This used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing differen...moreThis used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing different time periods... Rereading it, some of the twists were rather obvious and a bit insulting. The repetition of the rune got trying. Realizing when it was written, what was happening... well, it gave the book a context that made its message rather clear. It would have been interesting to see what kids thought of it at the time it was released with the very real threat of nuclear annihilation looming.
Good to see some Welsh mythology creeping in, as it doesn't tend to get looked at nearly often enough. The witch hunt was a bit annoying, but so it goes.(less)
It's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watc...moreIt's odd reading this book years after I first did. I remember reading this book on my own, and I remember this book being read to me. I remember watching the movie and crying, and dreaming of red hound dogs of my own. I remember lending it to a friend and my dismay when I realized she'd never read it. It's a book with many, many mixed feelings.
All in all, the book retains a special place in my heart due to such memories and nostalgia. It remains important to me because the overall message of it is important, however dated at times it may seem. It's important to earn things, to work for things - things mean more when we do them ourselves, and it's important to learn a certain amount of self-reliance. Yeah, it's old fashioned, but old fashioned sometimes can be important.
Do I think it's important to ask for help when you can't do it on your own? Yeah, of course. But sometimes tough lessons are important to learn.
Got to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. I...moreGot to give this book a ton of stars. Oh, my childhood.
I grew up near the Potomac and spent a ton of time in the places described by these stories. I bought the book itself in one of the houses described in the stories... They're fun, they're short, and there are a lot of them. It's irrelevant to me whether the stories are true or not, they fascinated me as a child either way.
Can't wait to give this book to my nephew and continue the cycle of late nights spent poring over ghost stories and wondering what's out there. :)(less)
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...(less)
A rabbi's cat eats a parrot and gains the ability to speak in 1930's Algiers. Thus begins arguments on theology, philosophy, and simple social proprie...moreA rabbi's cat eats a parrot and gains the ability to speak in 1930's Algiers. Thus begins arguments on theology, philosophy, and simple social propriety.
The artwork for this is beautiful, especially the scenes of Paris in the rain. The writing is hilarious, and perfectly capture's what I'd imagine a cat's perspective to be... All in all, a great set of comics, none standing out hugely from the others instead all being a uniform level of greatness. No complaints here. (less)
I think "Storybook Love" is really where the series begins to pick up... "The Last Castle" really seals it for me, the series...moreAnother re-read of mine.
I think "Storybook Love" is really where the series begins to pick up... "The Last Castle" really seals it for me, the series catching its stride and beginning to deliver on both character development and even more beautiful artwork.
This was a reread for me, but a very good one. I love the artwork, the characters.. well, everything about it. It's only...moreBetween three and four stars.
This was a reread for me, but a very good one. I love the artwork, the characters.. well, everything about it. It's only rated three because the first story is a bit weak, and the second one more on the predictable side. The series itself is a solid five for me, and will most likely continue to be so.(less)
This book I got many years ago from Quarwood of all places. It's one of the books I own from John Entwistle's personal library, and it is an exception...moreThis book I got many years ago from Quarwood of all places. It's one of the books I own from John Entwistle's personal library, and it is an exceptionally beautiful book. It is worth five stars for the pictures alone, but the accompanying text makes it all even better.
The book is a broad survey of the Arthurian Legends, and how they changed over time. Each section focuses upon a different period in Arthurian literature and is complete with a survey of what was focused upon during that time, and selections from each piece of art/literature. It begins with a selection from Mabinogion and ends with one from The Once and Future King, to give an idea of how thorough it is.
All in all, a beautiful book, and from the personal collection of a wonderful man. One of my most prized possessions.(less)
I had no idea this book existed until quite recently when Alan reviewed it. It being the Christmas season, I looked it up on Project Gutenberg (www.gu...moreI had no idea this book existed until quite recently when Alan reviewed it. It being the Christmas season, I looked it up on Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) and read it for myself.
