As my previous reviews have revealed, I did spend a spell living in Montana. While living in Bozeman dI won this book through the first-reads program.
As my previous reviews have revealed, I did spend a spell living in Montana. While living in Bozeman didn't give me the experience of the mudjackers, nor the experience of living in such a small town as Gros Ventre, it did allow me to head to Butte on occasion. For anyone who has ever been to Butte, or lived in Montana, Zoe's comments about Butte alone make the book worth reading. Seriously, it got a few rather loud laughs from me.
Ivan Doig has penned a novel of grand proportions. Not only has he put a rather unique spin on the dysfunctional family (the protagonist, Rusty, doesn't know who his mother is exactly and is being raised by his bartender father Tom) but he has also lovingly constructed Montana's history - and in it a rather big chunk of US history itself - in the pages of this book.
Ivan Doig has painted a portrait of Montana every bit as Western and nostalgic as Charlie Russell's famous paintings. The book is not without humor, without heartbreak, nor is it without a deepset ache that's near impossible to shake. This is a Western of unique proportions, and one that will stick with you perhaps even more strongly than Lonesome Dove. To say that I loved this book would be an understatement.
One couldn't be more accurate than saying that I sure do miss Montana now....more
I won this book through first-reads, and from the very mention of Firefly on its cover knew it had a lot to live up to. CompaOh, dear lord, this book!
I won this book through first-reads, and from the very mention of Firefly on its cover knew it had a lot to live up to. Comparing a book to Firefly? Having to review something compared to Firefly when I consider myself a pretty devoted Browncoat? Well. I opened the book with a dose of skepticism, pretending that I hadn't just texted my sci-fi (and fellow Browncoat) loving boyfriend that I just got that ARC I'd been telling him about. I hyped it up sufficiently in my mind.
This book delivered beyond my wildest of expectations.
The book was fast paced with a healthy underlining of wry humor. This is one of the few books that has made me laugh out loud on more than occasion... Every character is lovingly crafted, they each have their quirks and their tongue-in-cheek moments - it's incredible that it never comes off as false or heavyhanded. Katy Stauber has faultlessly delivered on a nearly impossible task: she's given us a novel that draws upon the cult classic of Firefly without being mere fanfiction - in fact, she's created something lovingly unique.
That this is a scifi adaptation of The Odyssey is also apparent, as if the cover doesn't give it away. She's morphed the tale into something that encompasses Rasta Nation colonies (marijuana bombs!), entirely creepy genetic splicing experiments, rogue orbitals, and everything else under (and on level with) the sun. She's made The Odyssey freshfaced and deadpan, and Cesar Vaquero is a much, much more lovable protagonist than the cunning Ulysses.
I can't praise this book enough, nor how many people I want to throw my copy at so I can chat with them about it. I can't wait to pass this book on, and only hope that it will get the recognition and acclaim it well deserves.
Keep writing Katy Stauber! I'll be reading your every word for certain. You've found a great fan in me!...more
I was a bit caught between three and four stars for this rating.
I adore Cormac McCarthy, although I do understand that he is a polarizing author. I'vI was a bit caught between three and four stars for this rating.
I adore Cormac McCarthy, although I do understand that he is a polarizing author. I've never heard of a person thinking that he was just 'all right'. The language of the book is both poetic and moving, and the imagery of it fades like so many colors across the painted desert. The book is beautiful, in a manner that only Cormac McCarthy could possibly convey. The book is... strange, as far as the author's normal nihilism and existentialist views tend to be.
The book is a western, and in it it contains much more humor and love than I expected out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. The humor caught me off-balance at first, and what stark horror there was pales in comparison to The Road or Blood Meridian. While I didn't enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the other two, I still did like it once I got past the initial shell-shock of reading such a different piece by this author.
My advice to anyone picking this book up who is already a fan of McCarthy would be to stick with it. The book becomes more common McCarthy fare towards the middle of the second Act, and by the third it meshes once more with the new Western offering to create a very nice mixture that the poeticism of the text portrays well.
To anyone who has not read McCarthy, or perhaps found him distasteful, I would defy them to read this book and see how their views may change. I like to think that this book may bridge the gap between those who like him and those who don't. I like to think that this book may touch others in some way, the way that The Sunset Limited and Blood Meridian may touch me.
