I now join the legions of Soren Narnia's hand-picked victims. I entered the First-Reads giveaway, but didn't win it - nonetheless, Soren Narnia was kiI now join the legions of Soren Narnia's hand-picked victims. I entered the First-Reads giveaway, but didn't win it - nonetheless, Soren Narnia was kind (or perhaps sadistic) enough to send me one. I'm uncertain whether to be thankful or wary.
Knifepoint Horror, to those not in the know, is an experimental form of horror developed by the author himself. The short fiction herein is devoid of capitalization, story titles, and paragraph breaks - the last is signified by a simple / and slightly greater spacing. In addition to creating a purely claustrophobic feel, this also creates a more immediate and urgent aura to each of the stories. The action is relentless, the horror truly terrifying, and the gore revolting. This is a book that I enjoyed hating.
The Complete Knifepoint Horror deserves a spot alongside H.P. Lovecraft on the shelves. It deserves to be read, studied, and remembered - not that anyone would have a chance of forgetting the book after reading it. These stories disgusted me, they terrified me, and they made it difficult to fall asleep. Reading this book while alone, at night, in an unfamiliar house was also a massive mistake. I didn't feel as well protected as I would have liked by the Australian Shepherd I forced to share the room with me.
Soren Narnia you are a genius, if a terribly twisted one. I can't wait to see what you come up with next....more
Sasha leant me this book with a cursory order to read it when I had the time. It took me quite a while to get to it, but I did, and I'm quite glad ofSasha leant me this book with a cursory order to read it when I had the time. It took me quite a while to get to it, but I did, and I'm quite glad of that, too. I've not read a collection of short stories in a while, and when it comes to short stories, I can be rather particular. I grew up on a fair bit of Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson with some Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King mixed in.
This isn't to say that her writing is automatically of a similar tier to the others, as it isn't. Her endings can be a bit sloppy, or her dialogue a bit too fantastic to deal with. That having been said, she still packs a mean punch that is maybe just one step below Kelly Link. I thought a lot about Link reading this, actually. While nothing in this book reaches the level of the short story "Magic for Beginners" there are still a number of stories in here that I think will stick with me. "Fruit and Words" for instance, I found incredibly compelling. The story of the potato children was likewise fantastic, as was the story of the miniature man. While some ended too quickly, others dragged on a bit long. "The Case of the Salt and Pepper Shakers" could have used a bit better editing, but was still a solid piece.
All in all I think the book could have been edited better, but even without the additional editing it was good enough that I devoured it, loved it, and heartily recommend it. I'd read more of her books quite eagerly, and am quite curious to see where she ends up....more
Unlike The Lottery where the stories collected followed a distinct theme, Just an Ordinary Day has little to unite the tales within. The collection isUnlike The Lottery where the stories collected followed a distinct theme, Just an Ordinary Day has little to unite the tales within. The collection is made up half of unpublished stories, and half of uncollected stories, thus becoming a best of the obscure of Shirley Jackson. Do not balk at the fact that stories have scarcely seen the light of day - the fact they hadn't been collected until recently is in some ways a travesty.
The stories consist of a whole slew of genres. There are the classic family stories, including one hilarious one about how to deal with unruly Cub Scouts - there are supernatural stories, horror stories, and simply unsettling stories of day to day life. One of the interesting facets of the book is the fact that the same themes and characters pop up time and time again. I am also rather pleased to say that at one point two versions of the same story were put side by side, thus allowing a look into how Shirley Jackson revised her stories and perfected them over time.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Shirley Jackson's writing, or indeed, anyone who writes and treasures short stories. This is a very interesting look into the writing of one who is a truly shining example of that medium....more
Warren Ellis has crafted the outrageous gonzo journalist from sheer hate, cynicism, rage, and good humor. He haI hate it here, but I love this series.
Warren Ellis has crafted the outrageous gonzo journalist from sheer hate, cynicism, rage, and good humor. He has infused him with an altruism that is remarkable and relentless, a thirst for justice purely unquenchable, and a righteous wrath that would set any red-blooded human's heart a-pumping. Transmetropolitan is priceless, and truly shocking in the way the cyberpunk series continues to hit home.
With the [ author: H.L. Mencken] quote in Gouge AwayWarren Ellis set the stage for the final story arc, the only story arc in some ways, that is bringing the series racing towards its finish. The startling pace and the true tragedy of this issue bring it home to the reader that this isn't your normal graphic novel - nor even remotely close to being such.
