Honestly I'm not even sure about how to write this review. How do you review a book that has such an impact on your life, stretching all the way from...moreHonestly I'm not even sure about how to write this review. How do you review a book that has such an impact on your life, stretching all the way from your childhood? J.R.R. Tolkien was my first, and still is, my favorite author of all time. Ever since 5th grade when I stole my hermano's Lord of the Rings book (all three in one!) and trotted around school reading it every chance I got, even had it taken away once or twice, yeah I was that kid, I loved the world of Middle Earth. While I read The Hobbit after reading the entire Lord of the Rings series (twice) it had the same effect on me. Middle Earth was probably the first thing that I was truly obsessed with. I don't think there has been another imaginary world that I have wanted to live in more than Middle Earth. While the worlds of Harry Potter and Narnia were also my escape when I was younger Tolkien's world has and always will have the strongest calling to me. Maybe that's why I have several copies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and while I have tried to read a book from the Lord of the Rings series each year I was long overdue for a rereading of The Hobbit. With the movie recently out of theaters and a local book club reading it for this month I decided it was most certainly time to read it again. It was no surprise to me when while reading it I was again sucked into the world that Tolkien created and while the story was still familiar with me even after all these years I still was so involved in the story it was hard for me to put it down.
"Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick."
I'm pretty sure almost everyone has had this feeling, the want for adventure and to travel and see the world. That is probably part of the reason why I enjoyed this book so much. When I was younger I was always pretending to go on adventures in the backyard where our tree house turned into a lot of awesome things. This book let you go on an adventure full of trolls, goblins, orcs, magic, dragons, dwarves, wizards, elves, gold, and everything a young kid could want in a story. While some may find Tolkien's detail (especially in Lord of the Rings) tedious and excessive it is what made Middle Earth so lifelike and why it was such a great escape realm. But enough of this nostalgia cause I could go on for hours.
As to the book in general there isn't much that I don't love about it. It has action and adventure but then there is humor and singing! What is a good adventure story without some singing?
"Far over the misty mountains cold. Through dungeons deep and caverns old We must away ere break of day To claim our long forgotten gold!"
This is a book that has elements for all ages, it can be read and enjoyed by kids and is still enjoyable as an adult. Tolkien could really weave a perfect story. I love the narrator in this novel for the narrator already knows everything that has happened and will allude to events that take place near the end of the book that will have you thinking, "No tell me what happens now!" It is just that simple tactic that will keep you reading all through the night the first time you read the book. After the first time though you read those parts and think, "No I don't want to get to that part!" One because you know what partakes and sometimes it isn't the happiest of situations and two that means you are nearing the end of the book.
My favorite part of this book is probably all the tie-ins to Lord of the Rings, especially the finding of the one ring and the game of riddles. While I love all the action and such in the book I just love the game of riddles. It is were you really see Bilbo's wit (even though he does cheat) and the riddles themselves are just fun. I like riddles so I would try to figure out the answer before I continued reading even though the movie made some of them easy. It is also interesting to see how the character of Bilbo changes over the course of the entire novel. At first he is just a scared Hobbit who seems to at first regret his decision to go on an adventure with the dwarves. The dwarves at first don't seem to really see Bilbo as a great asset to the group and seem for the first half to kinda count him out. But as the book progresses you see Bilbo get braver and stronger.
"I will give you a name," he said to it, "and I shall call you Sting"
I think this is one of Bilbo's strongest lines in the book finally accepting the adventure and that there is more to himself that even he knows. As Bilbo comes into his own you see his wit and smarts come out even more showing the dwarves that he may be the most valuable asset of the group. Right after Bilbo as my favorite character comes Thorin Oakenshield. I think the main reason why he is one of my favorites is because of the similarities to Aragorn as a King without a crown. While he makes many mistakes on the way to the mountain and even afterwards in the end he redeems himself and just seems to be one of my favorite characters in the book, and lets be honest the movie version of Thorin made me like him even more.
As to my least favorite part of the book it would have to be how absolutely un-climactic the ending of the book is. For those that have not read the book I will mark major spoilers but honestly go and get this book immediately, you need to read it! The dragon is the main problem in this novel. Smaug has taken over the mountain and claims all the gold under the mountain as his and terrorizes the surrounding area.
