I gotta say I was a little nervous that I wasn't going to like this as much as Scott Pilgrim, but I LOVE this dang book! I just want to start reading...moreI gotta say I was a little nervous that I wasn't going to like this as much as Scott Pilgrim, but I LOVE this dang book! I just want to start reading it all over again.(less)
I liked Galeano's approach to non-fiction here and enjoyed reading the vignettes at first. It became harder and harder for me to follow after a while,...moreI liked Galeano's approach to non-fiction here and enjoyed reading the vignettes at first. It became harder and harder for me to follow after a while, though, and I found myself wishing I was just reading one solid story instead of bouncing around the Americas each page. This is just my preference and no real fault of the text--the text is beautiful and heartbreaking and creative. I may pick up the next book in the trilogy a little while down the line.(less)
Some stories were beautiful, some forgettable. I laughed out loud a few times, and there was a sufficient number of twisted scenarios that I've come t...moreSome stories were beautiful, some forgettable. I laughed out loud a few times, and there was a sufficient number of twisted scenarios that I've come to love about Aimee Bender. While I mostly enjoyed reading this collection when I was able to get to it, it didn't quite have the quality of insisting that I keep at it...I think mainly because there was less magical realism than her other short story collections. Still a fan though, and still looking forward to more of her work.(less)
This is everything I want from a graphic novel. It's like a cracked-out Clan Apis meets Perry Bible Fellowship meets Peter Max-style psychedelic 70s a...moreThis is everything I want from a graphic novel. It's like a cracked-out Clan Apis meets Perry Bible Fellowship meets Peter Max-style psychedelic 70s art, dark humor and existential. AMAZING.(less)
Don't do like your old Auntie Lindsay, kids, and not realize til the end that there's a glossary for this novel. I would have enjoyed it more if hadn'...moreDon't do like your old Auntie Lindsay, kids, and not realize til the end that there's a glossary for this novel. I would have enjoyed it more if hadn't spent all my time trying to figure out what the heck everything was.(less)
This book was one of my favorites in my mother's personal library. From a very young age, I loved studying the illustrations and, later, reading the d...moreThis book was one of my favorites in my mother's personal library. From a very young age, I loved studying the illustrations and, later, reading the descriptions. As much as I loved the pretty faeries, I was fascinated even more so by the evil, ugly ones that terrified me (though I couldn't look away). So nostalgic for this book...(less)
The only two reasons I'm giving this book two stars is because a) as an "oral history" I really appreciated listening to it on audio in the way it was...moreThe only two reasons I'm giving this book two stars is because a) as an "oral history" I really appreciated listening to it on audio in the way it was more or less intended (theoretically), and b) the casting for all the different characters is a geek's wet dream, so waiting to hear several celebrities' readings was the only thing that kept me going. Check it out, for realz.
On the other hand, do you want to read the most boring book on the zombie apocalypse ever? Then you're in luck! Very little of the narrative is dedicated to actual hand-to-hand combat with zombies, which honestly is what I'm most interested in reading about when we're talking zombies. Instead, a lot of the interviews deal with tactical political or military issues surrounding the approach to handling the zombies. Which is great if this were non-fiction. BUT IT'S NOT. I need a freakin' story here. I want to feel the crush of bone when I slam an undead's brain with a baseball bat; I want to smell decaying flesh before I see it; I want surprise attacks and to see how real loss and grief turns into rage and resolve.
Furthermore, if we refer to the previously-linked Wikipedia reader/character list, this book is going for an ASTOUNDING gender disparity here with 6--count 'em, SIX--readers out of the 41 being women. That's 17%, folks. And if we actually count the number of characters--because two of the male readers did two and three characters each--that brings the character count up to 44, so really women account for 13% of the narrative here. We have to wait until the 12th narrative before we even hear the first female, and she's a vapid housewife. I also think it's interesting that Brooks made the one adult who grew up as a "feral," and consequently lives in a state of totally helpless dependence, a female character (as well as the only other child narrative who had to completely rely upon her parents--until they died, but we don't hear about how she survived after that--INTERESTING). Just off the top of my head I recall two instances where characters mentioned badass women--a nun who fought off an enormous flood of zombies to protect her orphanage and a Lakota woman who was a general (I think)--and it just made me wonder why Brooks passed up on the people who seemed to actually have the interesting stories. Why this gross omission? There was no indication that zombies loved to feast on women's entrails more than men's. Was this a sort of (hopefully) subconscious reflection of Brooks' opinion that women couldn't be as capable as men at fighting zombies? Even when he makes a blind man and a paraplegic man able fighters? What gives, dude? Because I know more than enough women who have the balls to fight for hearth and home, not to mention the welfare of Earth and/or the thrill of fighting the bad guys.
There was also a weird wording in the epilogue--the female Russian soldier is pregnant with her gazillionth child and Brooks describes one of her actions as something along the lines of "patting her womb." Uhhhh, doesn't he know that the womb is generally a term for the uterus? Just checked, and the Oxford English Dictionary agrees with me on this one, FYI. I *guess* technically you could pat it, but it'd be kind of awkward and a bit painful, especially if you're pregnant and in the middle of being interviewed by a stranger.
There were a few narratives I did somewhat enjoy. I can't remember most names (another shortcoming of this book--to make characters distinguishable or at least recognizable by name), but I liked Henry Rollins' character (also probably because I like to listen to him), the wheelchair-bound sculptor Joe Muhammad, the Japanese guy stuck in his apartment building, the hallucinating female pilot, and Common as the soldier in the K-9 division. The most tedious narrative was by Nathan Fillion--I had always assumed that actors would be naturals at audiobook readings, but nay. Thank goodness that one was relatively short, if I recall correctly.
So that's that. It's a start at a clever take on the zombie apocalypse, but I can't recommend it unless you really like rolling your eyes.(less)