Fantastical horror: ugly and beautiful at the same time. That’s the best way to describe this thriller that shoved me into the wilderness of Stephen KFantastical horror: ugly and beautiful at the same time. That’s the best way to describe this thriller that shoved me into the wilderness of Stephen King’s untamed imagination, and single-handedly elevated my passion-for-reading status from “casual leisure” to “obsession” as a 14 year old boy. This is far and away the best installment of The Dark Tower series. Roland’s gang of vagabonds are now at full strength and ready to take on all sorts of bizarre creatures- from giant bears implanted with satellites to hungry doors between worlds chewing the ground with wood for teeth, and a crazy train howling insanity above thousands of mutated serpents in an endless desert. They are all dangerous obstacles in Roland’s journey of chasing a man along the path of a giant beam in the sky that leads to The Dark Tower, a crossroads and focal point of his strange world, that for some mysterious reason is the only place where he can finally catch this man and end his journey.
(spoiler alert) The following parts had my head spinning on its fragile axis. Jake’s experience with the rose; when he sees a swirling galaxy inside the petals with angels singing in the background, was so moving that I stared at the illustration for five minutes. The chase into Lud had me gripping the pages tighter than a rollercoaster seat, and when Gasher asked “you!?” and Roland replied “me” it just oozed with a profound coolness that owns pretty much everything in my library. Wait, I take that back, because after Lud came something even more awesome: a talking train that’s on a suicidal mission, using riddles to wager the lives of its passengers, all above the horrific Waste Lands of cracked Earth and ferocious beasts. And then? EPIC CLIFFHANGER! The worst (best?) cliffhanger of all time, revealed in the fourth installment Wizard And Glass. Thank God I read this after book 4 came out....more
Philosophy horror? A haunting combination. Soul Mountain's dark ambiguity chews you up and spits you out. There's no linear direction or plot in the bPhilosophy horror? A haunting combination. Soul Mountain's dark ambiguity chews you up and spits you out. There's no linear direction or plot in the book, which means that there's no telling what kind of adventure or emotional struggle you or the author will end up in next (yes, the author writes about himself and you- you are a part of the book!) In that respect it's a very subjective, artistic book. I think of each of the chapters as paintings, or separate works in a gallery with an underlying theme- that is a theme suggesting an inability to achieve Taoist & Buddhist principles. In Taoism this is an inability to achieve permanent unity between the self and the opposing self, and my interpretation is that the chapters with "you" and "she" are metaphors for this yin-yang dynamic. In Buddhism I think he's illustrating the illusion of self that posits separation of all selves in the world by making "I" and "you" the same person, so he can write about any experience he's had and make you a part of it.
For me the most memorable of these chapters were: 10: lost on the mountain 23: ultra-visual horrifying Taoist wet dream (best of the book, I think) 28: above the village after the bus 68: bizarre mysticism involving the mountain, a storm, and severed toads 72: unique introspection on the nature of literature 80: another bizarre mystical experience on the mountain- psychedelic, musical, snowy
It's definitely a unique book that you need to let soak in a bit. It's confusing at first but it gets better the more you read it. There are a lot of grim short stories and digressions on the history of China. Some of the prose was bothersome, but considering the difficulty in translating from Chinese to English I'm giving this 5 stars....more
Damn. It's Shakespeare gone horribly awry, embracing his evil side. Imagine Stephen King writing an Elizabethan play based on the Gladiator movie scriDamn. It's Shakespeare gone horribly awry, embracing his evil side. Imagine Stephen King writing an Elizabethan play based on the Gladiator movie script and this might be the result. Somehow I enjoyed it, even though most of the characters were sadistic assholes. The part where Tamora eats the pie with the blood of her sons in it is applaudable, and I'm not ashamed to say I laughed. Titus was a pretty interesting antihero- highly emotional and violently insane. And, I guess my pity and desire for Lavinia's justice kept me drawn to the plot. Speaking of Lavinia, the only lark in a city of ravens, all I can say about her fate is....