"It does not do to leave a dragon our of your calculations, if you live near him."
The dragon is fierce and will not be easy to take down. So here comes problem one: (view spoiler)[The dragon gets shot down with one arrow?! One arrow hits his weak spot and he goes plummeting to his death?! And mind you it's not even by one of the main characters. Just felt this part could have been much more epic. (hide spoiler)] Alright so thats all done and all of a sudden there is going to be this large battle which has been foreshadowed all throughout the novel. It is going to be the best battle scene there are dwarves, elves, men, and goblins all about to fight and problem two: (view spoiler)[Bilbo gets hit in the head with a rock and passes out for the best part of the battle and the next thing you know the battle is over. (hide spoiler)] Anyways the battle is still epic but could have been much better if some things were done differently. I just didn't like getting the main things that happened after the battle was done especially in the case of the death toll. Sorry if you weren't aware but some have to die and you are not going to be happy about it that is all I'm going to say. Even with the battle being un-climactic I still cried at the end of this book cause you've gone on this whole adventure with Bilbo and all the dwarves that it is just heartbreaking in the end.
Tolkien mastery in writing really shows through in this book and all of his books. He weaves a picture so intricate that you feel like you are there on the adventure with the characters. This book is a lot simpler than the Lord of the Rings series. It isn't as intricate and detailed but still is able to tell an amazing story. I will say that I like Lord of the Rings better than The Hobbit, but that may just be because I read them first and that I read them more often but The Hobbit is still a great book that I think everyone should read.
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars because even with the cons I love this book to the ends of Middle Earth and back. Like I said before no other literary world has called to me so much as the world of Middle Earth so I would really recommend everyone to read this book you will not be disappointed.
Now I guess I need to say a few words about the movie. Honestly I loved it. I'm pretty sure I didn't blink the entire time. I walked out of there thinking while there are lots of movies that I positively love The Hobbit, like Lord of the Rings will stick with me forever. I don't understand many of the complaints people had with the movie. Yes, it is long but it was so full of adventure and action that, to me at least, it didn't seem that long. Also many people say that they messed with the plot too much. I don't see where the plot was messed up at all. A lot of things were added which I think add to the story and they are trying to add more tie-ins with Lord of the Rings, adding more about the necromancer and such. I thought it was well done and can't wait for the next one to come out. The acting was great, the cast was perfectly chosen and just the imagery and scenery was beautiful! Also the soundtrack was amazing and while having new themes kept a lot of the themes that were introduced in the Lord of the Rings movies. I especially liked reading the book again after seeing the movie because I constantly had the soundtrack playing in the background which really made the book even better.
Overall 6/5 stars.
"Roads go ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains of the moon.
Roads go ever ever on Under cloud and under star, Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green And trees and hills they long have known"
I can't gaurentee this review will be spoiler free but I will flag the major spoilers so if you have any thoughts of reading the book DON'T LOOK AT TH...moreI can't gaurentee this review will be spoiler free but I will flag the major spoilers so if you have any thoughts of reading the book DON'T LOOK AT THEM! Trust me this is a surprise you don't want ruined!
On the day of their 5th anniversary Nick's wife Amy goes missing. As with any crime where sometime happens to the wife suspicion quickly lands on Nick who looks anything but guilt free. The story is broken up between Nick's narrative which starts the day of the disapperance and Amy's diary which starts from their first meeting to around the time of their anniversary. This book is intense and a real page turner!
I had seen this book when wandering the book store many times but kept deciding to skip it, then I saw it in the used book section for 5 bucks! 5 bucks! It hasn't even been out a year! My roommate read it over the summer and said it was amazing so I decided to give it a shot and I'm so glad I did!! I love a good mystery and this novel didn't disappoint. To me it was like reading an ID channel special, it instantly sucked me in as I frantically tried to piece the clues together.
THE CLUES! That was part of what made this book great. Those little clues, or not so little clues, that pointed to one thing but then are suddenly overturned and you aren't sure what to believe. Every clue could be a red herring so what do you choose to believe and what do you choose to believe is a lie?! I love the fact that the book has a dual narrative giving you different insight on events and how 2 people can see things completely different. Yet both narratives aren't all together trustworthy which causes so many twists and turns in the narrative that seem to totally turn you in a different direction then you actually thought.