This book is quite like the Oz books that L. Frank Baum is better known for. The same whimsical nature of those books is conveyed, and the world is rife with folklore and certain bits of magic.
Reading this story, I could imagine it being told to children and trying to answer their questions... hence a lot of mythos without a lot of backstory, a lot of explanation of the more mundane things (cat toys won't hiss and scratch you!) without explanation of how the reindeer can, say, fly over water.
Nonetheless, this book is rather adorable and one I'd love to share with my nephews if given the chance. :)(less)
I won this book through the Goodreads First-read program.
The book's description piqued my interest in it, and then the cover sealed the deal. The per...moreI won this book through the Goodreads First-read program.
The book's description piqued my interest in it, and then the cover sealed the deal. The personal's ad at the front made me laugh, and the cheeky little sheep made me want to pick it up. Unfortunately, the rest of the cover design gave me the distinct impression that the book was geared more towards children... but then the book itself disavowed me of that notion through clever writing and some rather pointed adult references that never really crossed the PG/PG-13 line. The book was more clever than naughty, so to speak.
The cover doesn't quite do the book justice so, you know, don't judge the book by it. As the author states herself, the book is a satire, and a rather hilarious one at that. She pokes fun at the paranormal romance genre in general, as well as some of the more accepted tropes. She pokes fun at Grecian homosexuality, and more literary figures than I'd care to name. Her take on Hammurabi, though, was particularly hilarious. Her take on Lucifer makes me want to give her a high five.
Don't expect wonders from the book, as it doesn't go as in-depth as Year Zero does - this is a slim volume. Nevertheless, it's as refreshing as a glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day and is more than enough to get a grin and leave you wanting more.
I, for one, am eagerly waiting for more from Kat Lowe and her fun humor. Keep writing, keep reading, and keep that cheeky sheep on the cover. It's hilarious. :)(less)
While it didn't elaborate on the vampire mythos as the previous installments did, this one introduced a more varied mythol...moreThis was a very solid story.
While it didn't elaborate on the vampire mythos as the previous installments did, this one introduced a more varied mythology to the vampiric world. I enjoyed the use of the golem, which is folklore not often used enough, and I liked how they tied it into the story.
I'm a bit sad that there isn't more to the series, as I think it would be interesting to see what happened to the golem after the story. Still, this felt like a very solid side-story and would certainly be good in written form.
The pictures in it were gorgeous, and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of color photos within it. The...moreWell, this book was perfectly brilliant.
The pictures in it were gorgeous, and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of color photos within it. The pages were thick, and the book itself of surprisingly high quality. Along with the photos were a good deal of primary source quotes, sometimes shown in the original language before the translation was provided which was also very gratifying. Some of the photos included were of the actual pages from the annals and lais, which were in such high resolution you could read the documents themselves. How cool is that?
The book gave a really good overview of the evolution of the Arthurian legends, while also including a pretty thorough bibliography at the end. While the book is about a decade out of date now, a good deal of the sources referenced (for instance, translations and commentaries on Mallory) are still useful. Recent archaeological discoveries and the question of Arthur's historicity should not be looked for in this volume, as archaeology is constantly changing, but for the cultural importance of the Arthur myths evolution this book is a pretty fantastic starting place.(less)
Beyond Barrow brings us back to, well, Barrow in the midst of the days of darkness. Kitka and Ikos return, and the curious people who venture up hopin...moreBeyond Barrow brings us back to, well, Barrow in the midst of the days of darkness. Kitka and Ikos return, and the curious people who venture up hoping to get good photographs of vampires - dead or alive. Needless to say, those out of towners get a heck of a lot more than they bargained for.
The writing in Beyond Barrow was fairly good, but not as compelling as previous installments (notably Return to Barrow, Eben and Stella, and 30 Days of Night itself come to mind...) but the storyline is a rather good one. Rather than dealing with vampires, this book brings about an entirely new villain.
