I have only finished the first book: The Castle of Otranto. The layout of this book was bad. Without the use of quotes or some other notation, it wasI have only finished the first book: The Castle of Otranto. The layout of this book was bad. Without the use of quotes or some other notation, it was difficult at times to understand who was speaking. The text also runs together with few paragraph breaks in an apparent effort to save pages. As for the story, I was disappointed on its lack of Gothic descriptions. I expected more from the original Goth novel....more
Simply because a child can levitate doesn't make her a memorable character. Characters must be developed. This book was largely a disappointment withSimply because a child can levitate doesn't make her a memorable character. Characters must be developed. This book was largely a disappointment with so much potential. Sigh....more
I’ve recently read “Charlotte Sometimes” if for no other reason than to compare The Cure lyrics of their classic song Charlotte Sometimes to parts ofI’ve recently read “Charlotte Sometimes” if for no other reason than to compare The Cure lyrics of their classic song Charlotte Sometimes to parts of the children’s fantasy. This is what I learned and it’s very interesting. ***Spoiler Alter***
All the faces, All the voices blur Change to one face, Change to one voice
First sentence: By bedtime all the faces, the voices, had blurred for Charlotte to one face, one voice.
Prepare yourself for bed
Second sentence: She prepared herself for bed . . . .
The light seems bright, And glares on white walls
Book 2nd paragraph, 6th sentence: The light seemed to bright for them, glaring on white walls . . . .
All the sounds of
Book 4th paragraph, 4th sentence: All the sounds about her . . . .
Charlotte sometimes Into the night with Charlotte sometimes
Book 5th paragraph, 1st sentence: She must have slept at last . . . .
Night after night she lay alone in bed Her eyes so open to the dark
Part II, chapter 4, 1st sentence: Night after night, Charlotte lay in bed with her eyes open to the dark . . . .
The streets all looked so strange They seemed so far away But Charlotte did not cry
Part II, chapter 4, paragraph 15, 1st sentence: The streets looked strange . . . .
The people seemed so close Playing expressionless games
Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 24, 3rd sentence: Charlotte, on the other hand, became absorbed, concentrating wholly on her fingers’ easing . . . .
The people seemed so close So many other names
Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 37: “Good night, Mr. Chisel Brown,” she said with almost a curtsy. “Good night, Mrs. Chisel Brown. Good night, Miss Agnes Chisel Brown. Good night, cat. Good night, dog . . ..”
When all the other people dance - Reference to school dance
Expressionless the trance - Reference to séance
So many different names - Reference to names of Brown family
The sounds all stay the same - Reference to airplane sounds overhead
On a different world - Past where Charlotte travels
On that bleak track (See the sun is gone again) The tears were pouring down her face She was crying and crying for a girl Who died so many years before
Part III, chapter 2, paragraph 53, 1st sentence: On that bleak track, the sun almost gone again, tears were pouring down her face. She was crying and crying for a girl for a girl who had died more than 40 years before.
Charlotte sometimes crying for herself
Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 13, last sentence: She began crying bitterly, could not stop . . . .
Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself
Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 10, 1st sentence: She dreamed she stood below the picture, The Mark of the Beast, and there were soldiers all around her in red uniforms, stiff as toys but tall as men. There were dolls, too, like Miss Agnes’s doll, as tall as the soldiers . . .
Glass sealed and pretty
Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 15, 4th sentence: And when she looked at the wall at the picture glass, it looked quite empty, as if a mirror hung there, not a picture at all.
