Ah King Lear, Moore’s right, sometimes we do just want to kill you when you goWell, fuckstockings indeed.
That’s my new favorite word, I must admit.
Ah King Lear, Moore’s right, sometimes we do just want to kill you when you go bonkers in the storm.
Moore’s retelling of Lear, set in a Britain that never was and never will be, is good but suffers from what I see as the quintessential Moore problem.
It goes on for too long.
And Pratchett is still the king of footnotes. He has nothing to worry about. Sometimes, rarely, the footnotes were funny. Most of the time my response was – why did you need to footnote that.
Told from the viewpoint of Pocket, the Black Fool, Lear’s story spins out in the somewhat familiar way that the Restoration readers will be familiar with. If you disregard all that weird stuff about the popes and what not. There are guest appearances by other Shakespearean characters and discussions about rhyme. Pocket’s past or lack of one is revealed, and it isn’t a bit surprising to be honest. It would have been a little more interesting if Moore had made use of possible Fool/Cordelia doubling.
The book, however, is not totally without merit. The use of Pocket allows Moore to explore the possible reasons for the daughter’s reaction to Lear, and in this, there is some logical invention. The biggest test is of course, whether the retelling will get you to consider the original in a slightly different light, and this Moore does, at least in terms of the family structure of the royal family. Though the girls are basically true to type. A more cynical feminist will also wonder why the two evil ladies are still the most sexual ones.
The ghost was funny, I must admit. At times, the Pocket does make one think of Monty Python. I can see John Cleese doing Pocket with Terry Jones as Lear. Palin would be Cordy of course.
But fuckstockings the ending does kind of make one wonder about the ick factor. Perhaps better as a movie? ...more
This collection presents a couple new tales with previously published work. The stories are geared, as you have no doubt discFull Review at Booklikes.
This collection presents a couple new tales with previously published work. The stories are geared, as you have no doubt discovered, to the more adult reader. They range from the absolutely hilarious to the political (a tale dedicated to Rushdie) to the most wrenching version of Rumplestilken you will ever read (“Granny Rumple”). Three of the stories are interconnected and concern the trials of a fairy family who finds itself sucked into Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and a bottle of bad wine. There is a harsh because of its truth version of Thousand Furs and a rather delightful version of Snow White. If you don’t like one story, odds are the following one will leave breathless from laughter or a darker emotion....more
Despite the title, there is no grand zombie versus unicorn smack down. This would have been cool. There is one group of stories about unicorns, anotheDespite the title, there is no grand zombie versus unicorn smack down. This would have been cool. There is one group of stories about unicorns, another about zombies, and the editors argue over which is better.
It is also really a young adult collection. And, therefore, I am outside of the intended audience. I am also more of a team unicorn than team zombie person.
I found three of the stories to be very good, one to be interesting and haunting, and the rest to be forgettable. A quick word about the introduction – the give and play between the two editors I found to be annoying and largely unnecessary. Perhaps if I was younger I would’ve enjoyed it more. Outside of two introductions that actually tell you something about zombie and unicorns, and then just simply are variations of “zombies are better” and “unicorns are misunderstood”.
The collection starts with “Highest Justice” by Garth Fix. It lacks the freshness, perhaps, of his more famous trilogy, but there is a charm to it. “The Purity Test” by Naomi Novak is about a unicorn that needs a heroine with brain as opposed to a cherry. It is a funny story and a good thrust to the theme of purity. It reminded of the dragon sacrifice story that appears in one of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress novels. “Children of the Revolution” by Maureen Johnson is a zombie story and pokes fun at famous people, in particular stars with a bunch of adopted children and lack of tie to reality. It’s always fun to read such things.
While the above three are the stand out stories stand out, there is also “The Care and Feeding of Baby Unicorns” by Diana Peterfrund. In terms of style, I found the story to be a little longer than it needed to be. Yet, in the plot of a killer unicorn being raised by a girl who lost family to a unicorn, there is a thoughtful look at religion and faith. Despite its length, the subject matter is handed very well, and there is no heavy handed preaching that makes its way into other stories dealing with the same ideas. It does haunt you. ...more
Like the first Volume, this volume has short stories followed by teasers (first couple chapters) from the various author's forth coming books. Also thLike the first Volume, this volume has short stories followed by teasers (first couple chapters) from the various author's forth coming books. Also the last two stories "The Witch of Duva" (which is GREAT) and "Glitches" appeared in the first volume.
Standouts in this volume for me were "Foundation" a love story set in at the end of the worl. "Departmnent of Alterations" - a more adult than young adult story, very chilling, somewhat like Handmaid's Tale meets Logan's Run.
