I was actually pretty impressed. Flynn has a nice style of suspense and drama. She takes a basket of characters I wWell, that was a bit of a mindfuq.
I was actually pretty impressed. Flynn has a nice style of suspense and drama. She takes a basket of characters I would hate in real life, and makes their story compelling. I wouldn't say she makes them likable, but the reader (or listener) can't help but cheer them on.
Twists and turns aplenty, and though some of it is a bit far fetched, the writing makes up for it. I'll definitely be interested in reading other Flynn books.
Audio readers were excellent. Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne each took one of the main characters and read their chapters. Both of them hit the voices perfectly....more
Of course this book deserves a review. It deserves one of the highest order. But what can I write that will do Joe Hill and his wonderfulReview? Wow..
Of course this book deserves a review. It deserves one of the highest order. But what can I write that will do Joe Hill and his wonderful book any justice?
I mean, really. My ability to rave on this awesome book is dwarfed by the sheer wordpower of Joe Hill. So, here we go.
This was cool.
Uhhhh...yeah. Cool. I liked it.
See what I mean? I'm humbled.
Truth is, I'm stuck on knowing what to say that doesn't 1) suck, or 2) spoil. The first is a waste of everyone's time, and the second is a betrayal.
So...read the book. It's F'in brilliant. Even though (or rather especially because) it does not have any (view spoiler)[vampires (hide spoiler)]. You might expect that it would....but it's better for it all the same.
Okay, Joe. When is your next book coming out?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It's pretty good though. I've often heard how this is similar to The Stand by StephenNow that was a big ass book.
Well, not exactly.
But it's a big-un.
It's pretty good though. I've often heard how this is similar to The Stand by Stephen King, which is one of my all time favorite novels. And it is similar, though different.
I mean, they're both big ass epic books about the end of all things and the people that survive to set shit right again. Good vs. Evil and all that. "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." -R.E.M.
But the characters are different, with their own backgrounds and situations. The way things are handled is different. Enough that this book stands well enough on its own.
Figuratively, of course. I mean, books don't really stand. Not even The Stand. They have no legs.
They'd have to be thick legs too, to hold these big ass books up.
What can I say? Stephen King has blown me away again. I've been reading him for 30 years or more and I'm rarely disappointed.
There were a couple of flWhat can I say? Stephen King has blown me away again. I've been reading him for 30 years or more and I'm rarely disappointed.
There were a couple of flaws in this towards the end, but I won't go into that in the interest of saving spoilers. They were fairly minor points though, and didn't take away from my overall enjoyment.
Great concept, great characters, great sequel. It's awesome to see Danny Torrance all grown up, and I really felt for his character and all he'd had to endure, just in the process of living. The normal stuff he had to go through as well as the gift/burden of having the shining.
Then there's Abra Stone. I loved her - a great second protagonist to go along with Dan. Like a next generation Shining, of sorts.
The True Knot was a pretty cool concept too, though I won't go into the whys of that here. Other secondary characters were great, mainly Dan's friends.
And lots of little nuggets/Easter eggs for the longtime fan to pick up. Heh. 5-stars, for keeping me engaged with every single word....more
Uummmmm. What do I say? For as long as I've been on GR, I've seen the debate on the Dark Tower. Which story era is more enjoyable? The "present da....
Uummmmm. What do I say? For as long as I've been on GR, I've seen the debate on the Dark Tower. Which story era is more enjoyable? The "present day (sorta)" ka-tet of Roland, Susannah, Eddie, Jake, and Oy. Or the "Young Roland" era when he ran with Alain, Cuthbert, and Jamie?
So as I'm about to start this book, I find out that many of the "present day" crews are disappointed because we get a little time with the ka-tet, only to have the story shift back in time with Roland telling another story of his youth, much like Wizard & Glass. That book seems to be either a least favorite or a most favorite with everyone. With me, it was a most favorite. So while they were lamenting the return to the early Roland days, I was excited.
But in the end, Ka got me too. King pulled a double switch on us, giving us a little Roland story within the Ka-tet story, only to have THAT one shift to a storytelling situation about a kid we never heard of from even further back. And I'm like, wtf? It's ok for a little bit, but it takes up half the damn book.