While I slightly saw the big twist at the second part of the novel coming it still surprised and outraged me. This book is frustrating, but in a good way. It doesn't give you all the answers right away, it is slow to deliever them making you dwell on them long enough to mess with your head, which is exactly what you want from a psychological thriller! I flew through this book, I needed to know how it was going to end. I ended up needing a lot of coffee today because I stayed up late finishing it. This book makes me realize how absolutely crazy people can be and how smart and clever those crazy people can be! I mean what sane person thinks of all that stuff. (view spoiler)[she saves her puke, his semen, and blocks her toilet to get her pregnant neighbors pee?! I mean this women is completely crazy!! At 15 she breaks her own ribs to get back at a friend who god forbid has more friends and didn't wait for her outside of English! She uses a wine bottle to rape herself so she can accuse a person of raping her later down the road?! This lady is terrifyingly good! (hide spoiler)]
I became totally engrossed and invested in this story. I cared about the characters, a lot. Even when my views on them did a complete 180 I cared about them. Those diary entires I mean some of them just pull at your heart! This book makes you realize how knowledge is power and when you know someone so well that you can perdict their movements and actions you can pull their strings any way you want.
The ending itself is just crazy, I loved it. The book itself was frustrating that I would have been extrememly disappointed if it ended any other way. I wanted to yell and scream and arrest people or hope an accident happened that killed a character. (view spoiler)[ Seriously don't look if you want to read this book (view spoiler)[ Amy is just crazy. She gets herself pregnant so he can never leave her… ever! That kid is going to be sooo messed up he will probably turn into dear old Dexter killing people when he is bored but only bad people because his dad will teach him not to be totally immoral like his mother. Then that last line: I just wanted to make sure I had the last word. I think I've earned it. Just summerizes how crazy controlling this women is… and how terrifying she is. (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]
Honestly just read this book it is a super fast read, you will need to know how it ends, and I would highly recommend it. (less)
"When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thi...more"When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta."
This book while starting with a seemingly normal line is probably one of the strangest books that I have read. This book is an epic ride that gets stranger and stranger with each turn of the page and then the end leaves you going, "Wait… what?" leaving you to sort through all the facts and decipher what was real and what was fiction. I have to agree with my hermano that this book reminded me of Lost. There were many times at the end of the chapters where this played in my head:
The plot of this book is strange and really hard to explain when asked but it all starts with a lost cat. Where did the silly cat go? And how can the worry over a cat bring out the whole plot of this book? LOST! This book flips through many different narratives from crazy sisters, one who makes men have sex with her in dreams (inception…), WWII stories that are flat out disturbing, a "dream" world, letters from a strange young girl, etc. You will go from images of a women with a cat tail to a vivid description of a man being skinned, that's right skinned. Murakami weaves quite some disturbing images in this book.
The message "water is bad" and other metaphors about water stream through the pages. And when you are up find the tallest building and when you are down climb down into the deepest well, and climb into the well you will. David Mitchell from Number 9 Dream had me wondering how he would get out of the well, how can you climb out without a rope? Who is the lady on the other end of the phone looking for just 10 minutes of your time to have a nice talk about sex? Where is the cat? Where is his wife? What is going on? These are just some of the questions you will ask yourself while reading this book.
This book should be the definition of plot twists and turns. With each chapter you will pretty much have no idea where the book is going, up until the end you will be wondering how the heck this book is going to end, how everything is going to wrap up. The thing is, not everything is going to be wrapped up and that's how Murakami wants it and a lot of things you are going to have to work out for yourself.
This is the first book by Murakami that I have read and I only wish I would have learned about his books before now but I am definitely going to read the rest of his books now. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants a thrill ride of a book but one that will make you think and keep you confused for a long time. Definitely a 5 out of 5 star book!(less)
Ghostwritten is a beautiful novel about human beings, their experiences and how we all effect each other. The novel is split up into different stories...moreGhostwritten is a beautiful novel about human beings, their experiences and how we all effect each other. The novel is split up into different stories which each take up a different genre and a different tone and story. The first story of the novel is about a terrorist involved in a strange cult that's goal is to "cleanse" the world. This story sets the scene of the novel and ends up being extremely important as the novel goes on. After reading this one I was wondering where this novel would go and I knew I was in for an amazing joy ride of a book. Which it was. The ending was astonishing and blew me away if I wasn't already going to give it a 5 star rating the last 70 or so pages definitely convinced me to.