Two other songs by The Cure, Splintered in Her Head and The Empty World, are based on “Charlotte Sometimes.” You can check out my analysis of those lyrics on my blog: www.AndrewBarger.blogspot.com. Thanks! ...more
We can forgive the sappy title of "Flowers for Algernon" only because of the fantastic novel Daniel Keyes has given us. For the most part the characteWe can forgive the sappy title of "Flowers for Algernon" only because of the fantastic novel Daniel Keyes has given us. For the most part the characters are robust and transformative. Apart from a different title, more showing and less telling would rocket this novel to greatness. Still, it is one that makes us laugh and cry. A must read in literary fiction circles and a novel that should be remembered for a long time....more
In The Dark Tower Book II Sk introduces us to three (mostly) disagreeable characters. The worst is Odetta who reminds me of Jar Jar Binks of infamousIn The Dark Tower Book II Sk introduces us to three (mostly) disagreeable characters. The worst is Odetta who reminds me of Jar Jar Binks of infamous Star Wars fame. That, of course, is not a compliment. Her racists remarks seem forced and gratuitous. And speaking of gratuitous, this book would have only been 40 pages instead of 400 if the swear words were cut out. How about more character development instead of creative cursing? In sum, I did not want to spend one book with these characters, let alone the next five DT books. For that reason I may never return. ...more
This collection is named after the first story, which is a certain classic and is a must read. The last story is not a classic but still excellent. ThThis collection is named after the first story, which is a certain classic and is a must read. The last story is not a classic but still excellent. The other stories sandwiched between these are fillers and pale in comparison. Save time and skip the middle of this book. But whatever you do, get your eyes on the title story and read it. ...more
I am a huge fan of The Cure. So when I learned of this book that was published over twenty years ago, I had to read it. Initially this was no easy tasI am a huge fan of The Cure. So when I learned of this book that was published over twenty years ago, I had to read it. Initially this was no easy task because it was difficult to find. A used copy showed up on Amazon and I snatched it.
The book is physically large and filled with great photos of The Cure's early years. Contrary to other reviews I have seen, the book does contain color photos though they are outnumbered by the black-and-whites. For some reason the text is intent on establishing The Cure as a classic heavy drinking/drugging band. I am unsure why because most fans (myself included) love The Cure for their music and phenomenal lyrics. In this regard I would have liked to learn more about the songs, what inspired them and how they were written. Alas, it is not until we get to The Top album that much attention is paid to song meanings.A few snippets address Camus and Killing an Arab, but that is about it. There is nothing about the whole drama that unfolded between The Cure and Penelope Farmer, author of "Charlotte Sometimes," when the song of the same name was released. (I analyzed the lyrics vs the book on my Cure blog - http://disintegrationnation-cureblog.... ) There is not a word about "The Gormanghast Trilogy" and its impression on Robert Smith and a number of the band's songs. An entire section could have described the video shot in the insane asylum and what Robert found there. Sigh.
Many bad reviews of The Cure are included in the book and a quarter of a century later appear comical given the wild success of the band. A number of these clippings are so small that one needs a magnifying glass to read them. The exclamation point is used like it is going out of style. But these are small annoyances.
"Ten Imaginary Years" is a must for any fan of The Cure. Just the photos alone make it worthwhile, especially those of a beanpole Robert Smith. If you only know Just Like Heaven and Boys Don't Cry, however, you will likely be disappointed by this book. Now, if only The Cure would publish "Twenty Imaginary Years," or better yet "Thirty Imaginary Years!"...more
Joseph Sheridan le Fanu is perhaps the best ghost story writer to emerge from the Victorian Age. His ghost classics include The Familiar, Devereux's DJoseph Sheridan le Fanu is perhaps the best ghost story writer to emerge from the Victorian Age. His ghost classics include The Familiar, Devereux's Dream, Madam Crowl's Ghost, An Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House and A History of a Tyrone Family, which was included in The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849 that I edited. The Best Ghost Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Ghost Anthology
And let's not forget his devil tales: The Drunkard's Dream and The Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh that are the foremost of their kind. Green Tea is one of his most anthologized tales along with A Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter, included in The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849. The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849: A Classic Vampire Anthology While Fanu's 1872 Carmilla is one of the greatest vampire stories of the nineteenth century.
So when Fanu penned his most ambitious work, set in an ancient mansion, the literary community took notice. In "Uncle Silas" Fanu has given us one of the best Gothic novels of the late nineteenth century. This was a time when corpses remained in the house for three days after death and laudanum, a cocaine derivative, was taken for the nerves. "Uncle Silas" has some of the best characters Fanu invented and is time well spent over a few wonderful stormy nights. ...more