The actual story "The Wind Through the Keyhole" is this thing, a fable about a kid disguised and sold as a Dark Tower novel. Ok, so there are some Midworld references and sayings and society stuff built in, so I can see that. It was Midworldian. It was rather interesting to see some stuff in the long ago, before the world moved on.
But if it's always like that, I can see why it moved on. It was boring. That story didn't even feel like a King story. It wasn't bad. It started out alright. By the end it was even engaging. But the middle slogged on quite a bit to the point that I found my mind drifting.
Then we switch back to Young Roland and get a quick wrap up on that story, which was very intriguing and enjoyable. And finally, we switch back up to modern Roland and Ka-tet, getting a wrap up on it too. Which wasn't a wrap up as much as a "ok, we're done screwing around, let's get on with it" that leads into Book 5.
Crap, it was like reading Inception. Only not as good.
Half this book is 5-star material (Young Roland story, Modern Roland interlude). The other half of the book is 3-star (with some boring 2-star fairy chasing in the middle). We'll average it out and call it 4. I'm being generous, but it IS a Dark Tower related book. I won't call it part of the main series though. It's an extra, like The Little Sisters of Eluria or the graphic novel series.
ETA (1/27/2013): The more this book has settled in, the more I am bothered by my overly generous 4-star review. It simply doesn't deserve it. A 4-star should not leave a bad taste in my mouth 8 months after I've finished it.
It's worth reading, but simply does not measure up to the rest of the series, period. ...more
A delightful classic that will make you laugh as often as it will make you think.
This is the story of a little girl that has to face a big world and bA delightful classic that will make you laugh as often as it will make you think.
This is the story of a little girl that has to face a big world and bigger issues. She does it with a strength of character that is refreshing. Her innocence and intelligence combine to give us a unique perspective of life in a 1935 small town in Alabama.
Race issues, the Great Depression, and concerns about the rise of Hitler in Europe provide a backdrop to this story, but as it is through Scout Finch's seven year old eyes, we don't get the heavy burden of those concerns. We see them as small parts of the large world as she sees it, along with the daily events of Maycomb, Alabama and her family's place in it.
While this story serves as a piece of our own American history, its message is as clear today as it was to Scout back then. Her father Atticus Finch is a model citizen as well as a man of honor. He teaches Scout and her brother Jem as well as he can, but the one thing that really sticks is how to treat people.
Regardless of station, class, race, gender, or wealth, everyone should be treated fairly, with kindness and respect. If a seven year old girl can learn this by watching her father's actions, why can't all of us?...more
This was a nice treat. Two stories in one small volume that's easy to tote around. Not that you need to tote much, as it won't take long at all to finThis was a nice treat. Two stories in one small volume that's easy to tote around. Not that you need to tote much, as it won't take long at all to finish it. But King almost always delivers, and he does so here once more.
"Blockade Billy" is a delightful little tale about baseball, told to Mr. King by an old baseball manager in a retirement home. It's about one player at least, and the events surrounding his playing career. King hits a home run here. There is a lot of baseball talk and game descriptions that a non-fan might not appreciate, but I certainly had no problem with that. I read Faithful by King and Stewart O'Nan last summer, after all. But even for the non-enthusiast, there's a good story here behind the game.
"Morality" was actually a re-read. I read this when it first came out last year in Esquire. Since it had faded a little in memory, and it was short enough, I gave it another go. I enjoyed it nearly as much the second time around. It's creepy and disturbing, but in such a way that makes the reader ponder the question "what would I be willing to do for money." This was a nice story to include in this edition of Blockade Billy, and good to have that story in my collection in book form. Though I won't throw out that copy of Esquire, as the cover featured part of the "Morality" text covering the naked body of Bar Rafaeli. ...more
What a ride! I loved this book. The title novella was the main attraction, and took up more than half of it. It was very good, a solid 4+ star effort.What a ride! I loved this book. The title novella was the main attraction, and took up more than half of it. It was very good, a solid 4+ star effort.
But what brought it up to 5 was the inclusion of 10 other great Matheson stories. These weren't simple filler; each story was enjoyable (and mostly creepy) on its own.
Matheson has a talent for giving readers a snapshot of another world/reality/time/possibility. He doesn't use pages and pages to describe the settings where these stories take place, but just a few words. And they're so vivid. I've commented somewhere that any of these little realities could be so much more. They all have enough imagination and possibility wrapped up in them that they could fill long books or movies without losing anything.
