This was nice I guess. Just a little childrens story. I'm used to reading some YA but this is, like, for little kids. But it was still nice and for be...moreThis was nice I guess. Just a little childrens story. I'm used to reading some YA but this is, like, for little kids. But it was still nice and for being written 113 years ago, nothing jumped out as being inappropriate or weird or anything. Although there was a lot of killing. The tin woodman (who is a cyborg, btw; or maybe a robot? When everything in one's body is eventually replaced, does that make one a robot instead of a cyborg? A cylon?) wept for stepping on a beetle . . . and then proceeds to chop off heads left and right.
I'm glad there's a Good Witch of the South in the book; the lack of a fourth witch in the movie is irritatingly asymmetrical.
Anne Hathaway narrated this version and she was cracking me up. That girl has enthusiasm for days; I could see her in my mind's eye, gesticulating in the recording room. She had a cartoonish voice for every character, featuring:
Patty and Selma Bouvier as the Scarecrow The guy from the movie as the Cowardly Lion Amy Sedaris as the Soldier With the Green Whiskers A robot as the disembodied head of Oz A Spanish dude as a tiger (are there tigers in Spain?) etc etc
So yeah, a nice quick listen, I finished this in two days. It would probably be a good listen for actual children. Maybe. What do I know.(less)
I liked this better than the first one, there was more going on.
Here are some thoughts:
-Gimli is afraid of EVERYTHING. Except orcs. Everything else he...moreI liked this better than the first one, there was more going on.
Here are some thoughts:
-Gimli is afraid of EVERYTHING. Except orcs. Everything else he's like "no way, I'm not going into the forest, it's scary. Elves freak me out. This gives me the willies. I have a bad feeling about that." Etc etc. Dwarves are not really that tough, I don't think.
-Boy does he like Galadriel though! He's got it good, even more than Mordicai maybe!
-I don't think I like Gandalf very much, which surprised me. You can never get a straight answer out of him, and he's always taking off without explanation so that he can come back later and save the day. One might argue that being cryptic is a wizard's prerogative, and that he's going off to save someone ELSE'S day, but I would counter that I wouldn't care about that very much if I were the one he was continually abandoning.
-The second half of the book is the continuing adventures of Sam and Frodo (& Gollum) and the first half is the rest of the surviving members of the Fellowship. I thought it was odd to do it that way.
-I <3 Gimli + Legolas. I love their friendship so much. I'm glad that they didn't waste a ton of time being in conflict so that they could find out how much they have in common gradually. I'm glad that they are dissimilar friends who get on and stick up for each other and care about each other and aren't afraid to say it. I love reading about best friends.
-Frodo and Sam's relationship, however, is not really that of best friends. They are master and servant, and I find it less compelling and a little uncomfortable, actually.
-Frodo was an interesting character in the first book, but he's so cowed by the ring in this one that he doesn't really have a personality. It makes sense, but it doesn't make for a very interesting read.
-Foromir was great. What a nice, practical dude.
-Orcs are more intelligent than I had realized. I didn't remember from the movies that they could actually conversate and strategize and plan for their futures and whatnot. I thought they were just gross soldiers made in a vat who did what they were told. It's certainly more interesting that they are actual individuals with names and motives and such.
-The narration continues to be spectacular. Fewer songs in this one than the first, I think.(less)
I liked this one more than other ones! I liked the extended story of Snow White & Rose Red. I liked the duel between Bellflower and Mr. Dark. I di...moreI liked this one more than other ones! I liked the extended story of Snow White & Rose Red. I liked the duel between Bellflower and Mr. Dark. I disliked all the stupid filler at the end.(less)
This was good. The dragons were like Vulcans, and I *love* Vulcans. It was a nicely realized world, and I didn't think the characters or their actions...moreThis was good. The dragons were like Vulcans, and I *love* Vulcans. It was a nicely realized world, and I didn't think the characters or their actions were cliche or predictable at all. They were all quite likeable.
That said, it was definitely a YA book and I probably won't seek out any of the future volumes.(less)
Okay, so on second reading (actually, only listening this time) it still gets four stars. It's slow in the beginning but eventually gets going and get...moreOkay, so on second reading (actually, only listening this time) it still gets four stars. It's slow in the beginning but eventually gets going and gets me interested.(less)
I honestly don't know how to feel about this book. In some ways it was so compelling and wonderful and in others it is SO BORING. And not, like, at di...moreI honestly don't know how to feel about this book. In some ways it was so compelling and wonderful and in others it is SO BORING. And not, like, at different times. At the same time. I don't even know.
So much of it is pure dialogue, and he is SO TERRIBLE at writing dialogue, so how come I still like it?
I would not recommend this to anyone who has never read any Gene Wolfe. But if you have, and you know you like him, then maybe you can handle it. And think that it's great?
