This is fabulous! Alison Bechdel's drawing already delights me to no end, and the twisting, turning sagas of Mo, Lois, Clarice, Ginger, Toni, et al. aThis is fabulous! Alison Bechdel's drawing already delights me to no end, and the twisting, turning sagas of Mo, Lois, Clarice, Ginger, Toni, et al. add icing of awesome to my intense enchantment with her work. Although Mo is seriously pretty annoying in the beginning, how could I not stick around to see what happened to all of these lovely, well-rounded, 100% fleshed-out, believable and warm and real people? The house that Sparrow, Lois, and Ginger live in together! The evolution of Clarice & Toni's marriage! Carlos! Even Mo had grown on me by the end. I'd like to curl up in this book and live with all of these people....more
Wham, bam, thank you Dennis Lehane! Started at 8 last night, finished by 10 and oh boy is this good. How good is it? So good that I won't even talk smWham, bam, thank you Dennis Lehane! Started at 8 last night, finished by 10 and oh boy is this good. How good is it? So good that I won't even talk smack about the seven hundred extra commas that are laced throughout the novel for some inexplicable reason, which since I am getting paid to notice stuff like that these days really, really bother me more than they usually do - but I will not to speak of them! So good that I won't even fault the denouement for taking place during the most excruciatingly muffed Super Bowl I have ever watched half of before turning the tv off in disgust in my entire life. This is perfect Lehane, dark and disturbing and funny, with brilliant dialogue and excellent characters (and best of all, no dead kids). The twist at the end that I've come to expect from him goes off perfectly and made my mouth fall open a bit - certainly, if you like to figure out what's going to happen before the book tells you, there's lots of clues to let you know what's coming, but it's books like these that make me happy that I tend to ignore foreshadowing. Now that I have context for all those pictures of Tom Hardy with a puppy that kept popping up all over the place several months back, I'm actually pretty excited to see the movie as well. A rare five stars!...more
A lot of these read as Palahniuk-lite, which I suppose gives me a whole new appreciation for his as an author, because the lite versions here rarely cA lot of these read as Palahniuk-lite, which I suppose gives me a whole new appreciation for his as an author, because the lite versions here rarely come close to be as exciting as his writing used to be. There's a story about women who have sex with dogs that sort of feels like it's trying to hard, and there's a story about The Game that bored women who work at supermarkets play that reads well but seems totally implausible as a concept. I'd like to read a whole novel about the characters in "The Line Forms on the Right", and although I wouldn't call "Survived" particularly transgressive, I do think it's quite good. And then there's "Bike," wherein Bryan Howie demonstrates how to write short stories the correct way while making it look easy. "Give me six pages," he says, "and I will give you characters, make you have feelings about them, and then I will destroy them. And you will be left thinking about them for days afterward." And I am. Worth it just for that. ...more
This book got such high praise from so many people, I feel like I missed the boat somehow. I liked this well enough, I just found it to be terribly unThis book got such high praise from so many people, I feel like I missed the boat somehow. I liked this well enough, I just found it to be terribly uneven. For each riveting chapter about the life of Bennie or Sasha or Stephanie or Rob, there was a dud chapter about Dolly or an African safari or a Power Point presentation that left me totally cold even though I am a tremendous fan of a musical pause just like Lincoln. ...more
“Yes, I am tired of rape stories . . . I am sick of rape stories on CNN and sicker of rape stories on Jezebel. I would like instead to see national, t“Yes, I am tired of rape stories . . . I am sick of rape stories on CNN and sicker of rape stories on Jezebel. I would like instead to see national, televised debates and full episodes of morning radio shows and several long-form podcasts and a portion of the next State of the Union address dedicated to determining whether men should be allowed to keep their dicks.” - Sarah Nicole Prickett
Seriously. Read through “Faster Than Your Heart Can Beat,” the fourth essay in this book, and see how you feel. I deliberately left out a line from Prickett’s original quote: “I think rape stories are boring,” because well, I don’t. I am not sick of reading rape stories because I want women to tell them if that’s what they want and need. I want men to tell their stories of being sexually assaulted too. I'm sick of them because every single frwaking* thing that I’ve read in the past few months that was written by a woman has contained, like an oyster with a nasty pearl, a rape story. A personal story about rape. A second-hand story about rape. A newsworthy story about rape. And pundits & reporters & politicians go merrily along, talking about legitimacy and forcefulness and worrying about the lives of the poor, poor men, the miniscule fraction of which who commit these acts of violation and get reported and get caught, that tiny proportion of dudes who might not have a chance to go on acting like they’ve done nothing frwaking wrong. I am so very sick and so very tired of living in a world where there are just so many rape stories that are being told, a world where this is so commonplace, where these crimes happen with such frequency that they are practically the norm and not the totally bizarre, WTF, who-would-do-this-to-another-human-being anomaly they should be.
I put off actually finishing this book for about a week because I knew that I was going to have to review it, no blank four stars for this one, & I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to in the way that I really needed & wanted to.