Another one of the stories that stood out to me was the story about the tea lady and the story of her life. That story really showed the extent of human suffering. Regimes change and are overthrown and new ones take their place. When people rise up to destroy the current people in power it is usually because they are tired of the hardships and the suffering that they had to undergo. Yet as soon as those people gain power they again make those below them suffer until those rise up and replace them. “Always, it is the poor people who pay. And always, it is the poor people's women who pay the most.” It is a vicious cycle that every nation has and is undergoing.
This book reminds me very much of the show LOST how everyone is important in their own ways and how everything that happens can lead to bigger events. It also reminds the science geek in me of the transfer theory used in forensic science of how things can rub off on another person and have lasting impressions. A simple thing such as a handshake or saying hello to someone, or answering the phone call of a complete stranger can affect the course of people's lives and cause a rippling effect that can be felt around the globe. We all create these ripples which randomly bounce of each other causing bigger ripples the effects even more people until a simple thing can lead to a chain reaction that in some way affects the entire world. Think about that the next time you cut someone off in traffic or really do anything. Could this be the first incident that leads humanity to the end of the world?
Again this makes you think of what actually is the probability of things occurring in your life. Take for example a car crash. What was the chance that the other car was at that spot at that exact moment. What was the chance of YOU being at that exact spot. Was it because you were speeding and running late because of something that happened at home? Probably if you looked at the exact numbers of the probability of the event occurring at that time when taking in all the elements the chance would be pretty small. But that's what it all really is… chance. Everything that we do and everything that happens in our lives boils all down to chance encounters and chance events.
I really love thinking about life like that, as a series of chance. Chance is what brings you to what you are today. Life isn't planned out for us all because anyone/anything that somehow diverges from that plan causes the ripples which effect us all. It is amazing really. Life is made up of these chances that can really be described almost as miracles because the chance of things happening is so small it is basically a miracle that it happened at all.
Fun Fact: Probability of your being born: one in 102,685,000
Chance that is what it all boils down to. “If you’re in your life, chance. Viewed from the outside, like a book you’re reading, it’s fate all the way.”
Sorry I have pretty much diverged from the plot of the book but all that is what this book made me think of even long after I finished.
What I really what I loved most about the story, Mitchell's attention to detail and the subtle ways he connects the stories together bringing an "OMG thats the character from the other story!" moment. I love how Mitchell can craft such unique stories and stitch them together in amazing ways. My favorite stories was the musician and the noncorpum. I loved the musician stories for the way it got me thinking about chance and really showed the whole theme of the novel. The noncorpum was also amazing because of how it showed it going from multiple characters and looking for meaning. At first I couldn't see how this story related to the others but then realized it was all about chance again. I'm mad that I left this book at home cause there was a quote about accidents that I loved that really helped me understand this story. The noncorpum in the story I believe was an accident made by the Irish physicist [spoilers removed]. Also a note on the Irish, they know how to party and stall CIA agents!
This is overall an extremely powerful novel with a mind-blowing ending. I enjoyed Cloud Atlas better but this book was amazing for a first novel better than most author's first novels. Having read Cloud Atlas before this one it made me wonder if Mitchell had all his books planned out because of how he has his characters appear in multiple books and especially the comet-shaped tattoo. This is why I gave it all 5 stars because of how powerful and moving it was and I love when a book keeps me thinking long after I finish it.
My hermano also wrote a review for this book as well which I think is amazing and a lot better than mine :) (less)
After reading American Gods and watching the movie Thor I wanted to read all I could about Norse mythology. I found a free book on my Kindle of all th...moreAfter reading American Gods and watching the movie Thor I wanted to read all I could about Norse mythology. I found a free book on my Kindle of all the classic stories and quickly read through them. I absolutely loved the character of Loki, feeling he was the most dynamic out of all of the Norse Gods. And look at that face ;)
But that is besides the point. From there I found this book and it blew my mind.