The four stars are for the artwork, the furthering of the vampire mythos. The artwork was truly amazing, and as stark a contrast as the original [30 Days of Night] artwork was from, say, Dave Gibbons and other more general comic book artwork. The stark use of colors reminded me a little of Sin City but even better, mixed with the watercolors of the Northern Lights.
What made the series work originally has come back here - the cold, the isolation, and the sense that you'll never get out no matter what. It's fascinating, and plays upon the psyche as much as it preys upon the heart. It's good horror, and a nice mini-series. I'd recommend the Eben and Stella line above this mini-series, but it is still a darn good installment and a nice return to the seriousness that some of the previous installments lacked.(less)
This book took me what felt like forever and a day to finish.
I would have given this three stars, and happily, were it not for the format in which the...moreThis book took me what felt like forever and a day to finish.
I would have given this three stars, and happily, were it not for the format in which the book was published. The content of the book was, while at times outdated, enjoyable and thought-provoking. The subject of the book was also extremely interesting, and what drew me to it in the first place. While I was expecting an anthropological study of sadism, masochism, and lycanthropy (it was the thought of an anthropological study of lycanthropy that drew me to the book in the first place) what I got instead was really a study of violence in human society. Other reviewers have noted this, and though I was a bit disappointed, the content still made for an interesting enough read.
The format of the book was what killed it all for me. I can understand the author's wish to delve into more detail than the original essay went into (due to the fact the essay itself, a scant 53 pages, was originally a speech he delivered) but I felt that the manner in which he did this was poorly done. Robert Eisler would have done better to have put the content of the notes into the speech itself and thus create a full book with footnotes allowed for the linguistic oddities the notes seem to ramble on for ages. This would have made for easier reading, and altogether, a more comprehensive experience.
By placing the 200+ pages worth of notes at the back, the avid reader is stuck flipping between the essay and the notes far too many times. It disrupts the flow of the essay itself and is altogether quite a confusing experience. Some pages have 20+ notes on them, and the notes themselves take up over 30 pages at a time for the most part. While Robert Eisler's enthusiasm for his topic is admirable, a certain amount of synthesis would do this publication good.
To be clear: I don't regret reading this book. Although outdated in portions, and a difficult text to get through for the formatting, it is one that offers up some interesting insights into the field of comparative mythologies before Joseph Campbell arrived on the scene.. it also just raises up some interesting notions for any time period, and would serve a writer well for inspiration in general horror fiction if they are among the anthropologically inclined.(less)
Some have complained about the lack of facts when it comes to this book. There simply aren't a lot of hard facts about Billy - but there are a lot of...moreSome have complained about the lack of facts when it comes to this book. There simply aren't a lot of hard facts about Billy - but there are a lot of outright lies. The book addresses everything that it is capable of addressing, and puts to rest some of the worse rumors.
What I liked about this book was the thorough way it dealt with the time period in question. By the end I felt that I knew a fair deal about life in the 1860s and how that sort of environment bred outlaws such as Billy. The Wild West and the social stresses that created such an environment were quite clearly laid out.
Very readable, very informative, an all over quite a fascinating book. I'm very happy I picked it up.(less)
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.
Eac...moreThis 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.(less)
I purchased this book many years ago at the Book Alcove (now Wonderbooks.) I was in a fairy tale appreciation stage that I never truly got out of. Thi...moreI purchased this book many years ago at the Book Alcove (now Wonderbooks.) I was in a fairy tale appreciation stage that I never truly got out of. This book, from 1968, is utterly delightful. The illustrations, while definitely showing the time the book was printed, are still beautiful - and in the case of Puss in Boots - purely amusing.
