Intersectional and thoughtful look at what chronic illness means worldwide, and how the label "chronic" can lead to oversights by the medical industryIntersectional and thoughtful look at what chronic illness means worldwide, and how the label "chronic" can lead to oversights by the medical industry. Well-done collection. Glad I got the opportunity to read it....more
I spent the entire book wishing Yolen would get to explaining the supernatural element, but the mention of the prophet Elijah who slips through the ceI spent the entire book wishing Yolen would get to explaining the supernatural element, but the mention of the prophet Elijah who slips through the centuries - that saved it, that was enough for me and for the story.
Otherwise - starts off stilted, ends up heartbreaking....more
For a fiction writing class - there are five or six stories I haven't gotten to yet, but I love what I've seen so far. You can really dig down and setFor a fiction writing class - there are five or six stories I haven't gotten to yet, but I love what I've seen so far. You can really dig down and settle in with Edith Pearlman; her stories are deep, comfortable, and subtly unsettling just enough to make your brain fizzle. She's gooooooood....more
Well, by halfway through I was becoming absolutely furious on Galileo's account, so Brecht totally rocked at his job. It phr21L.016, first assignment.
Well, by halfway through I was becoming absolutely furious on Galileo's account, so Brecht totally rocked at his job. It phrases the beginnings of the conflict between science and religion beautifully, and the "conversion" of different people from one to the other was fantastic. In addition it was funny. Kind of love this. Hooray for geeks....more
So, basically, rocks fall and everyone dies (but they won't tell us how), EXCEPT the ones who eat their own babies. Okay.
Meh. Totally not my t21W.758.
So, basically, rocks fall and everyone dies (but they won't tell us how), EXCEPT the ones who eat their own babies. Okay.
Meh. Totally not my thing. Will probably be staying away from more of him.
edit: ...But you knew you weren't gonna get away without some kind of a rant.
So I'm writing my response to this for my class, and I've realized that leaving the details of the Big Ol' Disaster so vague really kind of kills the story. It's pretty obvious that the disaster was an impact of some kind - clouds of ash blocking out the sun, blah blah - but the source of the impact is important for the overall theme of the book.
Basically, if the source was man: the story details all the shit that people will do to each other. The fact that altruism and goodness still exist after a display of such utter assholery (this might be too weak a word, but I think blowing up the planet for one's own ends is the extreme case of being an asshole) is a beautiful and incredible thing. A little reminiscent of a Hallmark card, but beautiful nonetheless.
If the source was nature, a la Chicxulub: oh, so it's just Darwin versus Abrahamic religion. Fuck, that was a waste of my time. With all the Biblical allusions and talk of "carrying the fire" and missions from God to protect one's spawn, the story deflates into a sick, sad puddle of religious moralizing. GREAT.
DEAR GOD, his throat moved a lot. Honestly. The phrase "His throat moved" occurred EVEN MORE than "chagrin" in a Smeyer novel. It was ridiculo21W.758!
DEAR GOD, his throat moved a lot. Honestly. The phrase "His throat moved" occurred EVEN MORE than "chagrin" in a Smeyer novel. It was ridiculous. Yes, people get nervous twitches, but just like actually writing down every time someone would say "Dude", it gets goddamn obnoxious in writing.
So...it was well-done and annoying BECAUSE it was well-done. Reading the thought process of a guy going gradually crazy, while interesting, got just a wee bit irritating, and I couldn't tell if the perspective was fracturing as a result of narrator's dissociation or just laziness. For example, the entire book you're in Robert Neville's head, and then suddenly in the last third he starts "looking at things with his blue eyes", which was kind of jarring and put me in mind of all those bad Mary Sue fanfics where the self-insert talks about gazing at her crush with her sparkling violet/indigo/emerald/topaz/mood-sensitive orbs. One generally doesn't think about what color one's eyes are when one is staring at one's True Love. Or at a possible vampire, you know.