It was seriously either a two or a five so I gave it a three. I don't even know!(less)
This was very satisfying to listen to after having read the next four books in the series. So much foreshadowing, so much allusion that I missed the f...moreThis was very satisfying to listen to after having read the next four books in the series. So much foreshadowing, so much allusion that I missed the first time. Sometimes because you have to know what comes later, but honestly, a lot of the time simply because there is SO MUCH here that it's tough for me to remember everything. But yeah, this is definitely a series that gains from re-reading.
Not just information-wise, solve-the-mystery stylee; also in the relationships. It pulled at my heartstrings more, to hear these characters talk to each other and have hopes and dreams, knowing what (terrible) things are going to happen to them in the future.(less)
I bought this book because it contains "The Hedge Knight," a story by George R. R. Martin that takes place in Westeros (i.e. the world of A Song of Ic...moreI bought this book because it contains "The Hedge Knight," a story by George R. R. Martin that takes place in Westeros (i.e. the world of A Song of Ice and Fire.)
I'll try to remember to review each story as I read it.
"The Little Sisters of Eluria," by Stephen King, taking place within the Dark Tower universe (just before the events of The Gunslinger, I believe.)
Two stars. It was okay. An interesting little story (Roland only) that didn't feel forced or anything. Just Roland being Roland I guess. He's laid up in bed for most of the story though, so that's slightly disappointing. It's more fun when he's shooting stuff up. And palavering.
"The Hedge Knight," by George R. R. Martin, taking place on Westeros about 100 years before the events of ASoIaF. (You can tell because Aemon is currently studying at the Citadel.)
Two stars. At first it seemed cool because it was just going to be the story of a hedge knight trying to earn some silver at a tourney, but then it got all . . . Important, involving royalty and shit. So still cool I guess, but less fun I thought. It is neat to see names/sigils we know, and also to get to know some characters (like the Fossoways) whose descendents don't necessarily get more than a passing mention in the main series. I'm sure every little detail will be super vital to the overall plot, and I'll be scouring it for clues once I'm done reading all the extra ASoIaF stories, but for now it's nice to just enjoy it for what it is.
"Runner of Pern," by Anne McCaffrey, taking place on (duh) Pern.
I read this one next because I've read most of the original Pern books -- I tore through them in elementary and middle school. This gets, like, 1.5 stars. I didn't hate it, but just barely. It started out interesting, but then became . . . lame. Like, it started out about a badass chick who runs a zillion miles to deliver messages, and ended up being about some girl who wore a borrowed dress with a padded bra and snagged a boy because she was just so pretty. (Well, so long as she was wearing fake boobs.) The twist is that they're the same girl!! Wait I think I just bumped it down to one star.
Also it seemed like it was for kids? Are all Pern books for kids? Even if your main series are YA, this collection isn't, right? I dunno.
Those are the stories related to series I've already read. The remaining seven stories are from worlds I have yet to explore (IN MY MIND.) But I guess I'll see the thing through. Beeteedub, looking at the maps of the various fantasy worlds is kind of fun in a lame/embarrassing way. They're all so similar.
11/12/11 -- "The Wood Boy" by Raymond E. Feist. Part of his Riftwar Series.
One star. It was boring and insipid and didn't make me interested in reading the rest of the series AT ALL. Boo.(less)
Okay, so . . . again kind of a depressing book as nothing good happens to anybody, really. But if we're saying that we're in...moreHooray, I'm finally done!
Okay, so . . . again kind of a depressing book as nothing good happens to anybody, really. But if we're saying that we're in the "second act" of this enormous thing, that's the way of it. People have to screw up before they can make good at the end.
It's sad that I'm done with the book, but it's great that I can see what other people are saying on the internet without worrying about accidentally spoiling anything. Also I can finally talk to my husband about it.
With regard to my status updates, I have to say that I like all the repetitive stuff he puts in there. In such a sprawling narrative, it helps to keep things grounded. I also have to say that I am TERRIBLE with names -- TERRIBLE -- but he does a very good job with such a sprawling cast of characters. Not to say that I remember everybody, but I was never lost. That's pretty impressive.
I don't mind the length this series has become because I feel confident he has an end in mind. It's not like the Dark Tower series, where King was clearly making shit up as he went along; or Dune, where it seems like he had one (or two) story that he wanted to tell, but just kept going and going. There's clearly going to be an end here, it's right there in the title of the series: he might do a lot more meandering that he thought he was going to do, but we'll get there eventually.
So yeah, Kerry recommends. Even for people who don't read "fantasy" (I don't, really.) Cheers.
(P.S. I liked and agreed with this review. It talks about what happens (and who dies,) though, so don't read it until you've finished the book.)(less)