What I mean is, I care about these characters. The worry I feel is as real as the way my throat closed when the diagnosis was set down. I care about these characters, I care about their quest, and I care about the final dredges of humanity that Warren Ellis has so cleverly infused into the new scum and the dreaded audience that Spider Jerusalem preaches to.
Man, I care about these characters... and as much as I want to finish the series, to see how the final battle goes down and watch the e-ink dry on the strangely iPad like tablets... I also don't want to finish the series and see these characters go. They've touched my heart, and the plot has set the wheels in my own brain racing.
And I thought I loved Preacher. Transmetropolitan takes this medium to a whole new level....more
Well, here is another book that I have owned forever and just now got around to reading fully. This requires a bit of background.
The first time I starWell, here is another book that I have owned forever and just now got around to reading fully. This requires a bit of background.
The first time I started reading Chimera I got through the first novella, and gave up halfway through the second. The second time, I got a tad bit further... this time, I nearly gave up through the third story. Nonetheless, I did plow through. Yes, that is the right terminology. Plowed through. Finishing Chimera felt a bit like one of the 12 tasks of Hercules, unfortunately. I wanted to like this book better, I really wanted to like it.
The first story is brilliantly constructed, a tale within a tale within a tale. The different portions wind up together, every little diversion is a pointed one that lends itself towards a deeper understanding of the frame story. The second story begins the falling apart of it all. The second story, Perseid, becomes a lot more dense. The plot twists are not fully spelled out until somewhere near the end where we figure out who exactly is doing the bulk of the speaking. The third story, Bellophorniad, is where you just want to give up. Everything is meta this, meta that, who is telling the story, where is the story headed - wait, everyone is dead? While the end more or less ties everything up nicely the first two acts of the third story are so bloody dense it doesn't feel worth it.
Essentially, Barth should have stuck to the commentary that he did so well in Dunyazadiad - who is reading the story, how do they inform the story, who is narrating it and what do they change? Frame of reference was better suited for a story with a generally likable protagonist. There was nothing likable about Bellerus, again, unfortunately....more
This short story came up as free on my phone the other day and I of course jumped at the opportunity to get some more Neil Gaiman. I think this stoAw.
This short story came up as free on my phone the other day and I of course jumped at the opportunity to get some more Neil Gaiman. I think this story might have been collected in Fragile Things, but either way it had been a while and I was up for a reread. Gosh, I love this man's writing.
It's amazing how much of a character you can grasp through a few simple sentences, how amusing a response to a bizarre situation can be. I adore Neil Gaiman's ability to take an ordinary man, set him into extraordinary situations, and have him react in a believable way. Neverwhere achieved this brilliantly, and this short story really highlights his capability as well.
Funny story, brilliant reread, I don't think I'll ever grow tired of this author....more
One of Stephen King's earlier books, Cycle of the Werewolf is in fact more of a short story. Not even quite a novella. It's short, sweet, and rather tOne of Stephen King's earlier books, Cycle of the Werewolf is in fact more of a short story. Not even quite a novella. It's short, sweet, and rather to the point. All you could really ask of a horror story.
Month by month, the Beast stalks Tarker Mills. Each month marks a new kill, a growing terror in the town. The stories are short, each kill a classic of the werewolf genre. The only survivor is a young kid in a wheelchair, who then decides to go further and find out just who the killer in.
As far as short stories go, this one is good. The pace is quick, and when the killer realizes who he is... well, it's poignant plenty. It bears all the gore and small town tension one could want from an early King offering.
Satisfying, but it would be more satisfying in a collection rather than as a standalone story....more
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some oWonderful, wonderful book.
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some of the most memorable stories from the blog, and adds several new entertaining ones. While I would love to see a book that collects all of the posts, this is still a very good start.
Allie Brosh's artwork is distinctive and hilarious, her writing both poignant and clever. While the subject matter at times does get dark, this book is still one of the funniest and most truthful ones I've ever read.
I am slightly ashamed to have even read this book. When the front cover read that this was a "dangerous book" I did not understand that it meant "dangI am slightly ashamed to have even read this book. When the front cover read that this was a "dangerous book" I did not understand that it meant "dangerous" as in "this will eat away at the gray matter within your skull dangerous." I didn't know that it meant I would be reading in depth about someone grabbing his wife whom he no longer loved off of the toilet while she was pooping in order to throw her on the bed and shag her. I didn't know it meant I would be learning what a vasectomy smelled like, or how not being well-endowed would lead you to eventually commit murder. No, I was expecting "Dangerous" in the way, say Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Joe Hill, or even Cormac McCarthy is dangerous. All of the above have described similarly disgusting scenes and topics. All of the above have done so with style. Clifford Meth just wasn't my style.
