*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alr...more*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alright and recommendable apocalyptic read got unexpectedly lost during my perusal of “Part 2”.
I really enjoyed the writing, especially Daisy’s genuine voice. Sometimes I even thought that she talked a little like I do – stringing too many words together to clumsily form a noun, for instance. And her complete lack of worry at the beginning of the – far away – bombings and water poisonings in the promising light of a task-free and adult-free (view spoiler)[ - Aunt Penn is stuck in Oslo when the international airports are closed, but manages to give the kids access to her local bank account - (hide spoiler)] almost-holidays with her cousins felt refreshingly realistic for a fifteen-years-old heroine , who has just fallen in love for the first time.
Unlike some other not quite satisfied readers I did not see anything icky or strange in cousins entering a sexual relationship. I have married first cousins among both my relatives and my friends. I rather got a bit anxious because all the talk of rampant sex never ever included any means of contraception. (view spoiler)[Later Daisy explains that her anorexia had put an end to her bleeding. But until then I unconsciously held my breath for an announcement of an undernourished baby to be born out in the woods. (hide spoiler)]
The big obstacle shadowing my path of enjoyment was the following: The believable war time scenario featuring the British military pocketing usable buildings and spreading rumors, terror and chaos in the name of the greater good changed into something rather bizarre with one single telephone call at the end of “Part 1”, which was quickly succeeded by unexplained events happening at lightening speed and an awkwardly dumped blob of passed time that culminated in a knotted bundle of stickily bittersweet soul-mate melodrama. Rating down seemed to be the inevitable consequence. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
“… and I don’t know where the head is.“ “The head?“ she asks, all mystified. „I got to go powerful bad and I don’t know where to do it.“
I admit: „Curs...more“… and I don’t know where the head is.“ “The head?“ she asks, all mystified. „I got to go powerful bad and I don’t know where to do it.“
I admit: „Curse of the Blue Tattoo“, the first of nine or ten sequels to „Bloody Jack“, a thrilling, fun account of former London street kid Mary Faber surviving in male disguise on a pirate-hunting man-o-war, has all the rompy entertainment factors of its shorter, sea-bound precessor: Evil and excentric side characters, colorfully painted, easy-to-imagine sceneries (this time of early nineteenth’ century Boston), danger, more danger, a lot of neverending action – and our ever-resouceful, cheerful, flute-playing, smitten-with-her-absent-fiancé, heart-on-tongue, good-natured and all-spontaneous heroine Mary „Jacky" Faber.
Well. It’s maybe already obvious: I got mightily fed up with Jacky and her idiot antics. The occasional urge to sigh-and-eyeroll overcame me even before I finished the first volume. The main annoyance then had been the story’s drift from a swashbuckling adventure to a mushy-gushy keep-your-greedy-hands-off-me-you-sly-boy romance. Now I see Jacky as a rather clueless Pippi Longstocking imitator, whose brazen carelessness among murderous priests, cold school mistresses, corrupt sheriffs, drunken street musicians and lesbian women of pleasure repeatedly leads to Cinderella-in-reverse-careers, whippings, unpleasant gropings of private parts and almost-rapings.
In addition, the Jaimy-mooning has not waned – although he is half a world away – and the series seems to employ a kind of stalled-progress stance as far as the heroine’s character growth and general education is concerned – probably to make her exploitable draw-backs lasts longer: Jacky’s mode of expression has been switched back to her illiterate under-the-bridge drawl including using the third-person ‚s’ („Me thinks“, „I jumps down the gangway“), which she had successfully dropped with the help of the midshipmen’s instructor on board of the HMS Dolphin, and her table manners … I guess the author needed the contrast to the future society ladies attenting the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls very badly for effect. So he added things like a notorious nose-picking habit on top. I found Jacky’s difficulties to adapt and imitate her female peers rather hard to believe since her success to pass as a ship’s boy heavily relied on her gift to blend in, to quickly observe and copy the behavior and attitude of those surrounding her.
So. We have parted ways, fine lady and natural-born racing jockey Mary Faber and I, exactly on page 245. Are we going to meet again in one of the numerous reheated remixes the series holds in store? „Not bloody likely, mate!“ (less)
When pressing the three-star-button I remembered + the extremely fun bladerunneresque setting in New Beijing + t...moreFirst published on my Booklikes account:
When pressing the three-star-button I remembered + the extremely fun bladerunneresque setting in New Beijing + the tough, talented, no-nonsense part-cyborg Cinderella (I don't want to give up my own real legs, but a calf-compartment for small items to take with me sounds awfully handy) + the R2D2-reminiscent servant-turned-sidekick android Iko with the romantic, girly personality and a huge royalty crush (I loved that lipstick-involving scene) but also - the extreme predictability (I know, we all are familiar with both the Grimm and the Disney version of Cinderella's bio, have probably watched enough Czech or East German variations on TV to recognize most more or less creative derivations and have gobbled down a handful of retellings in novel form. I don't refer to the main situation, but to the supposed mystery concerning a certain character's identity and another character's agenda. Exaggerated denseness in main characters lends a certain stale flavor to the impression I form of them.) - the cliffie and the - missed chance at milking the wonderful prerequisites to the max. I so looked forward to pressing my nose closely to a robotically steered hoover gliding through the illuminated, over-populated, plague-ridden, globalized city of New Beijing. But my blindfold was only removed for short intervals now and then. A pity.(less)
First of all I have to admit that reading the “real thing“ is an experience that happened more than 25 years ago and involved a cheap, German translat...moreFirst of all I have to admit that reading the “real thing“ is an experience that happened more than 25 years ago and involved a cheap, German translation, which was in all probability abbridged. That means I am actually not in the position to launch any serious comparison between original and retelling. Still, what I recall is my overall enjoyment, the thrilling mystery that kept me reading on, and my strong compassion for the heroine, her misfortunes and feelings.