Short story collections don't always do it for me. Usually there are a few good ones, but a lot of "meh" stuff in between. While I liked some better than others, I can honestly say that Matheson is very consistent. Most writers don't hold up through an entire volume of short work quite this well. The big exceptions to that are Stephen King, as well as his son Joe Hill. Coincidentally (?), both have listed Matheson near the top of the list of their influences.
"Witch War" - just a few pages, but wow. I would love to see this expanded to a huge epic. I love it.
"Person to Person" - Awesome way to cap off the book. Creep-fest that should have been a Twilight Zone episode.
"I am Legend" - Main attraction. It's more than a scary story (though it is). It's a tale of survival as well as a story about the psychological effects of isolation. Very layered, simple in its telling but deep in meaning. ...more
I really had a tough time giving this book a rating. On one hand, it's extremely well written, realistic, engaging, and consistent. The worl3.5 stars.
I really had a tough time giving this book a rating. On one hand, it's extremely well written, realistic, engaging, and consistent. The world-building that Brooks has accomplished here with his near-future world in the years after a zombie apocalypse is amazing. He has restructured the world's political climates and in many cases the borders (and sometimes religion) of an entire region. A lot of careful thought, research, and planning went into this book.
It reads like non-fiction, as a series of interviews where key people give their accounts of their struggles and methods of survival during the Zombie war. In just over 300 pages, Brooks imagined an entire period of (future) history for the world, with an event that left no one untouched. Remarkable.
On the other hand, the more realistic and authentic it got, the less I enjoyed reading it by the end. Let me explain. I read for escape, for the pure enjoyment of getting away and diving into something that my imagination will embrace. While this book is very imaginative, it got so "real" at times it drifted away from being that fictional escape.
And yes, there were some dry periods. Some of the interviews were boring. There was a lot of background and occasional info-dumping that was necessary to tell a few of the stories, and it did drag things a little. Fortunately, the sections are all short, so a particular one that wasn't interesting wouldn't last long.
Still, with the nature of the book, I couldn't connect with the characters. There were too many and they were spread out. Their stories were too brief to really get to know them individually. That said, it was an awesome glimpse into the world they were in, but I never really felt invested in the particular players in the game (and the fact that they were interviewed tells us that they survived).
All in all, this book does stand out as something that should be experienced by anybody with a love for zombie fiction. It's essential to the genre. It could have been shorter, perhaps, for my own tastes. I don't know that I'll read it again, but it does bring Max Brooks onto my radar as an author to watch.
Also, by writing this review I've talked myself into kicking it up to a full 4-stars. I've shown myself that it's unique and genuine enough to stand above the "average" crowd.
Now this was an excellent book. It probably falls in the 4.5 star category. Why not 5? It's close, I'll say that. But as good as this book is, it neveNow this was an excellent book. It probably falls in the 4.5 star category. Why not 5? It's close, I'll say that. But as good as this book is, it never really grabbed me the way I need to be for a book to get the coveted 5th star. That's no fault of the book, and it's one I could even see getting the bump to 5 in the future on a re-read.
It's slowly paced, yet not painfully slow. It's really not slow at all, but feels like it is because it takes a smooth journey. It does cover a lot of time, tying the past with the present. It certainly does not feel like a book with inflated word count just for the sake of word count.
Ghost Story is layered nicely. Several threads are wound together. It wasn't scary to me so much, but it was definitely freaky and disturbing. My previous experience with Straub is pretty limited, having read The Talisman and Black House, both co-written with Stephen King, as well as a reading of Floating Dragon in my teen years. The first two I've read fairly recently, but I don't remember the other very well at all. But in this limited experience, I can say that I was reminded of Black House, which is one of my favorite novels. Straub has a storytelling talent for bringing evil to life and making it seem rather dark and, well, evil.
The plot structure reminds me of two other Stephen King novels a little bit: 'Salem's Lot and It. It has that "old town set in its ways is going to get royally fucked over" bit from 'Salem's Lot to go along with that "shit happened to young people 50 years ago and now it's coming back to bite them in the ass" tone of It.
It's nicely done. This isn't a story about Casper the Friendly Ghost, but some really badass horrors of the night. Certainly no shaking of chains and howling in the cellars here. No, these ghosts have bite....more