And again, yes, okay, written in the 1950's so it should really not be pissing me off this much, but he's all "OMG IF RUTH HAD SHOWN UP TWO YEARS AGO I WOULDA TOTALLY RAPED THAT SHIT", talking about his needs and how the vamp women's sluttiness is so hard to face, guys.
Because masturbation doesn't exist, of course. Jesus H. Christ.
Otherwise, I mean, yeah, Ruth was supposed to be bait. She was trying to make him look at her as a sexy ravaged half-naked chick who is So Trustworthy And Stuff. And by then Neville was totally crazy anyway, so it should be okay that she manipulated him into being all "oh what am I afraid of SHE'S JUST A WOMAN". Except...cue seething. "She weighs less than a hundred pounds", "she's been on the run for a week", "what could she possibly do to physically hurt me" - but oh no, it's the double X's that makes her So Not A Threat. Oy.
uh anyway. I don't do well with Manfic, which this kind of is, because it's all I Will Survive (and not in the fun disco way), I Will Prevail, I am Man, I am LEGEND...
...Right, so, gender-angry rant aside - The idea of the story was damn cool. The virus was nicely-realized, all the "flesh glue" shenanigans aside (o hai stephenie meyer nice 2 see u here). Neville's slow decay into utterly asocial caveman, again, was handled really well from a technical point of view. The formation of the new society, the Living being terrified of Neville, Neville's realization of his new position as outcast and monster among those he considered monstrous - really cool, even though if you distill it to that it sounds exactly like an Emily Dickinson poem.
But, uh, yeah. Overall, I liked it. Ruth was cool because she was so manipulative.
...Oh, but the Dead vampires were lame as hale. Like, WAY lamer than the movie creatures, who scared me until I realized that the alpha male was played by a dude from the Blue Man Group. I kept finding myself wanting to giggle at the vamps, which is not how these things are supposed to go.
(So the book and the most recent movie are related in name only, pretty much - EVERYTHING else is different, including a one-liner plot summary. I liked them both, but the movie wins for Will Smith.)...more
**spoiler alert** 21W.758 - based on first 20 pages, if I didn't have to read this I'd've already returned it to the freaking library.
admittedly only**spoiler alert** 21W.758 - based on first 20 pages, if I didn't have to read this I'd've already returned it to the freaking library.
admittedly only 25% into it: So this is my first King novel. I've read one short story by him which I liked.
Does he always foreshadow with a sledgehammer? And is it him being all snark-snark-me-big-strong-man-protect-small-hot-wife, or is it the narrator? Because I can't tell, but I know I want to punch the narrator any time he says anything about his wife or any other women - it's all got this snobby air of protective superiority, and it's skeeving me out.
Also, five-year-olds do not talk like that. Seriously, they don't. Nor does everyone say each other's names in dialogue all the time - they sound like a crowd of news anchors. "I don't know, Norton, let's go to Steff with the weather." Blah.
end: SO LAME. CLOUD FULL OF DINOSAURS. SO. LAME.
So I understand that King is all into the Everyman as Hero thing - characters are easy to relate to (or they're supposed to be; I found it hard to relate to sexist upper-middle-class-white-male artist), their thoughts are all narrated and up-front, narration itself is in plain English, nothing fancy. Except that makes it so boring - plain, bland sentence structure, littered with cliches, utterly toneless.
Another apparent trademark is the Juxtaposition of Everyday Details And Anecdotes In Midst Of Horrifying Experience thing - and he flubs it here. We'll be getting up to some monster attack and there is some semblance of tension and then it just flatlines as the narrator pauses to describe the action with some simile that takes three times as many words as it needs to. Or there'll be some emotionally-fraught scene of potential character growth and the narrator will be off and running with some story about his hot wife and the futility of art. And I DID NOT CARE.
That was the worst thing about this - King really wanted me to care about these characters, and he kept throwing in details to manipulate me into liking them, and it was so obvious. At the end I was left with Billy, and he was boring, too.
I viscerally hated the narrator by page 125 (emphasis mine): "If I were her husband and proprietor of those green eyes and that full figure, I might not travel so much."
