I find the film adaptations of Gaiman's work to be a lot more fulfilling than his actual writing, to be honest.
It's a shame, because he has a great m...moreI find the film adaptations of Gaiman's work to be a lot more fulfilling than his actual writing, to be honest.
It's a shame, because he has a great mind and all these wonderful ideas spew forth, but somehow they aren't captured too well on the pages.
Coraline is another instance of this. I wanted to read the story before I saw the movie (finally) and yet the bits that my sister told me about the movie, and the few short scenes I've seen excited me more than this book.
3 stars, because the idea is a really interesting one, the characters are intriguing but the writing was really amateurish. Shame.(less)
I had actually read this book a few years ago and had totally forgotten... until I got to the part in the summary about the crazy old grandma who twis...moreI had actually read this book a few years ago and had totally forgotten... until I got to the part in the summary about the crazy old grandma who twists the main character's mind. That part has stuck with me all these years, which goes to show good storytelling. Or maybe it just goes to show how creepy this book actually is.
As a crime and get-inside-the-killers-head novel, it is one of the best, no doubt. I don't know if I'd read it again right now (I think that I much prefer the quirky humor provided in the Dexter series) but there is something compelling about this novel that made it worthwhile to read. So give it a try if you want to get inside his head.(less)
Okay, so, this book was lacking quite a bit more than even the last crazy romp. The killer was actually quite interesting, but dearly departed Dexter...moreOkay, so, this book was lacking quite a bit more than even the last crazy romp. The killer was actually quite interesting, but dearly departed Dexter (or so it would seem) seemed to have mentally regressed. But not just Dexter; the plot has regressed as well. It's almost as though the author has been reading Paul Auster in the mean time and trying to somehow feed Auster's insane ambiguity into his own novels!
Anyway, I don't think that I'll read the next in the series. I could write a better serial killer than this anyday (although mine would probably use less alliteration). (less)
So, I'm not sure whether or not I liked this one better than the first book. Lets analyze.
Plot: Much more interesting this time around. The murderer w...moreSo, I'm not sure whether or not I liked this one better than the first book. Lets analyze.
Plot: Much more interesting this time around. The murderer was especially unique (a surgeon who is so skilled as to remove the eyelids of a human without causing other damage, and leaving the patient alive) but the last book did have that whole familial aspect which made a nice circle (although I find that the TV show connected that one a bit better.)
Characters: Deeply demented Dexter became more distinct, at least personality wise for me to understand him. It's still not to the point where I could say "hmm, so that's how a serial killer thinks" but I suppose that is lack of the author's skill, and not our darling dark Dexter. (Gotta love the alliteration thrown in!)
I wish Lindsay would have explored Deborah's character a bit more (especially with what happened at the end of book 1) but I suppose I'll just have to pursue book 3 to see if dear Debs decides to follow up with her hidden suspicions about Dexter.
The other characters all played according to rules, but I do so love what is starting with Rita's children. I wonder what Dexter will end up making out of them in the long run? (Perverse, indeed, but from a purely fictional story side, quite amusing.)
Writing Style: Once again, Lindsay was lacking a few fundamental skills (like a too hasty ending) but they weren't so outrageously evident as in book 1. I did have an evil chuckle or a perverse giggle every few pages, though, something that I deeply appreciate. They not only made the story more interesting, but it did give a deeper insight into Dexter's mind. Also, it resonates within me (fore who can still live in our modern western society and not become a bit cynical; like a catch-22).
I think I'll start reading the next book and let the full moon lure out my own literary dark passenger. (Cliche much?)(less)
Hmm, just finished and I have to say that it wasn't as exciting as the movie, Soylent Green. The framework for the movie is there, but the film took t...moreHmm, just finished and I have to say that it wasn't as exciting as the movie, Soylent Green. The framework for the movie is there, but the film took the whole plot to another level and created the famous tag line "soylent green is people".
Other than that, the book was actually an amusing sci-fi mystery read. Andy is a cop sent to find the killer of a high profile murder. While he is searching for the suspect (who is in hiding) we learn all about his life in the "modern" world: overpopulated, overused and dying.
Although wrought with political messages (especially that of planned parenthood) there are some valid points about overpopulation and using the earth as our own private wasteland that hit home. Especially since the messages come through the mouths of the characters.
One of the most schadenfreudliche amusing things in the book was how ineffective the people were when it came to government. A birth control bill was in congress for 35 years. People riot and protest and march but nothing changes. It really shows how ineffectual these types of protests are.
As most dystopian novels, this book also showed how the world might end up if we don't do something to change it right now. And although I have no idea what I can do to change, perhaps if I start small there can be more change created than otherwise.