I enjoyed the way that these books were told. While it lacked a framing story (something I did enjoy in Old Peter's Russian Tales) it still carries a distinct taste of the French nature of the tales. While many of the tales were familiar (Cinderella, Bluebeard, Little Red riding Hood, etc.) the French variation of them was often surprising. Some ended before I expected them - others included more trials that I'd not heard of before.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairy tales. It's a great addition to any collection. (less)
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I still enjoy fairy tales, so these were well met. It was interesting seeing the small diffe...moreI was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I still enjoy fairy tales, so these were well met. It was interesting seeing the small differences that exist between cultures - The Golden Fish story, for instance, was nearly identical to an Irish legend that I read several months ago. It has its equivalents in English and American stories as well.
The book was well written, if dated, and would stand up rather strongly to being read aloud.(less)
This book, like previous installments, was a bit more filler than it was pushing the story forward. You get Bigby with some World War I...moreBack to Fables.
This book, like previous installments, was a bit more filler than it was pushing the story forward. You get Bigby with some World War II flashbacks, and the awkward banishment of Snow White and her children to the Farm. While it was intriguing, had some nice twists, and beautiful illustrations it just didn't... hold up as well as previous installments.
I know it'll improve shortly though, so there's that. Also, it hints at the start of Jack of Fables which should be a fun read in and of itself.(less)
I bought this book several years ago and by several I mean many but never got around to reading it in its entirely. I thought it was about time I did...moreI bought this book several years ago and by several I mean many but never got around to reading it in its entirely. I thought it was about time I did that, so.. well, I did. Although it took me ages to finish it, that is in no way a reflection on the quality of the book itself - more my ability to be distracted, etc. So, let's get on with the review.
As someone not terribly familiar with Norse myth, I came away from the book feeling that I understood the essence of it a bit better. Having recently traveled to Austria, and in previous years been to much of the Baltic region, I felt that those trips supplemented my understanding of the text a bit more than the copious notes at the back of the book did.
The way that the book was set up was a bit troubling to me. The notes at the back of it, rather than say.. footnotes, or notes on the side of the page, made for much flipping. At times, the notes were just reminders of the meaning of certain words (e.g. norns and disir) rather than truly supplementary or explanatory material.
The translation of the texts was good, if a bit.. heady. Having the translation be rather literal, including phrases such as "slaughter dew" when referencing blood, or "foot twigs" instead of toes always came off as a rather interesting choice. It added to the feel of the text itself - you could never forget you were reading something fairly ancient, rather than bringing the ancient into a more modern time period such as Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf did.
All in all, I did enjoy the book, but it would not be remiss for me to look into more contemporary or, rather, just alternate translations of what I read. I'm tempted to read Snorri's translation of the Prose Edda, though, which would be an even more.. insurmountable sort of task. Perhaps I should look up easier guides to the Nordic mythology prior to doing so, so I'm not jumping in entirely brainlessly.(less)
Seamus Heaney breathed new life into the unknown poet's text and brought it into a recognizable vernacular - I could e...moreBeowulf was pretty damn awesome.
Seamus Heaney breathed new life into the unknown poet's text and brought it into a recognizable vernacular - I could easily imagine my grandfather being the one to tell me this story. The poem became direct, important, and even strangely intimate. The advice that Hrothgar gives to Beowulf reads as if it is being whispered in your own ear. The text feels important - it's truly extraordinary.
Not being able to read Old English, I still appreciated being able to look at it, and found myself studying it a couple of times. It's incredible both how far the language has advanced, and how little it has - seeing words that I could recognize without much difficulty (or sound out) went a bit beyond novelty. I really gained an appreciation of the old language.
Furthermore, the introduction (Yes, I read those) lent further import to the text itself. Reading the poem trough the lens of both time and distinctly Irish history (yes, I know the poem isn't Irish) brought it into a rather different perspective - particularly the ending. Watching the death of a culture, and a people who knew they were soon to be defeated, hit home in a variety of ways. Beowulf signifies an end of an era - the change from Paganism to Christianity, from the Geats being a force to be reckoned with to knowing there is no way they can survive - in a lot of ways, I think only an Irishman born to a family with a healthy respect of that Republic could translate it with such a keen eye towards how that feels.(less)