The story of the anti-christ in a way it's never been told before. As my husband put it when we saw a trailer for "The Omen," the other day, "It looks...moreThe story of the anti-christ in a way it's never been told before. As my husband put it when we saw a trailer for "The Omen," the other day, "It looks like Good Omens, only not funny." The wit and satire of two of my favorite authors comes together to form Captain Planet in this one. You have the Nuns of the Chattering Order, the antichrist accidentally switched at birth, a satanic dog who prefers to chase mice, and a demon and angel who prefer to spend their time shooting the shit than defending/destroying the human race. Tell me you can find something better, and I won't believe you. (less)
another one from the walkawayslowly's box-o-books. this is the guy who wrote about a boy (haven't read the book, but loved the movie) and high fidelit...moreanother one from the walkawayslowly's box-o-books. this is the guy who wrote about a boy (haven't read the book, but loved the movie) and high fidelity (haven't read the book nor seen the movie, but the husband likes it a lot). in this book, four strangers who come from four very different walks of life all wind up on the roof of a popular suicide spot on new year's eve, planning to off themselves. the story is what happens as a result of this strange meeting. it's told first person through the points of view of each of the four, which is what makes this book succeed. if it came from third person, or only took one pov out of the four, it wouldn't be nearly so interesting and engaging.
what really impressed me was the author's ability to write these four very different people so convincingly. characters that you can't stand when you see them from someone else's pov become enjoyable and sympathetic when you see things from their own perspective, and their contemplations on what it was that has driven them to such misery are very compelling. that these four people somehow manage to maintain a very warped sort of friendship, and that you believe it, is more kudos to the author. the style is engaging, generally hilarious, but very sobering in places, which is the sign of a great humor writer. in order to have substance there has to be a dark side to humor writing, otherwise you just have fluff, and it's easy to laugh at the trials and tribulations of these people while still having respect for the seriousness of what they're going through.
it's a hard book to find and ending for, because you walk a fine line between an unrealistic fairy tale ending and making it true to life in a way that can't satisfy the reader. as a result, in some ways i feel the book just sort of trails off rather then delivering a really solid ending, but at the same time i'm not sure what other way it could have ended. again, a book i would highly recommend. this was a good reading round, it seems. i'm a happy reader. =)(less)
I'm usually not interested in the "chick books" that have become so popular recently (maybe they were always popular, but I've only taken notice of th...moreI'm usually not interested in the "chick books" that have become so popular recently (maybe they were always popular, but I've only taken notice of them in the past couple of years). You know, the witty, funny, celebrations of the modern women in all her success and tragedy. I think the appeal is that so many women can relate to these voices, these women, fictional or real, who live lives we recognize and are heartbreakingly and humorously honest about some of our most private thoughts and failures. Unfortunately, since I'm not particularly chick-ish, I've never jumped on the bandwagon, and wouldn't have read this if walkawayslowly hadn't sent it to me. Though I still wouldn't necessarily seek this genre out after reading it, I did enjoy it.
Humor is such a hard thing to write, harder than anything else, and to do it requires a very real talent. I thought I was in trouble on the first page when the first "gag" unfolded in a really forced, constructed way that was predictable as well as unnatural, but to my relief I think that was about the only moment in the book when I rolled my eyes at the writing style. This book is funny, and Laurie Notaro is a genuinely good humorist. A lot of her issues I could not relate to (this will make me sound like a snob, and I am, but hey, at least I'm honest, right?), such as dieting (I honestly cringed when she talked about the way she ate, which can be blamed on my new found desire to be a nutritionist) and irresponsible spending (blame my parents), and some other very common things normal Americans face. But while I might not have related to several things, I can see how so many people out there do, which would make the appeal of this book all the greater. She does so well when it comes to vocalizing so much of what we're all really thinking, no matter how outrageous or inappropriate. That said, I can't imagine wanting to ever meet this woman, as much of what she says and does really isn't something to be proud of. But it was a fun read. (less)
I have to admit, a large part of the reason I love this book so much is because I was in the English/Creative Writing program at a very small liberal...moreI have to admit, a large part of the reason I love this book so much is because I was in the English/Creative Writing program at a very small liberal arts college (all-women, to boot), and therefore, I relate to it more than virtually any other book I've ever read. This is exactly what it's like, and whether that is a funny thing or a horrifying thing is completely up to you. (less)
There's not a whole lot you can say about Discworld other than it's hard to go wrong. Of Pratchett's usual suspects, this book focuses on the Watch an...moreThere's not a whole lot you can say about Discworld other than it's hard to go wrong. Of Pratchett's usual suspects, this book focuses on the Watch and San Vimes, with a brief cameo from Death and none from the infamous Rincewind.
I always feel that the Watch books operate differently than the others, because Sam Vimes comes across as a more well-rounded character who doesn't follow the same mold as someone like Rincewind. He's easier to take seriously, and therefore the Watch books (and there are several I haven't read), tend to be more solemn than the other off the wall hijinks of other Discworld notables. Now, solemn for Terry Pratchett is still a pretty far cry from the normal definition of solemn, as the book is still full of satire and laugh out loud moments. But if you prefer the more carefree version, you might want to defer to a book like Hogsfather or The Last Continent. Or anything with Rincewind. (Or Death, who is my personal favorite). (less)
I'm biased towards John Scalzi because he stops in my town on a book signing tour every year, and he's always such an interesting, funny and entertain...moreI'm biased towards John Scalzi because he stops in my town on a book signing tour every year, and he's always such an interesting, funny and entertaining individual.
This book goes a long way in breaking down the barriers that insist Douglas Adams is the only person who can make sci fi funny. Behind the humor however are some surprisingly thought provoking and even moving themes which make it a lot more than just laughs for the sake of laughs.
Star Trek fans will enjoy it for obvious reasons, but I really feel it's accessible to a wide audience of scifi and non-scifi zealots alike.
Science fiction is all the better for having John Scalzi in it.