At the very least I think that just about everyone would benefit from reading a bit of Cormac McCarthy, the man commands language like very few can....more
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 ofSome 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....more
Classic story of horse thieves being brought to justice. This tale takes place prior to the events of the PrThis is one of the good Preacher specials.
Classic story of horse thieves being brought to justice. This tale takes place prior to the events of the Preacher comics so we get a good example of Tulip, Amy, and Jesse's conduct back before everything went crazy. Well, crazier.
Now it's back to what made Preacher great from the start.
This collection contains Tulip's backstory, fills in the blanks in Cassidy's own tales, andNow it's back to what made Preacher great from the start.
This collection contains Tulip's backstory, fills in the blanks in Cassidy's own tales, and takes everything far closer to the conclusion we all know is coming. The pacing is excellent, old characters return, and the humor that made the comic so attractive in the first place is here in force.
Also - who doesn't love a good Western? The horse thieves deserved what they got....more
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
More Herr Starr abuse... More brilliance from the Saint of Killers. Nuclear blasts, crazed cannibals, blasphemers, and an Arsefaced world. Well, PreacMore Herr Starr abuse... More brilliance from the Saint of Killers. Nuclear blasts, crazed cannibals, blasphemers, and an Arsefaced world. Well, Preacher is slowly getting back on track....more
All right, yeah. Cassidy is not a bastard - he's /the/ bastard, as another reviewer has succinctly put it. This special goes into what exactly CassidyAll right, yeah. Cassidy is not a bastard - he's /the/ bastard, as another reviewer has succinctly put it. This special goes into what exactly Cassidy got into in New Orleans to so annoy the Enfants du le Sang or whatever they're called.
Essentially, you are reading people making fun of the Anne Rice style dramatic vampires. Fun? Yes. Hilarious? Oh, more than. This book was greatly amusing, and Cassidy is such a jerk. The funniest special so far....more
Like the bulk of the readers of Preacher I enjoyed Jody and was looking forward to a special involving him and T.C. Unfortunately, my expectations werLike the bulk of the readers of Preacher I enjoyed Jody and was looking forward to a special involving him and T.C. Unfortunately, my expectations weren't all that well met.
The stereotypical "cop on the edge" and "super-model turned lawyer with a dangerous secret" characters were amusing, but a bit overdone. Furthermore, I felt the violence in this issue was a bit too contrived. In the main books it all seems to serve a purpose, or at least be good fun - in this one, I just wasn't feeling it.
I will say, however, that the conversation between Cal and Tommi while tied to a tree was pretty well worth the read. That one hit right between the eyes....more
This volume of Preacher involves: Jesse Custer being handcuffed to a bed and left alone as punishment, the Vengeance of Arseface, Voodoo Priests, a cuThis volume of Preacher involves: Jesse Custer being handcuffed to a bed and left alone as punishment, the Vengeance of Arseface, Voodoo Priests, a curse on Cassidy, and some rather emo kids who wish to become vampires. What else do you expect of Preacher?
Three stars for this installment as it felt a bit rushed. There is a distinct feeling of a build-up to something great, but whatever it is, it hasn't happened yet. I'm excited for it, and very interested in where they're taking Cassidy's character. The philosophical question of God is also quite interesting, even if Bill Hicks was the comparison there used.
I'm not giving up on Preacher, I'm just a wee bit annoyed at how this volume seemed to reflect more Ennis'opinion than that of Custer and friends....more
Took me a while to read this one because I've been reading the stories as they were released (i.e. interspersing reading this with the collection ProuTook me a while to read this one because I've been reading the stories as they were released (i.e. interspersing reading this with the collection Proud Americans).
Ennis' love of Westerns shines through in this. The Saint of Killers backstory is a fine ghost story, rife with the sick and twisted humor one grows to love in the Preacher collections. While this story isn't as strong as the full Preacher volumes, that is more because of it being a backstory than anything else.
Does it add to Preacher? Certainly. Does it stand tall as a stand-alone? Not necessarily. It's good as a supplement to the comic, but for someone not reading Preacher I don't think it would truly draw them in to the main series....more
Preacher can do no wrong. Seriously. It's the Tarantino of comic books, when that was still a compliment to pay. Preacher can imitate nothing but itsePreacher can do no wrong. Seriously. It's the Tarantino of comic books, when that was still a compliment to pay. Preacher can imitate nothing but itself, and it is not even close to running the risk of being overly cliché.