Elissa Washuta starts her book out with a story about being bipolar. I have read a lot of these. A., the woman I called my best friend for most of my twenties, is bipolar & I’ve sought out & read lots and lots of books about bipolar women in an attempt to try to get the slightest inkling of what she was going through that summer when she had her first hypomanic episode since I’d known her (In fact, I can’t wait to read A.’s book about her experiences because I know she’s got one in her). I read the back cover of this book, “As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life . . . “ to that point & immediately thought, okay, yes, this is enough for me to know that I should read this. But this is not like anything of those books at all.
Washuta’s lucidity and self-awareness and the clarity of her shockingly good prose is truly amazing. This book is like getting kicked in the stomach. This is about being bipolar and rape and being Native American and medication and Kurt Cobain and mixed mania and my god, she can just pull it all together in such forceful, incredible way, there were times that I felt sort of afraid to pick this up and keep reading it.
I can’t possibly start citing passages from this, because if I start I won’t be able to stop (but here's one that I remember off of the top of my head: “My heart is stuck up in a tree, waiting for you to knock it down with a stick”). This is a great book. This is a brilliant book & I hope that Washuta continues to write & publish because I plan to read everything she comes up with. But I am just so fucking sick of reading rape stories.
*This was a typo that I thought ended up being beautiful, so I left it. ...more
I am really, really excited to see where this series goes. I liked this a lot better than the first volume. There's a lot of great expansion on the woI am really, really excited to see where this series goes. I liked this a lot better than the first volume. There's a lot of great expansion on the world (I cannot wait to see what apocalyptically-tinged event is responsible for the whole Family/serf/waste division), a well-rounded bunch of new characters, no incest, and wow, I absolutely adore Forever even more than I did. Another of those books that I think fail only because they're just not long enough. ...more
If you've a hankering for chilling short stories that will linger in unpleasant ways in your head long after you've put the book down, be at peace &If you've a hankering for chilling short stories that will linger in unpleasant ways in your head long after you've put the book down, be at peace & look no further. Egerton can write a pretty nasty little tale. Most of these are no more than three or so pages long, so you're automatically primed to keep telling yourself "Just one more!" and staying up way too late, feeling more and more deeply unsettled as you read. I particularly enjoyed his twist on religion - the lengths that camp counselors would go to in order to gain converts to a Jesus with black teeth who isn't actually the answer, what life was like for Lazarus after he stopped being a miracle & was just a guy who couldn't die (John Connolly wrote an excellent Lazarus story for a zombie anthology that I read back in the day & I figured I'd never read any take on that poor dude that I liked more than Connolly's - but, yeah, this one is pretty sweet too). This is pretty lame, but here goes: I don't always read short stories, but when I do, I prefer them to be by Owen Egerton. ...more
Well! This is a doozy. Noir-ish private detectives, alcohol abuse, blackmail, shoplifting, war zones, and lesbianism - what else? I wish there was a tWell! This is a doozy. Noir-ish private detectives, alcohol abuse, blackmail, shoplifting, war zones, and lesbianism - what else? I wish there was a tidy Latin word that meant "hating your mom." I would have appreciated it if just one of the female characters with giant doe eyes & similar hairstyles had been a brunette; at some point it got a little difficult to tell one freakishly tall blonde from the next. Other than that, well worth it. ...more
This is an interesting concept, that an oil heir might be interested in trying make a profit by cleaning up the planet instead of dirtying & defilThis is an interesting concept, that an oil heir might be interested in trying make a profit by cleaning up the planet instead of dirtying & defiling it through ever-more-onward oil exploration. Unfortunately, it suffers mightily from being irritatingly repetitive - honestly, Chas, how many times do I really need to be reminded that you "are a Worthington" and you "are your father's son" and again, you "are a Worthington"? A lot of things get introduced & never really fleshed out. What was going on with Zoe & the pirates? And why on earth did that giant octopus fall in love with Chas in the first place? Bill says that the second volume is a lot better so I'll read it, but without his endorsement, this would not have been a series with which I'd be planning to continue. ...more
“How green is the grass? How colorful are the leaves? How red is the blood of the birds that spreads through the river beneath her?” This book is a ni“How green is the grass? How colorful are the leaves? How red is the blood of the birds that spreads through the river beneath her?” This book is a nice little twist on the zombie/apocalypse plotline; rather than being bitten, coughed on, or *pick your infection vector of choice* people see something & go nuts, taking down those around them before killing themselves in spectacular ways. Malerman does a really good job building the tension using the device of news reports of bizarre happenings leading closer & closer to home, and he follows through with a lot of really grim, gross stuff happening to his group of survivors. There’s a lot of really great nasty imagery like, “His entire body looked like cake frosting, blood and skin folded over the ropes on his chest, his belly . . . “ most of the ways that people end their lives are so brutal, many of them are still stuck in my head (view spoiler)[The only one that I can’t really wrap my head around is Olympia’s suicide by umbilical cord, since it’s