With a Watchmen movie on the horizon, I thought I would give this book another read. I'm having a difficult time imagining what type of movie this wilWith a Watchmen movie on the horizon, I thought I would give this book another read. I'm having a difficult time imagining what type of movie this will make, especially considering that it contains maybe only 5 typical superhero action scenes in its over 400 pages. I can only conclude that Watchmen will make a terrible superhero movie because it's not actually a superhero comic. Watchmen is a commentary on Cold War hostilities--it's merely a coincidence that the main players happen to wear colorful costumes.
Still, it's a great story. The book greatly improves on subsequent readings once you already know the twist ending and know what to look for along the way. This is also a dense, high-quality read with 6 to 9 dialog-heavy panels per page. Thank god that Moore came upon the scene before it was taken over by splash pages and the phenomenon of writing with an eye on the eventual trade paperback collection. The illustrations and coloring are also equally amazing and incredibly detailed. Gibbons peppers each panel with hidden notions and his art carries many pages even when the writing is lacking.
For me, the best part of the book has to be Tales of the Black Freighter, a horrific pirate comic being read by one of the minor characters in Watchmen. The pirate tale is spliced in throughout the comic and eerily echoes the events taking place in the Watchmen world. Moore also does a great job with interlocutory chapters between each comic issue. These chapters feature mock book excerpts, police reports, newspaper clippings, and secret correspondences which shed light on the characters and happenings of the larger story. Watchmen is a fine work, but the real masterpiece is found in these details. ...more
Other than a basic plot outline, all I remember out this book is that I HATED it when I read it in fifth grade. I was quite disappointed, because baseOther than a basic plot outline, all I remember out this book is that I HATED it when I read it in fifth grade. I was quite disappointed, because based on the subject matter I had really expected to like it. Maybe I should give it another try one of these days. ...more
I usually love the "dystopian future" genre, but I hated this book. I found it to be slow, meandering, and too focused upon a character vignette ratheI usually love the "dystopian future" genre, but I hated this book. I found it to be slow, meandering, and too focused upon a character vignette rather than the larger picture of society. I was so bored by the lack of story progression that I couldn't even bring myself to finish the book, and that rarely ever happens. I'd really like to pick this up and give it a full read someday, but that's not high on my list of priorities. ...more
Quite possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. The writing is atrocious. The fact that Dan Brown is a best-selling author is proof that a sizabQuite possibly one of the worst books I've ever read. The writing is atrocious. The fact that Dan Brown is a best-selling author is proof that a sizable portion of Americans are idiots.
I'm not sure why the author feels the need to end every chapter with a cliffhanger, especially when they don't actually pan out to be a threat. I made this example up, but they nearly all read this poorly: "Suddenly, a shadowy figured appeared behind Dan and crept toward him. [next chapter:] The mailman tapped Dan on the shoulder. 'I have a package for you,' he said." It's seriously that bad.
I'm interested in all that Gnostic Gospel, power of Mary stuff, but I wish the story could have been crafted by a decent writer. Brown has a made a living by turning out conspiracy shit novel after novel, just to keep the money flowing. ...more
I'm of two minds about this book. On one hand, it's a compassionate, quirky, and frustrating look inside the mind of a child with autism. On the otherI'm of two minds about this book. On one hand, it's a compassionate, quirky, and frustrating look inside the mind of a child with autism. On the other hand, the mind of a child with autism is as annoying as fuck. Most of the story consists of the idiosyncratic daily rituals of a spoiled, petulant child who knows that his behavior is ridiculous, but doesn't care. Did I mention that he's British? That makes him even more annoying.
But this review is getting off on the wrong foot. I appreciate the daily struggles that parents of children with autism face. I know that personally I couldn't possibly deal with a child who throws a fit whenever he sees a yellow car on his morning trip to school. But as compelling and heart-wrenching as these struggles might be, I sure as hell didn't want to read a book about them.
The premise of the book is great: an autistic kid sets out to solve the murder of a dog in his neighborhood. It's cute to watch as his brain collects clues and deciphers puzzles. It's amazing what he can accomplish even though he can't understand human emotion and screams when touched. As neurotic as his habits are, Christopher develops into an endearing character. Then about halfway through the book, the killer is revealed in a pretty anticlimactic moment. It has very little to do with Christopher's detective work--the killer just admits it.
At about that same time, another revelation is made, which turns Christopher's world on its head and sets him out on a journey for London. This is where the book lost me. For some reason, the author decided that the next forty pages should be set in a train station, with Christopher repeatedly complaining about how the trains are too loud and all the signs and information give him a headache. FORTY PAGES. And even after he finally hops on a train and reaches his destination, there's very little resolution to the story. It just seems to fizzle out. I'm not really sure what the reader is supposed to take from the close of the book. This kid thinks he's a genius and so the world should have to put up with all his neuroses? I'm not sure.
Overall, this is just a story of a boy who whines and complains about a host of insignificant things. I realize that my review sounds incredibly insensitive to the plight of children with autism, but after reading through 220 pages of petulance, you might feel the same way.
I thought this was even worse than the first book. The mystery was needlessly convoluted and the ending was poorly plotted. A horrible jumble of a stoI thought this was even worse than the first book. The mystery was needlessly convoluted and the ending was poorly plotted. A horrible jumble of a story. ...more
I thought this book was awful on the first read. It wasn't much better the second time around. But I had heard from a number of people that the qualitI thought this book was awful on the first read. It wasn't much better the second time around. But I had heard from a number of people that the quality greatly improves after the first few, so I gave the series another try. Still not great literature, but it's a fun series....more
Fresh from investigating the plight of minimum-wage earners in America, Barbara Ehrenreich sets her sights on the issues facing well-educated, middle-Fresh from investigating the plight of minimum-wage earners in America, Barbara Ehrenreich sets her sights on the issues facing well-educated, middle-class workers. Ehrenreich uses her work experience to craft an honest resume of an "alternate persona" and apply for PR/Communications jobs across the country. She doesn't find any. For 200 pages. What she does find are a number of "Executive Training" classes billed as job-seeking seminars. For around $1000, these courses offer up some pop-psychology bullshit then diagnose that her inability to find a job is due to personal flaws--which they will happily help her correct for more money. She also finds companies willing to hire her, not as an "employee", but as an "independent agent" (meaning no benefits, commission-only salary, and zero job security).
Understandably, the white-collar hiring process demands that she change her research methods from the service industry jobs she effortlessly obtained--then struggled through--in her previous book. And the subject matter is certainly cause for worry in an age where worker protections are diminishing and large corporations are wielding more power over their employees. But as disheartening/exhausting/futile as her search is...it's also rather boring.