A good follow-up to the last installment. The most amusing illustration in the book was definitely River's little fantasy about what she would do withA good follow-up to the last installment. The most amusing illustration in the book was definitely River's little fantasy about what she would do with all of the money made on the last job. Like the book previous, this serves well as another 'episode' within the series. The ending was satisfactory, if not 'fantastic' or mindblowing. All in all it felt rather bittersweet, as to my knowledge there are no further installments within the series.
Amusing side note - the intro by Baldwin was laugh out loud funny....more
This graphic novel was a worthy follow-up of the Firefly series. While not fantastic as far as graphic novels go, it genuinely felt like a continuatioThis graphic novel was a worthy follow-up of the Firefly series. While not fantastic as far as graphic novels go, it genuinely felt like a continuation of the series. It felt as if it were a small, self-contained episode. The writing was clever, the artwork generally good, and the intro to the book by Nathan Fillion made it all feel very much worthwhile....more
Do you like Johnny Cash? Okay, then you'll probably like this book.
Written with his startling sparse honesty, Cash is the biography largely focusing oDo you like Johnny Cash? Okay, then you'll probably like this book.
Written with his startling sparse honesty, Cash is the biography largely focusing on his later years. Man in Black, if I understand it correctly more strongly focuses upon his younger years, addiction, and wooing of June. Man in White focuses upon his rebirth into Christianity. Cash, on the other hand, is just about how he views life and deals with things.
I like Johnny Cash, but I don't really know a lot about him. I came away from this book with a respect fort he man and all he'd been through and learned along the way. There's a sincerity to his writing that is a bit shocking, a humbleness and gentle humor to it that is difficult not to find endearing.
It's a good book, a good biography, and a very different view of Cash than what you'll find in any casual assessment of him....more
I picked up Texas Hold 'em by pure chance while at the library, and eagerly jumped into it as I enjoyed The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic. TexasI picked up Texas Hold 'em by pure chance while at the library, and eagerly jumped into it as I enjoyed The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic. Texas Hold 'em did not disappoint me.
A bit of the material within the book was gleaned directly out of the previous one, but this did not greatly disappoint me. It only made the new material more noteworthy. The illustrations by John Callahan were ridiculous and decidedly not politically correct which added to the overall fun feel of the book itself.
I look forward to reading more of Kinky's books. What sets him apart from other humorists are the few thoughtful stories interspersed throughout the ridiculous tales. In this case, the story of Lottie at the end of the book was worth all 200+ pages....more
I wasn't crazy about The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes but it wasn't for the style of writing. I just didn't much like the format. Therefore, II wasn't crazy about The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes but it wasn't for the style of writing. I just didn't much like the format. Therefore, I didn't exactly have high hopes for The Tao of Willie; man, was I surprised.
This small volume was an insightful, hilarious, and well thought out book that spoke strongly to me from even the goofiest of short anecdotes. The book is essentially a collection of advice ranging from the physical (breathe deeply, drink plenty of water) to the spiritual (no matter what religion you're practicing, it's still telling you to do the right thing) to simple admonitions to adhere to common sense (no one's normal and we're all crazy anyway.)
I finished the book in about two days and didn't get bored with it once. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for some good advice and some good laughs (and aren't they both the same thing, anyway?) A truly fantastic, entertaining, and insightful book....more
Well, I'm a big fan of Townes Van Zandt. I adore his music, the stories told about him, his thought process and his strange, strange style of writing.Well, I'm a big fan of Townes Van Zandt. I adore his music, the stories told about him, his thought process and his strange, strange style of writing. He moves me, as he moved a lot of people. I've even corresponded with his daughter and wife.
John Kruth wrote an interesting book on Townes. He told the story of his life, his career, and interesting interviews with people who knew him are scattered throughout. It's a passable effort, an interesting study, but it just isn't Townes at the end of the day.
As others have complained, John Kruth inserted himself a bit too much into the narrative. He told the story of his meeting Guy Clark, but never really told anything that came from the interview he had with Clark. He spent a lot of time talking about how little appreciated Townes was, but not a lot about the time that Townes spent with those who loved him. Why couldn't he tell more of the stories in a more linear fashion?...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