I've been meaning to read this for years, ever since watching Apocalypse Now, and it was everything that I imagined it would be. Conrad has very intenI've been meaning to read this for years, ever since watching Apocalypse Now, and it was everything that I imagined it would be. Conrad has very intense writing that seems to drain the life right out of you. I'm not sure where the accusations of racism come from; this is definitely anti-colonialist and the author was careful to instill a narrative inside his own voice in order for us to get inside the head of an English expansionist, not inside his own. Kurtz' "horror" wasn't from the Africans, it was from what the English were doing to them and Kurtz' subsequent "enlightenment" that made him realize all the horrible things he stood for. The Africans & the jungle exposed all the imperialist marauding that he did, and he realized that his entire life's work was wrong, evil, and meaningless because the jungle has a way of cleansing modern toxins, helping us see clearly the bestial origins of our species. Darkness is essential for opening up pathways to higher selves, but first you have to muck through it, and that's what Kurtz knew he would face after his death. The great irony of it is that the beings who opened up his mind happened to have dark skin, so the metaphor is like a Mobius Strip, paradoxical and wild....more
Half-way through I thought that unless Jack Ketchum really is a sick bastard I’d better check up on the background of this story because there’s no poHalf-way through I thought that unless Jack Ketchum really is a sick bastard I’d better check up on the background of this story because there’s no possible way he could get away with writing this stuff without repercussions. After my research I was shaken by the fact that much of the torture in this book was based on the true story of Sylvia Likens and the Baniszewskis in 1965. In fact, Jack takes it even further and makes what Meg went through even worse, which really didn’t sit well with my ratings decision. I mean, the real story is horrifying enough, but to cap it off with what they did with the tire rubber? Ugh! Another thing I couldn’t stomach was that the narrator just stood and watched the torture like an indolent slug while most of this was going on. Perverted protagonists who do nothing while their “crush” is being tortured right in front of them just doesn’t compute.
I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because despite the fact that the appalling events make it one of the most morally disturbing books out there it was still a suspenseful page-turner that kept me strapped to my seat, wanting to know what will happen next. But the interest while reading it is more like the interest one gets when driving by a three car pile-up; you know you shouldn’t, and some part of you doesn’t want to, but you just have to look.
After I read about the Likens case I got all heated and wrote a blog (http://chrisnet.livejournal.com/57718...) about how something like this could happen. It impacted me greatly: what Meg/Sylvia had to endure is unforgettable and the story is truly powerful because these were sweet, innocent girls. Sometimes I wish I’d never read this book, but I guess it’s important to be reminded of the heinous brutality that some people in this world are capable of. I like to think that Sylvia's suffering was not in vain because she's inspired so many people around the world to be courageous and strong in the clutches of a horrendous environment. If you're ever feeling down then just think about what Sylvia went through. Things could always be worse... a lot worse....more
Mr. Poe was one of the best writers of the 19th century and virtually all of his work is put into this 1,500 page monster (if the size of this book doMr. Poe was one of the best writers of the 19th century and virtually all of his work is put into this 1,500 page monster (if the size of this book doesn't scare you then I'd be surprised if any of the actual horror in it does).
Included are some of my favorites: The Raven, Annabel Lee, The Assignation, Ligeia, A Descent Into The Maelstrom, and Eleonora....more
It’s alive I tell you, alive! Everything in this book is alive, and even the book itself might be alive, possessed by the Orm and all the astral dustIt’s alive I tell you, alive! Everything in this book is alive, and even the book itself might be alive, possessed by the Orm and all the astral dust in between Earth and Bookholm. Moers conjures up a vast catalog of species and locations in this metafiction-fantasy that is mostly set in the catacombs below a city of readers and writers. Some parts in this book are unforgettable- like the trombomusic, the trash dump, the crystal caves, and the mine-shaft “rollercoaster”, which might be the most intense segment of any book I’ve read this year. For fans of adventure don’t let the metafiction dissuade you; after 100 pages the wild journey begins, a journey that left me scratching my head in between the epic, often horrifying dangers that lurk beneath Bookholm in the dark, mysterious caverns. I’m quite certain that fans of the Abarat series by Clive Barker will love this to pieces. They are very similar in the factors of genre, style, and outlandish creativity. So if you love Abarat, get this!...more
A horrifying, yet hilarious tour-de-force that spins wildly out of control. Reading this will make you feel like you're drunk. It reminded me of AliceA horrifying, yet hilarious tour-de-force that spins wildly out of control. Reading this will make you feel like you're drunk. It reminded me of Alice In Wonderland with a heavy dosage of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas....more