My favorite, discounting "Duva", would be "Heads Will Rule" which is about an unicorn named Steve, his partner with an intersting get-up, and thier desire to put an end to something that despite the fantasy glosss that it is given here, is very familiar to the real world as well....more
The stories have appeared in various other collections, but I haven't read most of them. Just two. The title story, about a marriage problem in Hades,The stories have appeared in various other collections, but I haven't read most of them. Just two. The title story, about a marriage problem in Hades, is aboslutely wonderful. However, I LOVE the retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk complete with attack on manufactured bands. The story about a dragon in Toronto is very powerful. Very good collection. If you are a Henry or Vicki fan, they do not appear in any of the stories. (Which I did not find a problem).
Additionally, if you are a Star Wars fan you will enjoy the fine wine that is "Burning Bright". Now, I have to talk to my brother about my Princess Leia glass which he broke years ago!...more
Disclaimer: The author sent me a free copy to review.
Harcourt has a problem. He needs money. This shouldn’t be a problem or at least not much of oneDisclaimer: The author sent me a free copy to review.
Harcourt has a problem. He needs money. This shouldn’t be a problem or at least not much of one as he is a thief, but the Thieves’ Guild does not want him to join. What’s a thief to do; besides be a thief?
The Thieves of Stonewood is a book in the tradition of gaming novels. It feels like a role playing novel. It combines the gaming feel with a hint of Thieves’ World. This is not to be seen as a criticism. After all, look at the success of Drizzt.
I can’t figure out if the book is intended for a Young Adult audience, an adult one, or both. Harcourt is presented as a likable, if slightly romanticized figure, and at times the plot reads like a fairy tale, not a bad thing. Yet, Hayes deserves credit for letting the reader see the dark side of Harcourt. Harcourt may deeply love his girlfriend Jalanna, but he does not romanticize all women. He may have a soft spot for children but he does also have a hard side. In short, he is a bit like the central character from the BBC America series Copper.
The book does have some problems that usually appear with a first book. The world building could be a bit stronger. The world is believable, and Hayes sets out rules that he sticks to; however, if you are familiar with Thieves’ World, that image tends to overwhelm. At times, the sentences are heavy. Furthermore, the fact that Harcourt says repeatedly that he only wants to heal the scarred Jalanna to make her happy and that he doesn’t care what she looks like, seems to imply the opposite. Because Harcourt must even say this to his close friend, it feels like a case of he doth protest too much. Hayes clearly shows that the couple is in love, but I can’t help but think how more powerful it would have been if he had down the same in regards to Harcourt and Jalanna’s scars. Instead of repeating the same thing over and over, why not show Harcourt remove her veil, touch her face? Something like that is far more powerful then the repetitive denial of Harcourt. Jalanna doesn’t seem to remove the veil even in front of him, and while this speaks to her feelings of her self-image, it also somewhat seems to speak to Harcourt’s.
Hayes’ tight plotting and energetic writing when the plot takes off makes up for the defects. While at times the writing is heavy, when the action truly starts, this flaw leaves. The last 150 pages fly by. While the book is first in a planned trilogy, the ending is not a cliffhanger and is satisfying, not something that the first book in every series does. The supporting characters are very well drawn. Hayes describes the characters, for the most part, in terms of action and behavior. This succeeds very well, and the characters also stay in character. Yes, I know all readers should expect this, but considering how many writers have zapped their characters into something else, sometimes even in one book, it is worth noting.
In short, I was somewhat fearful to accept the offer of the book for the review, but after reading it, I am very glad that I did....more
I think I would have enjoyed the book better if Sasha was not the only woman with skill and intelligence for most of the book. She is the sterotypicalI think I would have enjoyed the book better if Sasha was not the only woman with skill and intelligence for most of the book. She is the sterotypical only woman who can do anything right. Still good world building. Strangely, the best character is Sofy....more
I think this book comes across better if you know the poetry of Banjo Patterson.
In many ways the story in the second half is weak, though the first pI think this book comes across better if you know the poetry of Banjo Patterson.
In many ways the story in the second half is weak, though the first part of the book was enjoyable enough. It is part travel, part western, and part something else that I am sure I don't know what. Some type of reference to Aussie lit, maybe. Comment on immigration? I don't know.
Not upset that I read it, will keep my copy, but wanted more from it....more
The use of animals as stand in for humans, as allegorical devices, has a long history. This book is another entry into that fiCrossposted at Booklikes
The use of animals as stand in for humans, as allegorical devices, has a long history. This book is another entry into that field. It is nothing like Watership Down, which is a hero quest for rabbits, but instead in more of the tradition of Aesop or the medieval tales featuring Reynard.