His writing was a bit too harsh for me. In the past I've praised Robert Louis Stevenson and Joe Hill for the economy of their words. They seem to write in their stories, novels, and descriptions only the bare minimum of what they need to set a tone or invoke a proper scene. Clifford Meth seemed to be going for a similar style, but like Chuck Palahniuk this ended in all of his stories (and the title novella "One Small Voice") having the exact same tone. At some points I found myself having to flip back to get the characters straight in my head - aside from the size of their members there seemed to be little distinguishing one from the other.
All in all, there were perhaps two stories that I enjoyed out of the entire collection. The final story, "Pillow Talk," made me laugh out loud. Aside from that, the story about Anne I found strangely touching... though it suffered the exact same problems of tone that I mentioned earlier. That I enjoyed the stories again, is putting a bit too much praise there. If I was a teenage man? Maybe then I'd like the book more and I'd think it encapsulated my viewpoint. As a girl in her early 20s, however, nothing in the book squares up with the male friends I have, nor what they've chatted to me about.
I think Stephen King does a better job of balancing a man's attraction towards a woman versus the lust he feels towards anything with breasts....more
This is technically a first-reads book, an advance short section of a book to be released later this day or next. Luckily, it's up on Good Reads for rThis is technically a first-reads book, an advance short section of a book to be released later this day or next. Luckily, it's up on Good Reads for reading, review, and all things good.
This is an interesting book, and one that more than piqued my interest to read the rest of it once it is offered. The story is strange, the sort of weird-fiction that one doesn't see too often these days. The ghost story may be purely psychological, historical, or just straight up real. It's uncertain.
As I said before, it is just a small snippet, but man, it's cool. I'm looking forward to the rest. Daniel Clausen has a fine ability to write poetic sentences that intrigue and fascinate. I'm looking forward to the rest, and hoping we hear more about "Silence" in the future....more
This book was something I could not resist purchasing, especially with the .95 price tag. The book.. well, it is pretty much what it claimed to be.
EacThis book was something I could not resist purchasing, especially with the .95 price tag. The book.. well, it is pretty much what it claimed to be.
Each fairy tale is lovingly turned into a politically correct, and sanitized version of its formerly heathen self. I read the book with my boyfriend, each of us trading off stories between sips of beer. I would pretty much say that that is the best way to read the book.
Otherwise, well, the jokes get old rather quickly. Still, an amusing novelty read....more
Hey, look, I read a superhero comic! Really! A mainstream superhero comic! I think... Yeah...
Anyway, I picked this up for no particular reason. BatmanHey, look, I read a superhero comic! Really! A mainstream superhero comic! I think... Yeah...
Anyway, I picked this up for no particular reason. Batman: The Man Who Laughs was all right, but it didn't do all that much for me. I found the writing styles a bit difficult to get into, though I did like "Man of Wood" better than the title story. I found Bruce Wayne/Batman's dialogue.... wooden, and wish that they had either stuck to Gordon's viewpoint or Batman's rather than switching.
I will say that it was refreshing to read something far closer to a detective story than a traditional "beat them up" kind of tale. I would have liked if the dialogue/narration had been consistent with the film noir nature of the second story, but understand that there are certain limitations when one isn't writing a "Question" book.
I liked the ending of "Man of Wood" and the question of whether or not the villain could have been helped... the idea of disillusionment in the face of a superhero-ridden society is an interesting one that I'd like to see explored more in depth. It was a bit Watchmen like in terms of theme, but more from the point of view of the populace. It's probably been done before, but I thought it felt fresh....more
It was just resting there, half-hidden behind more respectable books such as Siddhartha and The Great Gatsby. The booI can't believe I read this book.
It was just resting there, half-hidden behind more respectable books such as Siddhartha and The Great Gatsby. The book looked vaguely familiar to me. I had probably heard about it once or twice over the years. Shrugging, I picked it up and began leafing through it idly. This was a mistake.
The second I begin reading a book it is like a trainwreck. I can't stop. It doesn't matter how much I dislike the book, or like it - I just feel the need to finish what I begin. Such was my experience reading this. I felt obligated to finish it, including the two appendices, and thus, I did.