The book ended on the cheering note of "344 Million Citizens in These Great United States. Happy New Year!" (less)
I really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me this...moreI really dislike Dekker's books. This is the second of his that I have read (both times as a book club read) and a lot of the things bothered me this time around as well.
Firstly, all the religious bits just get in the way of the storyline. In Thr3e it wasn't as pronounced as in The Bride Collector, but it still bugged me. Perhaps if you're religious you can see it all as "normal", but it just annoyed me.
Secondly, Dekker doesn't write well. There is nothing that stands out as amazing, nothing where the plot flowed extremely well, or I, as the reader, felt totally drawn into the story. At best, I can say that he doesn't suck at writing. It read like a very plain, very boring, very perfect writing style. Like a perfectly scripted computer would release. Completely boring.
Thirdly, the only interesting part of the plot was the very end... but if that's what you call a "major plot twist", then we're gonna have a problem. It's a rather overused theme, so not all that major and not all that amazing either.
Fourthly, all the references to psychology, and all the different types of mental disorders that Kevin could have just confused me. Perhaps Dekker should have dragged over a medical dictionary and researched a bit with a real reference source, not just the internet. Then I wouldn't be so annoyed at his vague descriptions.
And last of all, the characters were just flat, boring and predictable. Kevin was supposed to grow, that's the whole point of a main character. (view spoiler)[ And if finding out that you have a personality disorder is growth, then I suppose discovering that the main character really is bipolar and it's not all faked is also growth. Sorry, but it just doesn't cut it. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I doubt that I'll read Dekker again. There is nothing at all special about his works, his writing or his style. I can spend my time on much better books, where I can actually learn something, or at least be entertained. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
3 days in blood... creates a loathing for blood? At least bloodless body parts stacked up in patterns seem to be void of evidence.
Compared to the Sho...more3 days in blood... creates a loathing for blood? At least bloodless body parts stacked up in patterns seem to be void of evidence.
Compared to the Showtime show, the ending was very different from this book. I'm not sure which I liked better, but the Showtime one was obviously made for a continuing series. (I'll be interested to see how the story continues in book 2.)
I was really amused by Dexter's character, although it is a little... enigmatic at times. For instance, how can he keep saying he has no emotions, and yet obviously be feeling things? Perhaps by "emotions" he means more or less fitting in with the rest of society. Still, Lindsay shouldn't have applied such a black/white term to it.
Why not five stars? I felt the whole ESP/prophetic dreams a bit of a far stretch. Yes, there is such a thing as intuition, but for Dexter to have that many dreams, just seems a bit off. Using his own mind to think how the serial killer would think, that's different.
I wish there had been more time at the end scene, since I felt it was one of the riveting of the whole book. But otherwise, I enjoyed the "dark humor", the insight into a killer's mind (as unrealistic as it seemed) and the serial killer who is being investigated in the book. (less)
I actually read this book now. xD I can't believe that I never read it before!
First off, I love Dahl. He is an amazing author.
Secondly, I read this bo...moreI actually read this book now. xD I can't believe that I never read it before!
First off, I love Dahl. He is an amazing author.
Secondly, I read this book because it was listed as a BOM for my Banned Books Group.
Thirdly, it was really fascinating to actually learn the details of the story. It's been years since I saw the film, and I hadn't really retained much of it. So actually knowing how the peach grows, how James ends up with his motley crew and then their subsequent adventures was really really fun!
This is a children's book, and as such I find it hard to critique it now, at age 21. Perhaps the fact that I could read it at my age now, and still love it, is something for it, though. I can't think of many other children's books that I still enjoy reading. There is just something timeless about Dahl and his unique style that makes all of his novels still enjoyable even after you're not a kid anymore!
I had totally forgotten about my one and only circus experience: The Ringling Brothers Most Amazing Show on Earth in San Francisco when I was about 10...moreI had totally forgotten about my one and only circus experience: The Ringling Brothers Most Amazing Show on Earth in San Francisco when I was about 10 years old. This book brought all the experiences back to me, only different, since Jacob's circus experiences took place in the 1920's, and things have changed back then.
While reading this book, I couldn't help but get a strong desire to do my own research on circus' during the Great Depression. So after I finished, I did some online research and was really disappointed to find almost nothing. Which the author also wrote about after the Epilogue of the novel.
One of the things I love most about this book is the historical bits and pieces that Gruen managed to toss together and make coherence out of. That the book started with the end, then told the story in bits and pieces as Jacob-the-90-or-93-year-old-man remembered it and then finished with the end again didn't bug me, I was also surprised to figure out. Normally I hate books where you're always jumping around in time and space and you need to add all the pieces together on your own, but Grue made a really great job out of it: giving just enough information to want to read on, but also giving contemporary life details to make you realize that this story has a happy ending.
