Where to begin, precisely? This book is utterly brilliant. It's fast-paced, well-plotted, and contains just about anything you could p Casino Royale.
Where to begin, precisely? This book is utterly brilliant. It's fast-paced, well-plotted, and contains just about anything you could possibly want from a spy thriller. Sadistic villains, beautiful women, high stakes gambling, betrayal, car chases - with cars as beautiful as the women, of course - and enough wonderful food descriptions to make your mouth water while reading it.
The first introduction to Bond is a memorable one, and one to quickly make anyone fall in love with the character. While the book may be dated, and downright offense I suppose, I feel that's a bit of a ridiculous reaction to have. You're reading a book that's firmly set within a specific time frame with a very particular sort of character at the head. Yes, it's misogynistic. So what? At least Vesper is acknowledged as having been wonderful at her trade and intelligent, as later Bond girls are seen as being as well. It's a step above them being only good for their looks.
Casino Royale is a classic, and written in a concise style that I truly envy. Ian Fleming is a marvelous author and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. Who doesn't love a bit of Bond?...more
This is a book that I truly wish I had read when I was younger. It was a great read as an adult, don't get me wrong, but I feel like its magic would bThis is a book that I truly wish I had read when I was younger. It was a great read as an adult, don't get me wrong, but I feel like its magic would be even greater if I was a kid reading it - wrapped up in this mad web. There are so many twists and turns in the book, so many secrets and reveals. It would be the most addicting read for a kid, and all the better for the fact that not once does Ellen Raskin talk down to the reader, not once is something simplified. This is as intricate as any Sherlock Holmes tale, and just as engrossing. A true masterpiece that deserves its status as a children's classic.
Samuel Westing is dead, and he has named 16 people as his potential heirs. Only one of these sixteen, one of whom was only included as a mistake, will inherit Westing's massive estate - if, and only if, they can solve his murder. That is right - poor Sam Westing was murdered, and the murderer is one of the sixteen. Unfortunately, they are only given a few inscrutable clues each, and over the course of the book have to unravel it all. Alliances are made and broken, and each is slowly forced to become more honest with others as well as themselves. Who will win the Westing game?
This is basically a Sherlock Holmes mystery mixed with all the ridiculousness of Clue. It's engrossing, amusing, and surprising. The webs are so intricate you may need to read a few sections over to catch the cleverly hidden clues. It's a fantastic work, and never once really reads like the children's book it is. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone, and look forward to gifting it to the kids that I know. :)...more
About a Boy was a great deal more likable than the film that bears its name. The characters were far easier to relate to, and the writing did credit About a Boy was a great deal more likable than the film that bears its name. The characters were far easier to relate to, and the writing did credit to the scenario that I felt the film didn't quite do.
Nick Hornby is an incredibly likable author. He writes fiction that could easily come off as far too sweet, but never quite does. The pessimism present in the bulk of his work never quite tends toward the morbid hopelessness than one might expect. Rather, he seems to embody the concept that we all make mistakes and are trying our best and somehow, perhaps, we might all make it through all right.
While I was disappointed in my reread of Wyrd Sisters Pyramids pleasantly surprised me. I remembered not entirely enjoying the book the first time IWhile I was disappointed in my reread of Wyrd Sisters Pyramids pleasantly surprised me. I remembered not entirely enjoying the book the first time I read it, but this time it had me laughing out loud on several occasions. It had been long enough that I'd forgotten the bulk of the plot and characters, so everything came as a fresh and pleasant surprise. I think reading about Egypt over the years helped my enjoyment of this book a fair bit - as did reading American Gods. We all get our ideas somewhere.
Teppic is due to be the latest King of a small, somewhat pointless Kingdom, long in debt to everyone due to their obsessive building of pyramids. He's drawn back home after passing his Assassin's Guild exam due to the death of his father, and after being convinced by the high priest that his father deserves the largest pyramid of all time, things begin to go wonky. Just why are they building pyramids? Are the gods real? Isn't there something funny about camels?
This book succeeded where Wyrd Sisters failed for me by dint of having a more original plot. The humor didn't all latch upon literary references or tropes, but rather more upon history itself and the ridiculousness of certain customs. The humor veered slightly away from the strictly puerile, the characters felt original, and anyone who's ever been around a camel would understand how right about them Sir Terry truly was.