I agree with previous reviewers. This book was like a sociology lesson in the sort of person I never want to meet. I refuse to acknowledge they exist, more often than not, these sorts of players. By the time that Tucker Max figured out that there are women with "game" who inevitably play the players and what not... yeah. I felt he deserved it, and more.
This book wasn't soul-shattering or horrifying, it was more simply... sad, disgusting, and unfortunate. It's one thing to live your life drinking, fornicating, and writing about it - but can you at least do it in a decent style? Hunter S. Thompson had more class than Tucker Max and far better writing chops.
So basically, yeah, I smirked maybe twice and all in all just wish I could have enjoyed it more. I feel vaguely ashamed to have read it. But there you go. It happens. ...more
It seems I am attempting to read every single book in the Sandman collection. We shall see how this plays out - I'm not quite certain that my libraryIt seems I am attempting to read every single book in the Sandman collection. We shall see how this plays out - I'm not quite certain that my library carries all of these side stories. Hell, I feel lucky to have gotten the ten main volumes of the comic from the library. Anyway, that is beside the point. Endless Nights.
Endless Nights is a side story, a volume of seven short stories, each corresponding to a different member of the Endless. In addition to being entertaining, the volume does answer a few interesting questions: Why aren't the Endless allowed to court mortals? What happened to the first incarnation of Despair? Why did Delight become Delirium? It even sheds a bit of light as to why Destruction abandoned his position. Interesting stories, all, and truly remarkable artwork. Even the man who did the cover art for Preacher contributed to a story.
The book was good, and entertaining, but it didn't feel quite as cohesive as the rest of the series to me. I enjoyed the story about Death very much, and I enjoyed the story about Dream, and Desire's was predictably brilliant. Destruction's story, while good, I felt there could have been more to; Delirium's did nothing for me. Destiny's had beautiful artwork.
The trouble with side stories, mini-collections if you will, in the Sandman universe is that the original volumes were so rich.. it's difficult to emulate the breadth of those stories. This won't stop me from reading the others, and as my star rating says - I did -like- the collection. I just wasn't as crazy about it as I was the more massive story arcs....more
This collection of stories published by Boom! takes the icons and motifs of H.P. Lovecraft's writing and turns them to horror and humor. The tales areThis collection of stories published by Boom! takes the icons and motifs of H.P. Lovecraft's writing and turns them to horror and humor. The tales are unsettling, the artwork beautiful and intriguing, and altogether I found the collection to be quite inventive. While I enjoyed the previous volume I read from Boom! The Fall of Cthulhu more than I did this one, this still fell into the same sweet spot of storytelling that The Fall of Cthulhu hit.
I believe that anyone who is a fan of small press comics would find something to like between this volumes covers, and indeed, I look forward to reading more out of Boom Studios in general.
"The Art of Noises" "Happy Little Boy" and "Are You There Cthulhu, It's Me Margaret" would be the stand-out stories in this collection, as previous reviewers mentioned....more
The Story of You Know Who is the second in the Preacher specials. This one, as the title states, tells the story of how precisely Arseface came to becThe Story of You Know Who is the second in the Preacher specials. This one, as the title states, tells the story of how precisely Arseface came to become Arseface. The story was first told in Gone to Texas so it isn't as if any of the backstory comes as a surprise.. it's still just nice to see it all laid out, though.
Prior to becoming the character we all know and love, Sheriff Root's kid was what you would expect... a disaffected youth with a penchant for pot, grunge, and general teenaged idiocy. The artwork in this book was particularly good, and the character of Pube particularly well established. For all the complaints about Preacher being a bad influence, the moralizing in this was rather grand.
I would say that the best part in the whole bloody book here was the speech that Catherine gives him after the suicide attempt. Suicide, for the most part, is an incredibly selfish act. If you think that nobody cares about you, you're wrong. More often it's you who doesn't care, or think, about others....more
Well, this book made me even more of an Alan Moore fangirl.
The title story was simply fantastic. I'm generally not a huge fan of Supes, but Alan MoorWell, this book made me even more of an Alan Moore fangirl.
The title story was simply fantastic. I'm generally not a huge fan of Supes, but Alan Moore captured what it was to be Superman as a person, rather than simply a hero. All of the old villains returned, and one by one, the loose threads were tied up. The introduction nicely covered the point of the story... to end the golden age of Superman, essentially. This story did just that, and not wanting to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't yet read it, it did it splendidly.