very vaguely worded & while it certainly sounds shocking, since she never delivered her placenta, I have no idea how it’s supposed to work. And come to think of it, neither did Malorie deliver her placenta, which is a step in having a baby that is usually missed but pretty important. I’m just saying, I wouldn’t think you could very well hang yourself with your umbilical cord if it’s still coming out of your uterus. And I apologize for bringing it up in the first place (hide spoiler)]. I don’t want to write anything about what happens to Malorie & Tom and their lot, but it was definitely one of the more harrowing things I’ve read recently, especially how it plays on women’s vulnerability during certain momentous physical occasions, which is perhaps all I can say without a spoiler cut. The only time this book dragged for me was when Malorie was on the river. While there’s a lot of suspense to be derived from people wandering around blindfolded, her situation eventually became too nebulous to be scary. After a few chapters of her fretting about hearing an unidentifiable noise, or worrying about whether she was doing the right thing or not (view spoiler)[especially once I realized that she’d gone a solid four years without legitimately spooky bad guy Gary turning up again (hide spoiler)], her predicament became a little boring. It’s very rare that I can say that I finish writing a review & I realize I like the book more than I thought it did, but I just had that happen! Way to be, Bird Box!...more
May every reader have the same good fortune as I did in knowing nothing about the premise of this book before opening it. This is not at all what I thMay every reader have the same good fortune as I did in knowing nothing about the premise of this book before opening it. This is not at all what I thought it would be and holy heck, is it tremendous. I will say nothing regarding the Cooke family twist that comes halfway through the book, but I can say that once it happened, I was practically unable to set this book down, leading to many a night of staying up way too late - on school nights, no less! At first I was disappointed by the ending, but since I can't articulate why any more than I can tell you what I'd've liked to happen instead (view spoiler)[other than a puppy-rainbow-kitten type of thing along the lines of, It was all a dream! & Fern had never have been sent away in the first place, or, barring that, a mankind-is-not so gross & pathetic & atrocious-type of thing (hide spoiler)], I think that I was really just angry that the book was over (I call that Kelly Link Syndrome). ...more
I read this last night to make myself put down The Secret Place since I am really, really trying not to blow through that too quickly. So this succeedI read this last night to make myself put down The Secret Place since I am really, really trying not to blow through that too quickly. So this succeeded on some level, since it made me leave Tana French alone for an hour. I don't quite know what else to say; the character that I want to die is still not dead? I like the way Carl is being drawn now as an older kid, but when he doesn't have his hat on I can't really tell the difference between him & the (ostensibly pregnant) Maggie? I guess don't want to more closely examine the reasons that I keep reading these even though I no longer care for them. I tend to look away from accidents when I pass them rather then at them, so that adage doesn't apply. I suppose I like Nagen & (view spoiler)[waiting for Rick to DIE already (hide spoiler)] enough to keep on. ...more
I was liking this series until the ridiculous deus ex machina of the last issue. In all my fist-shaking fury, I will be spoiling this entire book.
(vieI was liking this series until the ridiculous deus ex machina of the last issue. In all my fist-shaking fury, I will be spoiling this entire book.
(view spoiler)[I get it, I do. Bode was my favorite character too. I like scampish, irrepressible little boys as much as the next person, and I was totally filled with horror just like everyone else when Dodge took over his body & made him do all those terrible things . Poor Jay Bird. I had to look at a Locke & Key wiki to figure out that Ty used the animal key to get him out of the sparrow's body since the lay-out of those two pages is so uncharacteristically vague & clumsy, I couldn't tell what was going on. I'm not sure how that would work since Bode had already been cremated (which makes me scratch my head too, since Ty claims that he & Kinsey were "sedated" and that's why they couldn't get Bode back into his body, when there was clearly some time once everyone got out of the caves when they were standing around conscious & could easily have been like, "Hey, sad mom, give me the dead kid you're holding & let me show you something really awesome real quick"), but even if there was some way around this, how is it possible that everyone was just at this kid's funeral & then here he is all ALIVE suddenly & everyone is like Yay! & no one has any questions about how on earth this happened? I bought a lot of premises in this series, and for the most part I found it easy to do so, but I cannot for the life of me buy this scenario. (hide spoiler)]
But hey, other than that, not too shabby. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It's kind of adorable to read this because I didn't think it was that great. If I'd started out with this book instead of Sandman, I would've taken soIt's kind of adorable to read this because I didn't think it was that great. If I'd started out with this book instead of Sandman, I would've taken some convincing to continue with Gaiman's oeuvre. It's not that I didn't like the story; in fact, I really like how he weaves Batman & Lex Luthor & Swamp Thing & all of that together. It was just a little too vague, a little too much moping by Black Orchid. Too much f-a-all-ll-ing - seriously, once would've been enough for that page layout. But on the other hand, if I'd started with this I would've become even more of a Dave McKean fangirl than I already am, because holy heck, his artwork here is totally breathtaking & it knocked my socks right off. ...more