This book was beyond incredible as soon as I starting reading it I had a hard time putting it down which was difficult because I decided to read this during the time of exams... whoops. I would like to say this book was EPIC but it was much more than that. I have always had a thing for villians in books and Loki is no exception, actually I would go as far as to say he is one of my favorite villians of all time. That is what hooked me to this book because it was from the point of view of Loki. Villians always seem to be more dynamic characters to me which is why I find them so appealing.
Loki is known as the trickster god and he is always playing an angle and keeps his motives hidden from those around him. Mike Vasich really brought the characters of Loki and Odin to life with his brilliant writing. I enjoyed the dark humor in it and getting to understand Loki's desicions even better and his thought process throughout the book.
And his descriptions especially in the battle scenes were brilliant and you honestly feel like you are right in the battle. The writting style made the book intense and like I said before, very hard to put down. The last hundred pages or so I had to stay up into the night to finish. The details of Ragnarok had me white knuckled (view spoiler)[because I knew the end for pretty much ever character was near (hide spoiler)]. Limbs are flying and blood is everywhere as pure adrenaline has your eyes eating up every word as the pages keep turning. Even if you are very familar with Norse mythology, which I can't claim to be but even so, I enjoyed the slight twists in the story that kept it fresh and original and the italicized sections that told the orignal tale.
Overall this book definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars and I am adding my new signed copy (Thanks again Mike!)to my favorites shelf. Even if you aren't totally familiar with Norse mythology or even have no idea I would still recommend reading this book. It is an epic ride! (less)
"Stories are, in on way or another, mirrors. We use them to explain ourselves how the world works or how it doesn't work.Like mirrors, stories prepare...more"Stories are, in on way or another, mirrors. We use them to explain ourselves how the world works or how it doesn't work.Like mirrors, stories prepare us for the day to come. They distract us from the things in the darkness. Fantasy-and all fiction is fantasy of one kind or another-is a mirror. A distorting mirror, to be sure, and a concealing mirror, set at 45 degrees to reality, but it's a mirror nonetheless, which we can use to tell ourselves things we might not otherwise see."
As always another wonderful book by Neil Gaiman. A great collection of short stories and poems that are haunting, disturbing, and funny all at the same time in a way that only Neil Gaiman can deliver. (less)
“Because,' she said, 'when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.”
I had the perfect atmosphere when I was reading this book. It was...more
“Because,' she said, 'when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.”
I had the perfect atmosphere when I was reading this book. It was dark, I was by myself and I kid you not as soon as Coraline enters the other world a second time when the creepiness heightens, it started to thunderstorm outside. All of this added to the overall creepiness of the book, which I enjoyed so much.
Having not seen the movie yet, which I hope to within the week, I wasn’t very familiar with the book except what I saw in previews and the book jacket. Coraline is a little girl who loves adventures and exploring. When she can’t go outside because of the rain she tries to entertain herself around the house finding her parents and the other tenets boring. That is when she finds a small locked door, which when unlocked, reveals nothing but a brick wall. Later that night a dark scurrying noise leads her once again to the door, which reveals now a small corridor. Coraline walks through into a parallel world where her other mother and father live. The other world is much more exciting, but in the end much more terrifying.
I wish I could have read this book when I was about 7 years old because I know it would have scared the pants off of me… cause at 20 it still managed to creep me out. I had heard it was creepy but it was more than I expected. I applaud Neil Gaiman for this book. The book had wonderful writing where kids and adults alike can enjoy it. He doesn’t waste a word and refuses to spell everything out for you, which adds to the mystery and the creepiness of the story.
All kids should read this book because of how much of a role model Coraline can be. She is an awesome character, brave and smart. The cat is also a really cool character and probably my favorite, especially at the end with the rats! I like the cleverness of the cat and the witty comments.
“’We...we could be friends.' ‘We COULD be rare specimens of an exotic breed of dancing African elephants, but we're not. At least, I'M not.’”
This book was just fun. I loved it. It was a quick read but completely satisfying. All that night every time I heard a noise I could have swore it was the other mother’s hand. This book read like a nightmare and I loved that about it. I liked the writing, I loved the character, there isn’t really anything about this book I didn’t enjoy… except that it was too short but that’s because it’s a kids book so I can get over that. That’s why this book definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars.