In some ways, it seemed like Superman's equivalent to The Dark Knight Rises film...
The second story was another Superman-near-death tale. In this one, Superman was saved by the Swamp Thing. The writing of this story was beautiful, and the artwork (showing both Krypton and Earth) was predictably great. It was interesting to see how Superman dealt with the idea of dying, and it was certainly a fascinating introduction to Swamp Thing which I've not yet read.
The final story (Superman's birthday... and Mogul bringing a rather sinister gift) brought Wonder Woman, Batman, and Robin into the mix. The question of whether contentment is something one wishes to live with, was an interesting philosophical one. What is your true heart's desire? Would you be happy if you got it?
In this story Krypton wasn't destroyed... Bruce Wayne's parents weren't killed. Seeing how Bruce and Supes dealt with these situations was enlightening as to their characters, and I loved the way that Moore narrated the fights.
So, all in all? A must read for comic books fans. Alan Moore always cuts to the quick when it comes to important character development. I hope that the new Man of Steel film deals with these questions as well as these comics did. ...more
Reading the collected edition, it includes "Cinderella Libertine" which I hadn't read before. I have to say the bit with the pumpkin at the end was surprising and incredibly disgusting. Nice touch with the Napoleon statue, as well... Man, I love this series.
"March of the Wooden Soldiers" is right up there with "Storybook Love." It's from the former that the famous (well, geekily famous) statue of Snow White and Bigby comes from. One of these days I'll probably get one of those for myself, I love them so.
The story picks up, more questions are raised than answers, and the pace is just.. perfect. I really want to find the next installments and get more up to date on Fables. This series is just perfect.
Where else do you get to see Mr. Toad riding the cow that jumped over the moon whilst lobbing grenades at wooden soldiers? I mean, come on......more
Well, this was a collection of short stories as the title implies. The Journal of John Ikos brought... John Ikos, Dane, and Billy (from Dead, Billy, DWell, this was a collection of short stories as the title implies. The Journal of John Ikos brought... John Ikos, Dane, and Billy (from Dead, Billy, Dead) together to go against a group of extremist vampires. The story was good, and it's always a pleasure to see Dane. The way that Dane and Ikos interacted was very believable... and I am curious as to where Norris is now.
Picking Up the Pieces didn't hit me as strongly as The Journal of John Ikos, but it was still an okay story. I would like a bit more variety, rather than destroying Barrow Part Deux.
Dead Space... where do I begin? The story was fun, and rather clever. Vampires in Space is a fun enough concept, and Templesmith pulled off the artwork as only he can. The ending? Very interesting, in what it bodes for the rest of the series. I like the implications for sure.
All in all, this was a solid effort. I like the world of 30 Days of Night and I look forward to seeing where it will take us next....more
This novella - vignette? - cunningly mixed sci-fi and fantasy fiction. It melded some general tropes inWalker is available to read free on GoodReads.
This novella - vignette? - cunningly mixed sci-fi and fantasy fiction. It melded some general tropes in interesting ways that reminded me a bit of Dead Space and the prologue of Spin the Sky. Just a bit, though. Not too much. While some of the tropes are common, I'm not entirely certain that this hasn't been done before. I'm not well enough read in scifi to say such.
While the concepts were interesting, I wasn't too fond of the execution. The piece read a bit too much like an outline or a rough draft for my taste. While the expansion potential was very high - there's a novel, or even a series hiding in there - I had trouble getting into the style and understanding what was going on from scene to scene. The piece would benefit from a rewrite expanding the ideas and focusing more on each character.
I wanted to feel in the piece rather than an outside observer. I wanted to be more attached to each of the characters and truly understand the system that the Watchers, Walkers, and Hybrids were forced into and make sense of the social structure. There's enough to be drawn upon to make this something much bigger, and I hope that Chad Schimke realizes that and works with it.
I heard about this graphic novel in the "On the Ledge" column in the back of an issue of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles though the precise issue I doI heard about this graphic novel in the "On the Ledge" column in the back of an issue of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles though the precise issue I don't recall. The pairing of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean is one that I adore - Mirrormask was particularly good - and I was intrigued by the concept more than I would care to admit. I didn't grow up on Punch and Judy, but I knew enough about it from cartoons to get the general idea.