Thus far in my Discworld reread I've enjoyed the Witches books the most out of the various series. Wyrd Sisters was no real exception to that rule, aThus far in my Discworld reread I've enjoyed the Witches books the most out of the various series. Wyrd Sisters was no real exception to that rule, although I found I enjoyed it much more when I read it in high school than I did on this reread. I still loved Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat. Some of the humor just fell a bit flat for me this time around.
As the title implies, this book is mainly a satire of Macbeth. In this book Discworld is introduced to the theater, the power of words, and a whole host of Shakespearean tropes. Fools are wise, wicked Dukes rule, the land is a metaphor for the King and vice versa. We meet a variety of amusing occult occurrences, but for the most part we learn just how mutable destiny may be.
I found Equal Rites the stronger book of the two, though this book blessedly had very little wizardry within it. All in all the commentary about how easily facts can be changed seems more fitting now than it did when the book was written. In a reread I'd likely enjoy it more than I did this time, but for now this book strikes me as a strong three. Discworld nearly always can use a reread now and then....more
Good Omens is often touted as being the best starting point for Terry Pratchett, and sometimes even for Neil Gaiman. In some ways it is a good star Good Omens is often touted as being the best starting point for Terry Pratchett, and sometimes even for Neil Gaiman. In some ways it is a good starting point for both, but it encapsulates both of their styles so seamlessly it also manages to be a poor starting point as well. It is its own little entity that very little could live up to, it's a great book, and a thoughtful one. It sums up many of Gaiman's philosophy and idiosyncratic view of life, while also showcasing Pratchett's satiric voice and his own intrinsic beliefs about the good in everyone. It's an anomaly. A perfect little book that sorely deserved a sequel - or another collaboration - that now shall never come.
Good Omen's is a book about the end of the world. It's birthed from the silly question of what would happen if the Antichrist was raised by a normal family in rural England, rather than getting the upbringing that either Good or Evil forces wished for him to have. How might that change things? Well, very humorously. It'd be a disservice to distill any further information about it, beyond the fact that there are angels and demons, mediums and witchhunters. It's best you just pick up this classic of a book and read it for yourself.
Before I end this, I just wanted to say that it brought a bit of a tear to my eye. Reading it through after the death of Terry Pratchett and reading all Gaiman had to say about him... It was just incredibly touching. We lost a great mind, and a great man in Pratchett. I'm glad he had such fecundity of creativity and was as prolific a writer as he was. We need more writers like him....more
I first picked this book up in the library of my high school. I'd just begun to be interested in Neil Gaiman, though looking back on it I believe StI first picked this book up in the library of my high school. I'd just begun to be interested in Neil Gaiman, though looking back on it I believe Stardust was my first introduction to him. I was a bit skeptical of this book, having seen it branded a *gasp* children's book book before. Nevertheless, I dove in and have never quite looked at button's the same way since.
Coraline Jones is a bored little girl living in an old, old house with a variety of strange, if sad, characters. Fairy ignored by her parents, one day she decides to explore the strange door in their living room and finds that it leads to another world, with her Other Mother and Other Father in it. Everything is the same there, just twisted ever so slightly... Coraline then finds herself faced with a difficult question. Does anyone really want life to be interesting and perfect all the time?
Coraline is a brilliant book that thoroughly showcases Neil Gaiman's skills as an author. The whole time I was reading it I could easily imagine him telling the tale as a terrifying bedtime story, each amusing little twist of words further solidifying the spell. It's frightening, but not too frightening. There are funny little moments, but none of them steal away from the suspense. It's rare that one finds a perfect book, but Coraline is unabashedly one.
The film, also, only heightened my enjoyment of the book and vice versa. I highly recommend it to anyone interested....more
This book isn't so much a book to enjoy as it is one to analyze. If you focus too much on the characters or the plot you'll be doing yourself a disservice, as the ultimate story lies more in the broad strokes than it does in the minutia... though if you begin to delve into the minutia, prepare to lose your mind. You could fill volumes with the minutia, with the details that lend more to what lurks beneath the surface of this volume. Cormac McCarthy has refused to issue any kind of statement about what the book is about or what it means. There's a reason for this -- the book should be left to the reader's interpretation. Everyone likely sees something slightly different in it.
If you are looking for archetypical evil, for an anti-Western novel that contains over 10 different words to describe specific rope and burlap, for something that will frighten you without knowing quite why, then this is the book for you. The landscapes are gorgeous, the violence is remorseless, and the book could very well change your perspective on things. Not necessarily for the better.
Basically, it's Cormac McCarthy at his best.
I could write volumes on this, but I'd rather not potentially spoil it....more
Thus begins Michael Nesmith's folkloric tale of the importance of respecting knowledge above ignorancHere, let me lay down a tale of Neftoon Zamora...
Thus begins Michael Nesmith's folkloric tale of the importance of respecting knowledge above ignorance - of spirituality beyond power and earthly means. The most important things in life are often the things that we overlook. Simplicity is often better than complexity - and oh so much more precious.
Nesmith's prose is like his music - beautiful in its simplicity and apt to sneak up on you with a laugh when you least expect it. Nesmith's brilliance shines through in his writing and in his insight into some of the most overlooked aspects of the human conditions.
While The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora may not change your life, it will certainly make you think a little harder. It will allow you to question some previously held tenets of - if not your life, then certainly the lives of others.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who can get their hands on it. While some elements of it come forth only after multiple readings, the basic premise and nature of the piece is well worth at least one go around....more
Man, I had forgotten so much about this book. I remembered the Adderhead to be sure, but not Firefox and Slasher... I'd forgotten entirely about the bMan, I had forgotten so much about this book. I remembered the Adderhead to be sure, but not Firefox and Slasher... I'd forgotten entirely about the bulk of the Inkworld characters (including, I am sad to admit, Cosimo and a good deal of Resa's character.) I'm embarrassed that it all slipped my mind so easily.
Many complaints have been lodged about the relationship between Meggie and Farid, and I have to agree. It felt too rushed to me (couldn't it have been present a bit more in Inkheart if it was going to be such a large point in Inkspell?) I was tempted to rate this book four stars, especially due to Fegnolio and his... handling of things. The last act of the book however, with the Castle of Night, Fegnolio's plan ans how it all turns out... It redeemed it for me. I love the character's too much to downgrade this book based on some minor annoyances, and all in all it held up rather well in spite of how much I had forgotten.
Why on earth did I remember a glass man shattering? That didn't happen......more
I read the book Stardust before I saw the movie, and I hold both in high esteem. The movie is every bit as delightful as The Princess Bride and deserI read the book Stardust before I saw the movie, and I hold both in high esteem. The movie is every bit as delightful as The Princess Bride and deserves to be held in similar esteem to it. Someday, I think, it will be. It's a delightful romp through the land of Faerie, a quest, adventure, romance and humor all wound into one. There are moments of supreme suspense, true, but overall it feels as familiar as any fairy tale you've ever read - like it exists on its own as a cultural memory, lurking in the unconscious and just waiting for the stirrings of a few whispered words to bring it back to life.
Stardust is the story of young Tristran Thorn. He's eager to win the affection of the most beautiful girl in the town of Wall, and to do so promises that he will find the star that recently fell into the Lands Beyond. If he brings her back this star, she promises, she will give him anything he desires. Unfortunately for Tristran, the star he finds is not a hunk of rock but rather a beautiful girl, as this is land of Faerie.... and he is not the only one looking for the star - others are after her, too, with less than noble intentions.
Stardust is a wonderful adult fairy tale. It never flaunts the fact that it is adult by containing too much violence, sex, or language - instead it just takes a mature tone that respects the reader. The book contains a story that plays just enough upon the stories and poetry that one grows up on without relying overmuch on nostalgia. It is a good story, a solid book, and one that can be returned to time and time again without growing old. Like all good fairy tales, it's about pulling back the veneer of reality to find the truth at the heart of each person and experience, and in turn, growing from the experience. ...more
There are certain books that are forever a comfort to us; certain books whose beauty touches us, and demands a reread or two - if not just to captureThere are certain books that are forever a comfort to us; certain books whose beauty touches us, and demands a reread or two - if not just to capture the feeling of the first read, than perhaps to discover a deeper truth within it. To me, Horse's Neck is that book.
Horse's Neck is, as Townshend states in the forward, a search for beauty. In truth, it is more a search for a kiss. Throughout the stories within it, one sees the different forms that beauty and love can take - not all of them beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, but all strangely valid if sometimes disturbing. The book is a spiritual quest, a study of questions, and a surprisingly insecure search for validation. Every story is tinged with Townshend's gift for songwriting, for character and atmosphere.
This book is not for everyone. It is disturbing at points, and troubling. It takes a certain kind of person to truly grasp some of the emotions it evokes and the points that it makes. I can say that this book is for me - and for anyone who has felt truly out of place and inadequate. Like Quadrophenia not all of the themes it explores are comfortable, but isn't art meant to put us out of our comfort zone on occasion? ...more