The sad thing about finishing this book though was the fact that I have now finished all of Neil Gaiman’s novels. I feel a bit empty when I look on my shelf and see no new Neil Gaiman for me to read. Oh well now I will just move on to his graphic novels and hopefully he will write more books.
And now I leave you with my favorite quote from the book:
“I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?”
How do I even begin to review a book like this? This book is one of the most incredible books that I have had the pleasure of reading. David Mitchell...moreHow do I even begin to review a book like this? This book is one of the most incredible books that I have had the pleasure of reading. David Mitchell not only managed to write 6 unique and fantastic stories that I would love to read on there own, but he managed to connected them almost seamlessly making one mind-blowing story.
Like I said I would love to read each story as an individual for each one is so dynamic in itself. It is almost hard to believe that the same author wrote each story since each has its own unique writing style. You go from a sailing journal, to comedy, to mystery, to science fiction, and even a post apocalyptic world. He threw in all of my favorite genres and the best elements of each.
When I started reading this book I instantly enjoyed it and liked each story and then loved when I started to realize all the parallels between the stories and characters, and how all the themes came together I was even more in love with the story and flew through the second half.
It is hard for me to pick which story I loved the most but if I had to choose it would be between the mystery story featuring Luisa Rey and the science fiction story featuring Somni. The Luisa Rey story was an intricate mystery filled with all the best elements, the heartless assassin who enjoys killing, the investigative journalist trying to prove herself, and all in all the conspiracy of the mystery that goes higher up than believed. The Somni story was brilliant science fiction where there are clones and the world has become dependent on technology and Big Brother is watching you.
One of the very interesting elements of the book was the language throughout the novel. Once the story about Somni started there was an extreme difference in the use of language. Words were forgotten and things such as movies were all clumped together and called Disneys and all cars Fords. In the last story the language we know was gone. The story itself was hard to read because of how the people talked. Even though this element was on of my favorite themes throughout the book it also was a reason why the last story was my least favorite.
This book will keep you guessing up until the end and even then you will still sit there afterwards just observing everything. The end of each of the stories is amazing and mind-blowing. As soon as you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down and you will be a better person for it. This book will give you a different outlook on the people around you and wonder how everyone’s actions actually effected your own, because one thing this book taught me is that everyone is connected and even the smallest things can impact someone in the future.
Well there is my review I would give this books as many stars as possible. But if you would like to read a fantastic review of this book I would like to send you here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... My brother and his review are the reason I read this book in the first place. ☺ (less)
Being a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes I was very excited to read this book and quickly flew through it in less than a day. That being said it is a prett...moreBeing a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes I was very excited to read this book and quickly flew through it in less than a day. That being said it is a pretty easy read but I was very impressed by the writing style and how it was very similar to that of Arthur Conan Doyle. I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes and in a way I'm kinda a Sherlock Holmes purist. I hate many of the new Sherlock Holmes books that puts Holmes against zombies, vampires, aliens, and things of a supernatural basis. I am always nervous about reading a Sherlock Holmes book not written by Doyle but I must say that I loved this book.
Like I said the writing style had many similarities to how Doyle wrote the original stories but yet managed to get his own voice in it as well. This book has more action than the originals but it made the book even better. The mystery itself was brilliant and as usual I felt myself struggling to solve the puzzle before Holmes (though I did get a few things right). The crime itself is very intricate and seems to have a more modern feel (which I didn't mind) and the solution to the mystery was more mature I guess you could say than that of Doyle. The book is in fact two mysteries but even though they seem mostly unrelated Holmes ties them together in a almost seamless manner.
Being a huge fan of Arthur Conan Dolye's Sherlock Holmes I loved the fact that Anthony Horowitz was constantly throwing in references to the original stories. I feel if you have never read a Holmes book before this one you will not appreciate the references and I don't think the book would be as enjoyable. So I would very much recommend this book to those who have read the original Sherlock Holme's mysteries or to read the originals first before reading this book. (less)
I will give this book about 100 stars out of 10. It is probably one of my new favorite books following very closely behind Lord of the Rings and Sherl...moreI will give this book about 100 stars out of 10. It is probably one of my new favorite books following very closely behind Lord of the Rings and Sherlock Holmes. It has been a very long time since I have read a book like this where as soon as it was over and wanted to flip back to the beginning and read it again. In this review I will refrain from spoilers but the identity of Mr. Wednesday will be revealed cause its too awesome not to talk about it.