And Chaucer. It owes much to Chaucer, and not just the name of the protagonist, Chanticleer.
The basic plot of the story is the threat to Chanticleer’s realm, his barnyard and surrounding area. Pretty much the area that his crow extends to, for the crow is what keeps time and sense. The threat comes from a Cockatrice and his basilisk children.
Is it a logical tale? No, for the fox does lie down with the chickens as it were. It is an allegory, but in many ways, it is the best type of allegory, one that doesn’t lecture. It is a religious (largely Christian though it is loose involved to be simply God of any type) allegory but not heavy handed in the way that C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories are. Chanticleer doubts and he struggles with his doubts. He sins, in every day ways as well as in more serious ways. The temptations are those of Smaug, those that speak to the hidden fears in our hearts. Chanticleer’s troops doubt as well, and some are not believers, but they are not the less valued by the rooster because of that.
But it isn’t the religion of rejection or you are going to hell. In fact, the character of Perlcotte will raise some interesting questions.
Gritty, realism, heart-breaking, and thoughtful. ...more
Ah Moxie. How do I love thee? You are far more interesting then the boy named after a fruit. His Gal Friday you are not. You are yourself. Amusing book Ah Moxie. How do I love thee? You are far more interesting then the boy named after a fruit. His Gal Friday you are not. You are yourself. Amusing book with the references. Really wish I knew cabbies like Pip and Squeak. ...more
This past weekend there was an essay in the New York Times book review about how now is a good time for fantasy because of George R. R. Martin and howThis past weekend there was an essay in the New York Times book review about how now is a good time for fantasy because of George R. R. Martin and how people no longer see fantasy as paper and dice.
I really want to know where the New York Times finds these people. Fantasy always gets the shaft in traditional reviews, unless it is Stephen King, Atwood, or Byatt. In those cases, the reviewers don't treat the work as fantasy (or sf or horror) and some cases, like Atwood, neither do the author. (The author of the Times piece, this time, does seem to agree with this feeling).
Modern fantasy and sci-fi are both so rich today as genres that I am exhausted by people who review books and don't know this. Especailly when the reviewers rave about a book that those who read fantasy know is cliched.
The rich fantasy genre allows people like Jim C. Hines to write. Hines is a great writer. Okay, maybe he isn't a Nobel Prize worthy author like Allende, Byatt, or Pratchett (who will never win because of fantasism - I just invented this word. I can do that. It describes people who are judgmental about fantasy). But Hines writes so well about the human condition, about rape (his non-fantasy work, Goldfish Dreams and some of his fantasy is about abuse. He writes about the issue with far more nuance and feel than some female authors), he is wonderfully inventive and his work comments on society. He does though an ability to make you laugh, cry, and nod in agreement all within the span of minutes.
This is his second short story collection for ebooks. There is no "theme" to this collection like there was with Goblin Tales. The collection includes previously published tales as well as a sneak peak for his book coming out next year (2012).
The first story is the title story, "Kitemaster". It is about a young girl who can control kites with magic. It features a character named Osa who reminds of Smudge from the Goblin books as well as Curdle from Un Lun Dun.
The second story, "Untrained Melody", is a story about the power of music and dwarven battle flutes. While the third, and perhaps weakest, "Blade of the Bunny" features two thieves trying to recover a knife that is like a bunny. That is really like a bunny. You know bunnies.
"Over the Hill" is a really, really funny story that fans of Prachett's Cohen will enjoy immensely. I've always wondered about those metal breast cups myself. "Spell of the Sparrow" features the two main characters from "Blade of the Bunny" and is a much better story. I like the twist that Hines put in it, and he's right, the point of view change works really well. Fans of Goblin Tales should note that this story has a connection to a story in that collection (it doesn't matter which you read first).
I have to say that my favorite was "The Creature in Your Neighborhood". So much as been written about how parents miss up children, but not much about how children mess up parents. Hate Barney? Seen too much children's PBS programming? You'll love this.
The "Libriomancer Preview" was interesting. I love all the references and am looking forward to the book.
Let me end this review by saying this - Hines is going to get his own goodreads shelf under my books; and I would buy Hines in hardcover without a discount. I don't say that about very many authors....more
Do you remember Strawberry Shortcake? Not the food, the doll/collectible figure. If you don't, here you go. Shortcake and her pals were these charaterDo you remember Strawberry Shortcake? Not the food, the doll/collectible figure. If you don't, here you go. Shortcake and her pals were these charaters; all named after various fruity desserts. They were little figureines, think Smurfs but human and not blue. The selling point was that they smelled of fruit. Strawberry Shortcake smelled of strawberries. I had some. They and my Mr. Men figures got lumped together, so they all started to get this weird, can't place it fruity smell.