The second thing that I loved most were the characters. I really wish Jacob had more interaction with some of the more unsavory characters of the circus train, or that Gruen had written them in more clearly, because there was definitely a lot of room for improvement there. They are what made the whole novel obtain a sense of real-ness, like the story actually happened and often times I was wishing that there were more details. Otherwise, the circus train had an amazing cast of characters, most of them as flamboyant as I had hoped for.
I definitely learned a lot about circus', more about the Great Depression and some new things about the boy's side of falling in love. It really is a charming, wonderful book that I can only suggest to everyone to read! (less)
Okay, so I never posted a review after I finished reading Fight Club, so I will try and remember what I thought at the time now!
I have seen the movie...moreOkay, so I never posted a review after I finished reading Fight Club, so I will try and remember what I thought at the time now!
I have seen the movie a few times, before I read this book. Usually when I watch the movie first, I think that the movie is better. In this case, I have to say that the movie adaption was amazing and that Palahniuk's writing was also amazing. I couldn't tell you which is better, because both are just incredible.
I loved how Palahniuk managed to write the paradox of the main character / Tyler Durden without giving it away until the time came for the reader to understand. I was hoping that it wasn't too obvious (but since I knew the "plot twist" thanks to the film) I wasn't disappointed! If I had read the book first, I would have been totally surprised too (just like I was in the film). [I am trying not to give away spoilers here, btw!]
I think that the film adaption showed the whole paradox a bit better than the book did, but the book explained everything going on with a lot more details, and I felt like I was really in the main characters mind.
It's an amazing book, but if you don't want to read it, at least watch the movie! :D(less)
After having left over 50 reviews in the last two days on past books I've read, I'm finding it a bit hard to write one for Stardust. Let' get the obvi...moreAfter having left over 50 reviews in the last two days on past books I've read, I'm finding it a bit hard to write one for Stardust. Let' get the obvious out the way then:
First off, I watched the movie, and only later discovered that it was based on the book by Niel Gaiman. In this case, I have to say that the movie was better than the book, only because it was more polished and the lines were more easily drawn. Plus, there was a big end-battle in the film that didn't exist in the story.
Next up, I really loved this book. I most especially love the way that Gaiman tells the tale, as though he is telling me an old folk legend and yet telling it to me in such a clear, insightful, detailed way without boring me with too much. His writing is outstanding in the fact that I have nothing to complain about.
His characters were wonderful as well. I loved how he tossed in a bit of everything Faerie, and a few science fiction bits as well. I feel that the film built up on the story he created, but the story is still something remarkable.
In general, it was a great, light, read which kept me wanting to stay up late to continue (and finish) and had me sitting on the edge of my figurative seat at a few moments. Great fun, and comes recommended!(less)
I had to read this for school, and I have to say I was bored during most of it. Usually I tend to just fly through books (espcially for English class)...moreI had to read this for school, and I have to say I was bored during most of it. Usually I tend to just fly through books (espcially for English class) but I was the last person done with this one!
Still, Capote couldn't have written it more boringly if he had been named James Joyce, it was that dreary. (less)
The book based on the movie by the same name, I felt that the movie was very superior to this book. Perhaps it is just that the story line can be show...moreThe book based on the movie by the same name, I felt that the movie was very superior to this book. Perhaps it is just that the story line can be shown easier than told?(less)
I couldn't watch the movie. And I couldn't enjoy the book. I have this problem with a lot of Asian literature... and I think it's just because their m...moreI couldn't watch the movie. And I couldn't enjoy the book. I have this problem with a lot of Asian literature... and I think it's just because their mentality is so different from that of my own (although I don't have that problem with Thai or Indian based literature).
A lot of the scenes in this book were just revolting... like that man and his jutting, drooling jaw and how she had to have sex with him.
Also, I don't feel like I really understand what a Geisha is after reading this book. If the author wanted to convey that they were more than just high-class prostitutes, she didn't do it too well in my eyes.
I left this book feeling disappointed and disgruntled. (less)
The Picture of Dorian Gray is another classic that I've read again and again. I suppose you could even count this book to be in the 'magical realism'...moreThe Picture of Dorian Gray is another classic that I've read again and again. I suppose you could even count this book to be in the 'magical realism' genre (one that I adore) due to it being so realistic, and yet, there is the whole idea of a picture ageing where the man doesn't.
Still, I believe that Wilde was trying to tell us more about humanity and cruelty rather than what immortality would taste like.
I can't really explain why I adore this book so. Part of it is due to the Wilde's writing style and his characters but a lot is also based on the issues that he raises (what with romance, and human cruelty and our truer, baser natures, etc).
Wilde wove a magical atmosphere wrought with some of the darker parts of our natures that just spoke to something in me. It's definitely worth reading, if only for the freaky scenes where Dorian Gray figures out what happened to him!(less)