It was an okay year. Your mileage may vary. I warn those of a delicate or easily offended nature that the year was filled with many scenes of sex, vioIt was an okay year. Your mileage may vary. I warn those of a delicate or easily offended nature that the year was filled with many scenes of sex, violence, swearing, and sacrilege. It was overly pious at times and sometimes shockingly callous in regards to the fate of its characters. Those of you who are like me and are tired of series will be depressed to hear the author is already publishing 2015 and is rumoured to be working on volumes at least until 3015, at which point the already disjointed plot will have surely spun completely out of control, if it hasn't already.
I may try the next one, but will probably hate myself for it....more
A volume of selected poems is a strange beast to read and then to consider afterwards. Mostly there is an awe at what a strange and rich collection ofA volume of selected poems is a strange beast to read and then to consider afterwards. Mostly there is an awe at what a strange and rich collection of poetry this book has in it. There is his obsession with Maud Gonne - which even setting aside a certain tradition of stalkerish love poetry will be interesting to read about further. Then there is the mystic poetry, his tendency to make up his own symbology - something designed to drive newbs like myself slightly batty. But above all there are the ringing words of beauty of his language.
'The Second Coming'. There has been fine poetry, moving poetry, beautiful language and images so far, but it is surprising how this just explodes off the page. This embeded and grew in western culture. "what rough beast' , 'things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide i loosed..." , "twenty centuries of stony sleep / Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle". The poet put his fork in the direct current of the planet at the time. Which isn't to say I haven't loved other poems, it's just that you can see this one as the defining poem for Yeats. Though this collection shows he has many voices, many shades....more
I'd heard that this was the tailing off point for the series but was to happy to find for myself that I really enjoyed getting back into the sheer booI'd heard that this was the tailing off point for the series but was to happy to find for myself that I really enjoyed getting back into the sheer bookish joy of epic fantasy world building.
I'd had trouble with the last book because while I had read the first two volumes well before the HBO series (and then taken a break vowing not to read any more until GRR got the series done, but then broke that vow when the series began to over-take how far I had read), I found that the pacey plot-driven writing of the drama had messed up my enjoyment of the books. The first half of 'Storm of Swords' felt plodding and pointless to me because I'd already seen it masterfully compressed and re-jiggered for television. BUT once I got past last season the books came back to life for me.
Amazingly, or maybe not so amazingly, I've only mostly kept ahead of HBO by finishing this book. GRR better watch out they are eating his books up at an amazing pace. But this isn't a review of the dramatization, just a comment that the books bring a different pleasure that of world building. I love love Martin's penchant for suddenly diving into different worlds. I find the Iron Born hilarious - in the audio version they have Irish accents and parts play like dilapidated country house black comedy. Love the Dornish infighting. The parts that give glimpses into the court of the Targareons through the eyes of 100+ Maester Aemon gives the world that sense of age that is great in a fantasy setting.
Yes it is a feudal soap-opera, but it is bloody and grim and endlessly entertaining. And the best thing seems to be that the HBO folk are diverging more and more from the books so I can be surprised and outraged all over again. Hurrah.
*** I was yelling: "Oh shiiiiit! Oh shittttt!" when a certain lady shows up. ***...more
I've always been a sucker for Burns' surrealistic dream-state comics and The Hive is a successful continuation of this. Comics are the perfect mediumI've always been a sucker for Burns' surrealistic dream-state comics and The Hive is a successful continuation of this. Comics are the perfect medium for things to be really fucked up and odd. I'm not a super fan of realist comics with everything making sense all the time - it doesn't seem to exploit the medium in the way I really groove to.
Now this does feature a (gasp) art student who seems to be questioning the meaning of life or at least his life and the sad fate of his father who seems to have died of cancer. An artist writing/cartooning a story about a young artist full of angst and possible a head-injury and drug problem! Your tolerance for this sort of navel gazing might be tested. It is like when writers write about writing - it can be a trial for the poor reader.
But I think Burns is a good enough of an artist to muddy things up enough to make this intriguing. It has a lot of his obsessions in it that I've seen in works like EL Borobah and Skin Deep and especially his work before this one Black Hole. But because Burns is such the consumate cartoonist (and a slow painstaking producer of his work) he's able to revisit/recycle those body horror and bondage themes without them seeming tired to me (so far). And yes there is the nice addition of Tin Tin/Nit Nit going on as well.
There was a two year gap between X'ed Out and The Hive, I'll happily wait another two years for the next - absorbing what's seeped into my brain in the meantime....more