That being said this book was AWESOME!!Neil Gaiman is swiftly becoming one of my all time favorite writers. That is why I vow that by the end of the year I will read all of his novels. As Odin as my witness I swear it! I just love his style of writing. He takes you on a mind blowing thrill ride that sucks you in and doesn’t spit you back out until you are finished and ultimately frustrated by the fact that it had to end.
Basic Plot The main character of the story is Shadow, a big, soft-spoken, mysterious, ex-con who at the beginning of the story is just being released from prison. His wife died in a car crash… yeah there’s more to that story… so he is released sooner than expected. On his way home he meets a strange man known as Mr. Wednesday who offers him a job. After refusing several times Shadow finally consents and drinks his mead essentially binding himself to his employer. His job is to do whatever Mr. Wednesday wants him to do:
You protect me. You transport me from place to place. You run errands. In an emergency, but only in an emergency, you hurt people who need to be hurt.
Mr. Wednesday turns out to be the great Norse God Odin, the All-Father. He tells Shadow that a storm is coming, a war between the Gods. The main plot of the book is that he is one of the Old Gods brought over with his people long ago when America was first coming to be. But now he is forgotten and growing weaker because people no longer believe. The New Gods of America are what the people do believe in: Media, Technology, Highways, etc. and these New Gods want to wipe out the Old Gods. That’s right a war between Gods, a war between the Old and the New. Without giving more away that is essentially a very lose and basic take on the plot of the novel.
Thoughts This books throws in mythology from every corner of the world. There is Norse Gods, Irish Gods, Egyptian Gods, Indian Gods, Hindu Gods, and Gods from everywhere else you can think of. I am familiar with some Gods, mainly from other books and movies but this book makes me want to go out and buy books about all the different types of mythology on the different Gods. Mr. Wednesday was one of my favorite characters in the book, one because I knew some things about the mythology of Odin, and two because the only way I could picture him after finding out his identity was as Anthony Hopkins in Thor:
Can Mr. Wednesday get any cooler? Well actually the answer is yes, yes he can.
One of the things I really liked about the story was that while the Gods are from all different corners of the world the story takes place in, well obviously America, but places I have been to and heard of. The book gives new meaning to random tourist attractions and hey it made me want to visit some of those places. I especially liked when they referenced the UP and the upper parts of Wisconsin. The little town of Lakeside reminds me of a lot of the small towns in the UP and makes me think of a place where my dad would love to retire. The character Hinzelmann greatly reminded me of my dad, (well until the end) he is a hunter, he ties his own flies, and he loves everything about the small town feel. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be my dad when he retires. One of my favorite parts was the mention of one of the best foods ever, pasties.
“They’re a yoopie thing. Mostly you need to be at least up Ironwood to get one. The Cornish men who came over to work the iron mines brought them over.” “Yoopie?” “Upper Peninsula. U.P. Yoopie. It’s the little chunk of Michigan to the northeast.”
This part made me laugh, one for the fact that the UP is mentioned, where my parents grew up and we frequently visit, but the fact that Ironwood is mentioned. While you can get pasties everywhere in the UP my family claims that the BEST pasties come from Ironwood. Also the fact that pasties are even mentioned (make sure you pronounce it right as my dad always says) because honestly everyone needs to try them, they are delicious. Then the book later mentions places such as Rhinelander and Eagle River, which I have also been to in Wisconsin.
I also loved the way they threw in all the different types of Gods and gave each of them their own special part. I especially loved Ibis and Jacquel, mainly because they ran a funeral home and Jacquel was a medical examiner. To my utter enjoyment Neil Gaiman explicitly described Jacquel performing a autopsy and I read the scene not long after getting back from work where I assist in autopsies and again Neil Gaiman did his research he got it spot on! The dynamic of all the characters was fantastic even with so many different characters Gaiman developed each one wonderfully and you really understood how each of them was feeling. I am excited to next read Anansi Boys which is about Mr. Nancy.
Again I really really enjoyed this book. I think everyone, even if you don’t usually frequent the fantasy section of the bookstore should read this. It is a literary masterpiece that I will probably read many times again.
I will leave you with my favorite quote from Hinzelmann:
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not fooling a soul”