. I think this is the most tender book I've read from King, you can feel the way he craddles the story and the characters with infinite gentleness even as he breaks them and makes them go through hell. The narrative breaking into past, memories and present is a real page turner. I like to put down books on clean chapter breaks, so I had a hard time putting this one down. And when I finally finished it, it was with a deep sense of wistfulness.
The dead ones still love. And we will always love them back. And that's the beautiful pain of this story. (less)
I read this on the plane, and was left with the feeling that I might be reading too much -or too little?- into the sexual side of this particular vamp...moreI read this on the plane, and was left with the feeling that I might be reading too much -or too little?- into the sexual side of this particular vampire story. The way the main character dwells on female vampires, infected women, the old vampire woman that turned to dust, the spy... I felt mildly annoyed and angry at him through the book, I am not sure why -he's not exactly very likable, after all- but it just feels like I should take a while longer and re-read it to understand the explorations of sexual repression -is that it? that vampires are usually expressions of repressed sex traits and since he's human he's actually the repression, the frustration, the anger and hate and desire? Or was I supposed to think he was virtuous because he was a master of his desires? Because his violence and repulsion were 'tempered' by science?
Other than that, it was a book that was long due for me to read, and I enjoyed the explorations of normality/social consensus. (less)
My. I wish I could put two ratings up there, because I both liked the book -4 stars would be my story rating- but I also really want to set fire to it...moreMy. I wish I could put two ratings up there, because I both liked the book -4 stars would be my story rating- but I also really want to set fire to it and kick it in the mouth and yell at it to stop being such a self-conceited, smug, proto-academic prig. I really, really want to do that. Especially the punching in the mouth.
The Navidson Record is an awesome story nested inside the book, the smallest matrushka doll in this weird narrative. It concerns a documentary of a photojournalist moving into his new home with his SO and their two kids, and how they are trying to make their relationship work. And then the house turns out to be bigger inside than outside, a hallway opens into nothingness and many explorations are done into this fantastic space that could be anything -the human mind, the thought process made physical, god, a transdimensional being/space, I don't know. Anything. Then there's the second narrative doll, this analysis over the documentary by a blind guy named Zampanó. The documentary doesn't exist, so we are led to believe Zampanó made it all up, and he has his own life tragedies and mysteries going on that you try to put together but also, you know what, never mind, it won't end up in anything.
And then there's the third matrushka doll pov, Johnny Truant, a guy who finds the manuscript and whose story you learn because he makes editor notes on the analysis by Zampanó to tell you how many ladies he's done and how and where and how many times and how they all loved it and asked for seconds. He's a stud. He has a lot of sex. He does a lot of drugs. And sex. And he's great at it. Got it? good, that and his panic as he's becomes obsessed over the transcriptions of Zampanó's work and his childhood trauma is something that will be rehashed a bazillion times with run on sentences that are annoying, too florid and one of the main reasons I really really really want to punch the book in the mouth.
The Navidson Record story is so chopped and fragmented that is hard to get really scared from it, though it is the best of the stories nested in this book, in my opinion. It's fascinating and human and fun, and Zampanó's analysis is sometimes interesting and sometimes not, but not too bad. It wasn't the disconnection of the story so much that I found annoying, but the smugness with the footnotes that were missing or unreadable and all the 'hints' at finding out clues in past chapters, and all the missing content, and then all the content that was horribly boring and useless -unless I missed out on *something* and the Pelican Poems were actually there for a reason, maybe I'm just stupid and I didn't get the HIDDEN FUN!
It does bring out some very interesting themes, made me think about the nature of the mind and thought a lot, and the story was good. But the book. The book. Oh, the book. I am so going to punch it in the mouth. (less)
I can't figure out if I should put this book under my fantasy tag or my horror tag or make a new tag for 'Children Books that Aren't Just for Children...moreI can't figure out if I should put this book under my fantasy tag or my horror tag or make a new tag for 'Children Books that Aren't Just for Children' or what.
This book was fantastic. It's a coming of age story set in a graveyard, with a vampire as a guardian for the only alive dweller of the cemetery. I really liked the relationship between Bod and Silas, since Silas is always the perfect guardian, understanding and treating Bod like an intelligent creature and not dumbing things down for him because he's a child. He's always honest and awesome, and clearly loves Bod very much. Bod is also a very cool kid, he's not annoying -I tend not to like children in books much- and I always rooted for him to get on top of things. He's a loner, never really a 'lonely' child so much as a very capable person that doesn't really focus too much on being social. I think it's a fantastic book for kids with introverted streaks, because Bod's introverted traits are never put in a negative way. Even at the end, Silas encourages him to live and see the world, not to be 'normal' or socialize or do other things that given Bod's background will not come naturally to him. Everyone in the graveyard wants Bod to be happy, and thus help him to find his own way.
I loved the themes of being different, how the monsters aren't as dangerous as people, and how at the end Bod doesn't seem entirely human to other humans. I thought that as heartbreaking his parting with Scarlett was, it was also a good lesson on being a social outcast, and how it's not the end of the world or a bad thing. He's just different and he'll find someplace where he belongs, and that's that.
I loved the characters and thought it was a very beautiful book, full of very inspiring themes. Awesome book.