The story is incredibly dark, as "On the Ledge" warned. The story is rife with the confusion present in childhood, the slow realization that life is rife with sex, death, and violence. Family secrets are unveiled before the backdrop of the classic plot of the Punch and Judy show. Everyone dies but Punch in the shows, and the figure of the Punch and Judy Professor likewise seems omnipresent in a strange way.
I really enjoyed this book. I would be hard-pressed to explain exactly what it is about the writing, but it evokes the same sort of feelings in me that the opening pages of Horse's Neck do. There is a certain ethereal quality that author's bring, and in this it is present in force.. coupled with the illustrations, it is nearly overwhelming....more
The Canterbury Tales is one of those books often mentioned in any survey of classic literature, and certainly with good reason. The structure of the bThe Canterbury Tales is one of those books often mentioned in any survey of classic literature, and certainly with good reason. The structure of the book itself (stories within stories) predates A Midsummer Night's Dream rather notably and Geoffrey Chaucer is with necessity a force of wit to be reckoned with.
Geoffrey Chaucer's writing still seems fresh, and more of the stories in this collection hold up to the passing of time rather than fall flat from it. The snippets of the original poetry included in quotes make me want to read it in the original, in spite of what difficulties there may be, and the notes in the back helped expediate understanding when the language did get confusing.
Chaucer's social commentary was hilarious, and his characters were all rather notable. His use of doggerel for humor was extremely effective, and his views towards women's rights remarkable for their time. Hell, The Wife of Bath's prologue regarding men is still rather remarkable to read.
All in all, an excellent collection and one I look forward to reading again....more
Shirley Jackson is truly adept at writing short stories. She strings her plots along with a surprising grasp of the disturbing, and an unexpected amouShirley Jackson is truly adept at writing short stories. She strings her plots along with a surprising grasp of the disturbing, and an unexpected amount of good humor. Her eye for detail both intrigues and lulls one into a false sense of security.
The Lottery and Other Stories was originally dubbed with the surtitle 'the adventures of James Harris', something it should probably still contain. The second story in the collection "The Daemon Lover" sets the bar which nearly all the other stories follow. Drawing from the Child Ballad of the same name, the bulk of the collection involves James Harris in one way or another, as each character encounters his or her own version of Hell through a varying degree of mishaps. Not all of the stories are so dark, however, and a number are actually quite humorous.
Surprisingly bold for her time, Shirley Jackson's writings remain remarkably fresh in spite of the years that have passed since their publication. In particular, I greatly enjoyed "The Intoxicated," "Charles," "The Witch", "Colloquy," and "Got A Letter From Jimmy." The title story, "The Lottery," I had read before.
I highly recommend this book as an exemplary example of what short stories, and the collections thereof, can be and achieve. ...more
I reviewed the previous book in this series, though right now I can't find a copy of the third one.
This book was much the same as the previous one, thI reviewed the previous book in this series, though right now I can't find a copy of the third one.
This book was much the same as the previous one, though the content has changed now to encompass the War of the Roses period and the general political climate that that encompassed. The stories were interesting, and the bibliography at the back rather good. I quite liked the fact that Robert Lacey included both Museums and Gardens, books and websites - primary sources are great. I sent several recommendations based upon the bibliography to my parents, who will be in England soon. Talk about good timing, right?
This book offers a very nice introduction to the stories and legends that shaped England into what it is today. The bibliography is a very good resource for finding out more information, and the family trees in the beginning help sort out some of the more complicated lineages (here's looking at you, Henry VIII).
The Preacher specials seem to be largely hit or miss. I appreciate them for the back story they give, even if it isn't needed. Herr Starr's story wasThe Preacher specials seem to be largely hit or miss. I appreciate them for the back story they give, even if it isn't needed. Herr Starr's story was good - not exceptional, but largely what was already expected and explained. Here we just get to see how he was recruited to the Grail and some of the machinations of how he decided/enacted his plan to eventually become Allfather.
The low rating was merely because.. well, it was expected. There was nothing earth shatteringly fantastic in it, and the same old fetish jokes were trotted out in regard to Herr Starr's ah.. personal habits. We got to learn how he got the tell-tale scars and how he lost his eye - but again, it seemed a bit unnecessary.
So - all in all, a decent book, but not one really needed. It felt a bit like the Jack's Tattoo episode of Lost. Interesting? A bit. Required? Not really. Filler is filler, and I like Ennis best when he's working with Dillon....more
This is, by far, my favorite collection of Ray Bradbury's short stories.