I definitely reacted differently to artisty but bland college dropout Jane and her old-geezer-rock-star-sugar-daddy. The relationship - no, I did not come that far - the interaction between the recently impoverished live-in full-time nanny, who snatched the coveted celebrity-household position only because the staff agency detected no signs of present or future fangirling in her, and the oily, aging musician with his sex-and-drugs-filled, tabloid-covered past and an insignificant little daughter as an assessory felt sentence for sentence and glance for glance completely unrealistic and made me shudder with über-icky anticipation.
Don't get me wrong. In general I do not see a problem when a 19-years-old woman voluntarily enters a sexual relationship with a guy twice her age. No. But Jane has absolutely nothing, honestly nothing, going for her apart from her obvious inexperience and her initial lack of awe and interest in the presence of her famous employer. She does not even care for her little charge particularly well. And yet Mr. I-Had-Them-All-And-Then-Some is immediately intrigued and relentlessly pursues the mousy girl almost from go: He suggests the best views for landscape painting on his property, he needs exactly her help to choose the perfect outfit for his next album cover (Aren't there stylists for that kind of advice?), he suddenly heaps juicy confessions about his wild past on her, he denies his daughter a second helping of pudding in a restaurant in order to impress Jane with his parental firmness and responsibility (the poor kid is never more than a convenient pawn in a romantic drama anyhow, by the way) , and he lures her into a rather intimate afternoon-for-two in his poolhouse, where he corners her with his air mattress and forces the flustered geek to ogle his well-preserved physique. Uuugh. That scene had such an unbalanced, leery-pervert flavor.
But to say that all the unsavory vibes emanated only from him would be unfair: Inexplicably Jane does not take long to morph from an indifferent servant bent on keeping her job into an obsessive creature with an all-consuming infatuation. Someone, who listens to her boss' old records day in day out, someone, who feels entitled to counter a narration on past random excesses of the erotic variety with a worried enquiry concerning his chances of having evaded an HIV infection. I tried to picture that conversation, but I couldn't. It seemed much, much too weird. And his answer, which unbelievably mentioned his good doctors as the reason for his negative test results, was equally bizzare.
I did not read much farther. Certainly Jane started imvestigating the strange noises from the forbidden third floor and the unsatisfactory explanations from the housekeeper. But I felt compelled to hurriedly leave the premises (around page 107) without even peeking at the ending.
The only thing that remains to be stressed is: Dear author, I do not suffer from Alzheimers. Therefore you do not need to repeat information. Reading three times about the one song Jane was familar with and the reason for her knowledge of its lyrics and music kind of insulted my ability to follow a plot and pick up the essential bits. Most readers are not stupid and quite capable of getting a grip. Believe me.(less)
'The Lover's Dictionary' consists of short, seemingly unconnected passages narrating the story of a two-years-old relationship between a man and a wom...more'The Lover's Dictionary' consists of short, seemingly unconnected passages narrating the story of a two-years-old relationship between a man and a woman living in New York.
Hidden behind alphabetically sorted terms, that call out for sophisticated definitions, it covers the ordinary, yet inexplicable stuff that the relationship entails: Its beginning, the (almost ?) end, highs, lows, changes, effects, fears, irritations, dependencies, surprises, misunderstandings, lies, laughter, resentments, passions, habits, secrets, toothpaste caps, everything. The undertone wavers between wonder and hurt.
Most of the 'dictionary's entries' felt so profoundly true and a lot of them had a familiar flavor. Some of the familiarity wormed an astonished smile out of me, some wrapped me up in sadness.
But inspite of the narrator's palatable love for his nameless partner I simply couldn't bring myself to like the girl. Maybe her shininess already got cracks in my view, when she confesses to be pregnant right in the second entry. I didn't know her or her motivations then, but her laughter immediately inspired my dislike. Later I discovered her to be one of those persons who let alcohol turn them into the sparkling center of a party regardless of the discomfort that transformation might cause others around them to feel. I just cannot stand people like that.
Still, I felt the hero's emotions. And I rooted for him and for his perfectly ordinary love in all its uniquess.(less)
I got this for my 8th birthday (Thanks, Diana!) and have read it many times since then, saving up my meager pocket money to buy the other volumes. I h...moreI got this for my 8th birthday (Thanks, Diana!) and have read it many times since then, saving up my meager pocket money to buy the other volumes. I had a boost of nostalgia this Sunday and relieved my glee of almost 30 years ago - noticing how much childhood (fictional or real) has changed since then.(less)
I abandoned the book after 150 pages, which were filled with interesting world building, a half-interesting bionic-woman-soldier, a self-infatuated, w...moreI abandoned the book after 150 pages, which were filled with interesting world building, a half-interesting bionic-woman-soldier, a self-infatuated, womanizing jerk with the supposed gift of being extra-observant and tons upon tons of undiluted boredom. Plus, Mead reheats Georgina Kincaid's I-cannot-have-sex-with-him-(again)-dilemma on a gender-reversed sci-fi burner, and I suppose I would have to see Mae and Justin on the brink of almost giving in again and again and again for the next however-many-there-are-planned volumes if I decided to go on reading. Meh. Really.
P.S.: When I was reading, I kept thinking of two other books featuring physically enhanced women, and I am going to recommend them instead: