I've been trying to figure how exactly to review this book. I've been reading more and more in the horror genre as of late, as it is whatAll right...
I've been trying to figure how exactly to review this book. I've been reading more and more in the horror genre as of late, as it is what I primarily tend to write in. There are certain preconceived notions that people have regarding horror - that it is gory, that it is campy to a certain degree, that it lacks character development, etc. "Horror" for books tends to cause people to jump to the conclusion that they're a novelization of the "slasher" films. Generally, they are not the same thing. In the case of The Strain I felt that they pretty much were.
I gave Justin Cronin's The Passage a glowing review earlier on in this year, and talked about how it pretty much redefined the apocalyptic novel for me. Reading The Strain, I couldn't help but keep comparing it to The Passage. The Passage is beautifully written, the characters are developed so intricately that you feel you could estimate how they would respond to just about any situation - the book is like reading poetry. Hell, Toby Barlow's Sharp Teethis poetry, and I still felt those characters were better developed than those in The Strain. Needless to say, I felt that the characterization was lacking.
Now, don't get me started on the writing.
The Strain read like a screenplay. Places were described, but the whole novel basically taking place in Manhattan, the reader is expected to have innate knowledge of what they are looking at. As opposed to developing the surroundings, minute details are given about rather confusing things. Reading this book, you learn about what color rat urine glows under UV lights and what townhouses in Tribeca used to house whiskey bootleggers, but you don't learn what the weather was like beyond the 'occultation' of the sun. Also, the word occultation was overused to the point that I wanted to headbutt a railway spike.
The good points of the novel, on the other hand, was that vampires once more got a makeover. Although there were obvious allusions to Stoker's Dracula within it - hello, Romanian professor - it paid a greater homage to Matheson's I Am Legend. The protagonist, Ephraim, works for a specialized section of the CDC and it predictably scientific in his relation to the vampires. Hell, they're even described as viruses incarnate. I appreciate the amount of detail given to the vampiric infection, transformation, etc. I just would have appreciated it more if it was incorporated more fluidly into the novel.
All in all, the book was all right. I would not be surprised if a film was made of it, and would actually quite prefer a movie of it. The bottom line is, I would not recommend this book. I would, instead, director readers to The Passage. ...more
This is my second time reading the first volume of the series, a sort of catch-me-up since I got the resOh, PREACHER. Where have you been all my life?
This is my second time reading the first volume of the series, a sort of catch-me-up since I got the rest now. Rather than the official collection, I've been reading the original releases (editor columns and all) and oh man, what a pleasure this is.
The story is wonderful enough, but the letters are just golden. From the "send in your favorite curse word" to the "Arseface lookalike contest" this stuff is plain fantastic. I can't wait to read the rest of this run, and quickly hunt down everything else Ennis and Dillon have done. ...more
Chuck Palahniuk seems much better suited to this non-fiction writing than his usual books. In Fugitives and Refugees he manages to convey the heart Chuck Palahniuk seems much better suited to this non-fiction writing than his usual books. In Fugitives and Refugees he manages to convey the heart and strange soul of Portland in a very human way. The oddities that he mentions he does so with a humble love and wry smirk that is difficult to not find utterly endearing. It made me want to visit Portland rather badly, though I unfortunately didn't quite have a chance.
The section on Santa Clause is particularly memorable. As is, always, the myriad of strange societies he seems to have taken part in....more
Knitting is rarely a very solitary practice. Even if you're knitting alone, the bulk of the time you're knitting something for somebody which, in turnKnitting is rarely a very solitary practice. Even if you're knitting alone, the bulk of the time you're knitting something for somebody which, in turn, creates a certain degree of community. You're knitting a toy for someone, or a scarf, or something even more intimate - gloves, that they'll wear on their hands. It's a craft that inherently shows that you care each time that you practice it. It's therefore not terribly surprising that a collection of stories by knitters about knitting should elicit such a strong emotional response from a reader.
I laughed. I got teary eyed. I shared in the deep frustration that happens when you inevitably end up with far too many knots or a disastrous project that seems to go nowhere.
This book was absolutely delightful, and a truly delightful surprise as I just found it while browsing through the library....more
I have to admit, I picked this book up on a total whim. The book was a hilarious, satiric read that reminded me often of people I used to know. The reI have to admit, I picked this book up on a total whim. The book was a hilarious, satiric read that reminded me often of people I used to know. The reveal at the end was fairly priceless, and did manage to get a vocalized laugh from me. All in all a very clever short read....more
This is an absolutely lovely collection of poetry written by working cowboys. Partially traditional poems, and partially new ones, this book shows howThis is an absolutely lovely collection of poetry written by working cowboys. Partially traditional poems, and partially new ones, this book shows how the process has evolved in some ways and changed very little in others. Cowboy poetry is an interesting tradition, often rooted in the literal and the beauty of the nature around them. It reminds me a bit of Everett Ruess, who I suppose would qualify as a cowboy poet in some ways though he wasn't truly a cowboy....more