PROPRIETOR. EXCUSE MY RAGE, BUT WHAT. THE FUCK. IS THAT.
At that point, I was like, yeah, whatever, you could totally get eaten right now and I would not even care.
So yes: lame-ass plot (THE MIST WAS COMING) with half-assed non-explanation (ARROWHEAD PROJECT. MAYBE) and awful characters (I AM MAN, HEAR ME MAN) that tried to manipulate me into liking them (LOOK I'M HUMAN LOOK HOW HUMAN I AM HERE'S A STORY FROM MY HUMAN LIFE) couched in hideously boring prose.
Fail all around, basically. I'll enjoy having a rant about this.
Read so far: "The End of the Whole Mess" - made me cry into my Ramen; sort of like Cat's Cradle in five minutes. "How We Got In Town and Out Aga21W.758!
Read so far: "The End of the Whole Mess" - made me cry into my Ramen; sort of like Cat's Cradle in five minutes. "How We Got In Town and Out Again" - escapism goes wrong "Waiting for the Zephyr" - whee, giant freaking land-boats! Um, sort of reminded me, in a weird way, of the Claidi journals. I don't know. Writing was much choppier than the others; the grammar kept making me wince. "Inertia" - oh wow. Same kind of message as Peeps, I think, but in such a very different way. "Speech Sounds" - very interesting premise, execution was awesome. And a happy ending!...more
I remember viscerally hating this - I found it incredibly boring and I don't think anything really happened except a whole bunch of wank about being aI remember viscerally hating this - I found it incredibly boring and I don't think anything really happened except a whole bunch of wank about being a moron and running and a paragraph lovingly describing a side character's butt. I don't even know.
Furthermore, it was for eighth-grade English. My teacher gave us a quiz on some random detail-bits, and I remembered little things like how many years had passed between Point A and Point Boring, and that somehow meant that I wasn't actually UNDERSTANDING the damn book (because it is of course impossible to have a sticky memory and still glean deeper meaning from one's reading), so Teacher and Teacher's Pet called me "petty" for the rest of the day. I totally cried when the Pet got in on it, but that was also because that week SUCKED - my aunt had died of cancer earlier in the week, and the day of the quiz was when I was leaving around noon to go to her funeral.
...I never actually review books, I just rant about their associated circumstances. Sorry....more
Finally read; still irritated at prodigious use of synonyms for "icky", and there's a few ten-dollar words that Mieville is in love with and uses farFinally read; still irritated at prodigious use of synonyms for "icky", and there's a few ten-dollar words that Mieville is in love with and uses far too many times ("pugnacious", "lascivious", "bathos" and "vile" stick out). Worldbuilding...spent too much time on the seamy and the scandalous and the gross, but was otherwise thorough. Liked the interpretation of academia, the entire concept of khepri, the Remade as created-lower-caste, and the Weaver as concept, creature and character. Approved of most characters, although Derkhan seemed kind of blank and Motley was...overblown and too over-the-top to be scary. Not bad, not fantastic, appreciate the amount of work that went into it; feel like it's overwritten regardless, and I called a bunch of plot twists about fifty pages before they happened. Which, you know. Hooray for setup work, but killed suspense. Also, the amount of putrefying stench going on made it hard for me to take the book seriously whenever it started going on AGAIN about how this was REALLY DISGUSTING, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE - was less and less impressed as the book and the descriptions went on. OH WELL....more
Read this in fifth grade English, AKA Mrs. Coakley Finds a Captive Audience for Her Obsession with World War II (which was infectious). We had to writRead this in fifth grade English, AKA Mrs. Coakley Finds a Captive Audience for Her Obsession with World War II (which was infectious). We had to write songs about it. It was kind of cracktastic....more
need to have an asskicking-heroine category JUST FOR THIS BOOK. I read it in sixth grade and wrote a book report about how awesome the heartless heroineed to have an asskicking-heroine category JUST FOR THIS BOOK. I read it in sixth grade and wrote a book report about how awesome the heartless heroine was....more