Ray Bradbury is a master of fantasy, of sci-fi, and of touching the dreams anThis is, by far, my favorite collection of Ray Bradbury's short stories.
Ray Bradbury is a master of fantasy, of sci-fi, and of touching the dreams and the sweet innocence of childhood. He is a wonderful writer, a poetic genius, and stark reminder of how thoroughly writing can shape the mind and pluck the heart. Ray Bradbury is a genius of the short story whose grandeur has only ever been matched by perhaps Jonathan Carroll, if even that.
Stephen King has said that October Country is the best book that showcases this often-forgotten talent of Ray Bradbury, but I defy him to say that Long After Midnight is far better. This collection showcases the full talent that Ray Bradbury had, as well as the versatility of his style. The horror stories are chilling, the sci-fi stories touching and full of literary wonder.
If you've not read this collection yet - read it. You will not be disappointed....more
These stories exceeded the first volume in the series, and brought Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame into the mix. The humor turned to a far darkerThese stories exceeded the first volume in the series, and brought Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame into the mix. The humor turned to a far darker tone, and the stories increased in length. The artwork was far less Love and Rockets stylized and more dramatic, adding some linework and watercolor additions that I was surprised to see. All in all, I enjoyed this volume more and hope the next continues in this vein.
Also, the final story in the collection with the call to Dagon was quite surprising. I thoroughly enjoyed the artwork and thought it was a pleasant change from the Cthulhu love that is so very common. ...more
This free story was incredibly amusing. As a previous reader of Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, I have been acquainted with the more humorous rendition of aThis free story was incredibly amusing. As a previous reader of Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, I have been acquainted with the more humorous rendition of a tentacle monster's life. This short story, however, dealt more with the... dramatic aspects of living with such a condition. Oh, Kip doesn't know what to do about his tentacles. Especially after the man of his dreams calls him a tentacle monster.
At 26 pages (on Kindle) this story was just long enough, and focused more on the emotions than any steamy scenes. Personally, I was a bit thankful for that, as tentacles aren't my thing. Still, the story was free and it was amusing. It was a bit sweet, as others have mentioned, but I would've preferred a bit more to it in general.
Why did his parents leave? Did it have to do with the tentacles? What made people change their minds about the tentacles? Is this a genetic condition or... what?
I've been debating whether to rate this three stars or four. Some of the stories in this book I thoroughly enjoyed - "Magic For Beginners," "Catskin",I've been debating whether to rate this three stars or four. Some of the stories in this book I thoroughly enjoyed - "Magic For Beginners," "Catskin", and "The Faery Handbag" in particular were ones that I couldn't put down. Other stories in it, however, for some reason or another failed to engage me. The ending of "Stone Animals" in particular felt like a let down to me - I believe it was more of a stylistic problem that I had with it than a content one.
Kelly Link reads a lot like Jonathan Carroll to me. Although the thematic content differs strongly from Carroll's focus on self-actualization and time bending, they come from the same nearly innate understanding of what it means to be writing speculative fiction. Stories like "Magic For Beginners" and "The Faery Handbag" walk the line between realism and weird fiction in a rather pleasing way that tickles the mind while never stepping so far off the beaten path as to make one feel ridiculous for reading it.
I'm interested to see more of her work, and curious as to what direction the rest of her writing goes in....more
Once again, thank you first-reads program for sending me a book I otherwise probably never would have heard of - let alone read. I signed up for thisOnce again, thank you first-reads program for sending me a book I otherwise probably never would have heard of - let alone read. I signed up for this giveaway genuinely curious, and in the end, got much more than I bargained for.
The book contains a series of short stories, brief experiences cut from the author's time as a cop. The stories are alternately horrifying, disgusting, hilarious, and twisted. That the stories are true is never in doubt, no matter how outrageous the claims. While the writing isn't professional, it doesn't need to be. The writing style helps rather than hinders the telling - I, for one, felt as if it was 3 am at some all-night convenience store and I was listening in to the author telling me these twisted tales...and yeah, at times I wanted to stop listening.
I've had friends go into paramedics, ems services and the like. I've had friends who were volunteer firefighters, or had spent a tour in Germany during WWII or served as a sharpshooter in Vietnam. I've never known a cop personally, but judging from this book they're all cut from the same cloth.
All in all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who mistakingly thinks of it as an easy job. Want a real look at cop life? Pick up this book, and don't expect to sleep for a while....more