Anyway, Shortcake, it seems, is making something of a comeback. Go figure.
DeSalvo makes use of those type of toys in his novel. Cobbler is a tough as nails detective who must find out who is trying to kill her. If you remind 80s cartoons and toys, you'll know this book. While not as amusing as DeSalvo poetry collections. It was still a fun, quick read. While the story does concern a murder, the book is easily read by adults and young adults. The tone is light and friendly....more
Got this free for my Kindle. I haven't read the other books in the series, and I am older than the intended audience (so I rounded up).
I haven't readGot this free for my Kindle. I haven't read the other books in the series, and I am older than the intended audience (so I rounded up).
I haven't read any other books in Kagawa's Iron Fey series, and only picked this one up on the basis of her rep and the fact that it was free.
It is an extremely good novella. The story is told from the point of view of Puck (aka Robin Goodfellow). Kagawa captures Shakespeare's Puck perfectly. Puck and his friend/rival/enemy must steal back a violin.
Of course, it is not that simple.
What I really enjoyed about the novella, besides Puck's voice, was how much of Shakespeare Kagawa worked in. I think this would be a wonderful book, if not series, to get a young teen who isn't interested in Shakespeare, interested.
While I can't say I'm rushing out to buy the other books in the series, I can say I will keep my eye out....more
Honestly, I can't think of what else to say at this point, except the above statement because it is the simple truth.
InEveryone should read this book.
Honestly, I can't think of what else to say at this point, except the above statement because it is the simple truth.
In one book, Butler deals with slavery, the impact of slavery, relationships, family, life, love, writing. If Butler had only written this book, it alone would have assured her a place among the stars and poets....more
**spoiler alert** So here's the thing. I have no real idea what is happening in this comic book. I don't speak or even read the language. My parents g**spoiler alert** So here's the thing. I have no real idea what is happening in this comic book. I don't speak or even read the language. My parents got me an older version of this volume way back when it came out and we were in Sweden.
Yet, even after all those years, I still remember the ending panel. Aria is some type of warrior woman, who kicks butt, uses her brain, and refuses to be tied to the man who tries to seduce her in the last page.
P.S. - The copy I have is in German or Swedish. If it was the French copy, I could read it....more
Still, I can't decided if it should be 3 or 2 stars.
The idea behind the novel is interesting. It's beeOkay, I have to say - BAD ENDING! WTF! NOT FAIR!
Still, I can't decided if it should be 3 or 2 stars.
The idea behind the novel is interesting. It's been seen in work like City of Golden Shadow or The Prisoner. Of course, because the idea is interesting, it can quickly wear on the reader.
There are several narrative threads, and when Adams decides to start bringing them together, he almost does so too quickly. In others, the ending feels as if it (a) were too long in coming and (b) too rushed. An oxymoron that must be hard to pull off, but Adams does. While a sequel is promised, it feels as this book was in some ways no more than a set up for that. I resent feeling this way. If the first book is simply no more than a prologue for the second it should be (a) short and (b) part of the second book itself.
What I did enjoy about the book was the world that was created. It is The Prisoner meets Pandora's box. At times the writing is quite wonderful and inventive. And I actually enjoyed the book up to the epilogue when I realized how he was going to end it.
There was a false note, however. Honestly, when two Americans are looking at rocking horses, they wouldn't think of the rocking horses as being lined up for the Grand National (steeplechase in England); they would think Kentucky Derby. For some reason, I found this to be a very jarring false note....more
One of the quotes on the back of my edition says "wholly original".
This isn't accurate.
Connolly's book is a cross between Pratchett, Harry Potter, anOne of the quotes on the back of my edition says "wholly original".
This isn't accurate.
Connolly's book is a cross between Pratchett, Harry Potter, and Hot Fuzz.
This means that it is very funny.
In some ways, it is very much akin to Good Omens, but (and I hate to say it Mr. Pratchett) better.
Disguised as a children's book, The Gates tells the story of a young boy, his parents's failing marriage, and the fact that the demons of Hell want to destory the world.
Samuel and his faithful hound Boswell (yes, there plently of literary allusions in this novel) face monsters under the bed, Nurd the Scrouge of Five Deities, Bernard the Bad, and other types of creatures. Long the way, you get a good dose of physics and really funny footnotes.