I think this is the best of his cookbooks, but it's possible that's because, despite my American-ness, British Sunday roasts are the epitome of comforI think this is the best of his cookbooks, but it's possible that's because, despite my American-ness, British Sunday roasts are the epitome of comfort food to me.
And, as usual, if you can ignore his smugness and the slight sanctimoniousness of his personality, they are good, solid recipes....more
When the POV in a series changes from one single character's to that of more than one, well, it's never a good choice. Also, it usually means you plotWhen the POV in a series changes from one single character's to that of more than one, well, it's never a good choice. Also, it usually means you plotted your series badly and now you're going to have all kinds of action happen while your protagonist is unconscious or dead and so you need another POV. Either way, it's cheap and disjointed and I'm not a fan of the move....more
Warning: strong feelings and lots of capital letters ahead...
Sometimes I look at ratings here on Goodreads and wonder what the hell is wrong with peopWarning: strong feelings and lots of capital letters ahead...
Sometimes I look at ratings here on Goodreads and wonder what the hell is wrong with people. This piece of crap averages a 3.93? THIS IS WHY GOD HATES US AND WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE.
For real. This was terrible. TER-RI-BLE. I was compelled to keep reading because I am a masochist and I was kind of on a superiority trip about the sheer number of grammatical and content errors. Like, at least 20 malaprop mistakes. Often to great YET UNINTENTIONAL hilarity.
For example: "When things started to fall apart, I diluted myself into thinking it was just a temporary bump in the road."
OH my word. Really. Is English the author's second language? In which case that makes more sense. (Except...it doesn't seem to be.)
Stack all that on a completely trite story, idiotic characters, the absolute WORST excuse for poetry I have ever read (that is NOT HYPERBOLE), and WAY TOO MUCH CONTENT (I kept thinking, "Dear god, how am I only 47% through, this should be wrapping up NOW)...well, I would recommend it as punishment or an exercise in proofreading and editing only. Or, you know, to reassert a sense of superiority and to boost your--anyone's, for that matter--confidence about being able to write. It'll make you feel like Faulkner.
So, to sum up, avoid, avoid, avoid, unless you hate yourself and think you deserve to be punished....more
I love this book. I've loved it, in fact, for years and years--I probably first encountered it in my early teens, though I have no idea how. How doesI love this book. I've loved it, in fact, for years and years--I probably first encountered it in my early teens, though I have no idea how. How does a teenage girl living in the rural south come across a british comic fantasy novel about a 16th century sea captain and his cursed crew? It's a mystery lost to the ages.
But I came across a copy in a used bookstore recently and couldn't resist rereading it. It was actually more delightful than I remembered, though possibly because now I understand a great deal more of the inherent britishisms in it--pips, quid, eccles cake, the fascination with tea, etc. (Perhaps it set into place my weird lifelong anglophilia that was to follow?)
I was disappointed to discover that a lot of people have given this bad ratings because of what seems to be a comparison to the works of Terry Pratchett. Well, I read this long before I discovered Pratchett, but I was surprised how well it has aged, and while all comic fantasy tends to get lumped together, this isn't really like the Discworld novels at all, so I consider it an unfair comparison. (Comparisons are odious, right?)
So, yes, I would suggest this novel. It's perfect escapist reading, funny but with heart, and with a truly marvelous cast of characters that I want to spend more time with. What more can you ask for?...more
Like the rest of the world, I picked this up because of my deep and abiding admiration for True DetectiIs southern noir a thing? I think this manages.
Like the rest of the world, I picked this up because of my deep and abiding admiration for True Detective, but it's a decent novel in its own right. Roy Cady shares the nihilism of Rust Cohle minus the philosophy, but the hardscrabble poetry of the landscape still infuses the novel. It's not a mystery, exactly, though the time jumps make it read like one. It's more a delicate character study of a broken man and a meditation on whether it's possible to escape from a hopeless, torn up life.
In the end, it's a lot more uplifting than you might expect....more
If you're a longtime fan of Charlaine Harris, there is a lot to like here.
We see Bobo from the Shakespeare, Arkansas Lily Bard series. Arthur Smith, fIf you're a longtime fan of Charlaine Harris, there is a lot to like here.
We see Bobo from the Shakespeare, Arkansas Lily Bard series. Arthur Smith, from the Aurora Teagaden mysteries is the sheriff. Manfred, the sort of main character, is from the Harper Connelly series. We even have Lemuel, who, though shrouded in mystery, looks like he sidestepped out of a Sookie book.
All the longtime fan easter eggs aside, it's a good novel, if less mysterious than her earlier mysteries may have been. (There was no good way for you to guess to solve this one--even when it's explained, it's sort of a let down because whodunnit was not, in the end, mysterious. Just insane.)
It's not her strongest novel by far, but I quite enjoyed it nonetheless because Harris does such a good job of painting small-town America and filling it with normal yet interesting characters.
Also, Mr. Snuggly is freaking awesome.
At any rate, this really objectively is more like a 3-star read, but it gets upped for me because I love Harris and seeing all her old characters again made me nostalgic and happy. Also, because of Mr. Snuggly....more
This is really like a 3.5 star for me, but the stupid rating system doesn't believe in such things.
It's a good, compelling story, and most of the thinThis is really like a 3.5 star for me, but the stupid rating system doesn't believe in such things.
It's a good, compelling story, and most of the things I would consider faults are a side-effect of the short novella form. Exposition and plot were all just plowed through, which, when you only have so many pages to get to a climax, I understand, but I really wanted it to slow down, note the details, and expand the world some more. Which in a way is to the story's benefit--it's never a bad thing to want more of something, and it's a damn fine world Masterson created here, creepy and insidious. But the breakneck pacing meant some things got shortchanged, as well--particularly the relationship between Dunbarton and Cassandra, which sort of smacks of the instalove of which the YA genre is so guilty. Some narrative time would have really helped there.
And because I cannot turn off the proofreading part of my brain, I also feel compelled to mention that the book suffered from poor proofreading, though I fully admit I am a prescriptive stickler for such things. But there are several homophone errors and weird editorial misses that made me twitch, and I wanted to yell at the publisher for not doing a better editorial job on that front.
Nonetheless, it's a great tale that evokes both King and Lovecraft, particularly the latter as the story wends onward. It's also genuinely horrific--a perfect October read....more
I've read a lot of tie ins, mostly because I'm an enormous nerd and when I like something I want to submerge myself in it. I read all the Buffy tie inI've read a lot of tie ins, mostly because I'm an enormous nerd and when I like something I want to submerge myself in it. I read all the Buffy tie ins, a lot of the Angel ones, Teen Wolf tie ins, all sorts, and this is pretty much by far the best one I've ever read.
It reads like an awesome, doubly-long episode of the show--true to the characters of Sam and Dean, but still rich with the history and connection of their relationship. Chronologically it's set after John's death, but not that long after--Dean is still smarting from Sam abandoning him for Stanford. Familiarity with the show helps, but this is so well fleshed out it could perhaps stand alone. It's also some pretty good horror--grotesque, suspenseful, and gory.