Hopefully one of these days, time will allow me to write a book review that this tragically beautiful story truly deserves. Stephen King you are a genHopefully one of these days, time will allow me to write a book review that this tragically beautiful story truly deserves. Stephen King you are a genius....more
Neil Gaiman sure has an undeniable ability of conjuring a realm that blurs the lines between the beautiful and the bizarre. Whenever I come across a bNeil Gaiman sure has an undeniable ability of conjuring a realm that blurs the lines between the beautiful and the bizarre. Whenever I come across a book with his name in it, I always brace myself for an exhilaratingly strange journey. He just finds beauty in the most unexpected of places; from defunct roadside attractions, eerie-looking graveyards, old mysterious houses, and sleepy villages. He doesn’t just tell you a story, he has a way of transporting you with him, sucking you in – into a world that will nestle and linger in your memories forever. A true mark of a man with talent.
Here in Coraline, Neil Gaiman just proved to me how versatile he could be. A story most people claim is akin, or should I say a more twisted and horrifying take of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Coraline tells us the story of a young girl who found herself into a parallel reality strangely similar to the life she knows. It all seemed wonderful at first; kinder set of parents, delectable food, animated toys even talking animals! But at the same time, Coraline suspects something unsettling about the place. After all, the people in this other place do have buttons as eyes. In a race against time, Coraline must use all her wits to outsmart her other mother, save real parents or be stuck in that ghastly place for eternity.
I am quite amazed at how Coraline is considered as a children’s book. Yes, book is short and fast-paced, the prose is very straightforward and the narrative is reasonably easy to follow but looking back, I don’t think my eight year old self can sleep bearing the images the book has produced inside my head. I just wished I’d read the book before seeing the film. Unfortunately, I was one of thousands who had read it after the film was released. The feeling was rather different. I kept picturing the cartoon images of the film while reading that it somehow deteriorated the scare element that was supposed to be present. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the film version.
All in all, Coraline is one exhilaratingly frightening book that teaches its readers the concept of love, courage and the victory of good versus evil. The story will just remind you of the marvelous things about being a child. From start to finish, people will be on the edge of their seats, thrilled and rooting for Coraline’s triumph against the other mother’s evil clutches. Truly a scary novel with a heart that can be enjoyed both by the children and adults alike. 5 out 5 stars. ...more
Roadtrips are my weakness. Take any book, horribly written or intricately plotted, and put the element of a car with nothing but the endless asphalt aRoadtrips are my weakness. Take any book, horribly written or intricately plotted, and put the element of a car with nothing but the endless asphalt ahead and I am bound to love it. I guess since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of hitting the road off to an uncharted, unknown destination, with nothing but a few friends beside me and enough money to spare. This probably is the reason why American Gods by Neil Gaiman and John Green’s Paper Towns hold a special place in my bookworm heart. So it wouldn’t come to no surprise that despite my initial qualms about Going Bovine’s central character, I admittedly found myself eating my own words at how amazing this book has turned out. Perhaps I should always remind myself that the first few chapters do not define a book’s entirety.
The story begins with Cameron Smith, your quintessential quote, unquote modern day Holden Caulfield and his pursuit to get through life with zero attachments, whether from the people around him or from his own emotions. Sounds like a good plan, right? That is until he gets diagnosed with a complicatedly named illness called Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or more commonly known as Mad Cow disease. And just when Cameron thinks his life is going downhill, a pink haired angel clad in plaid and combat boots shows up to tell him that there is a cure, if he’s willing to find it. And thus begins, the craziest roadtrip ever conceived.
This book’s rather a stretch, I’m telling you. But a stylistic one in my opinion, because while some complained at how Cameron’s adventure seems tad too long, I feel cutting the story short will eliminate a huge element present in the story. Every pit stop that Cameron ends up to has contributed into something substantial for his overall character. From being annoying, apathetic and nonchalant toward everything, Cameron grew into a better person that cares and enjoys life. Every tiny event became missing puzzle pieces for an imperfect and incomplete individual, that along the process, I became more and more absorbed by his story. So from hating him, I started rooting for Cameron to prevail to hopefully find his cure.
I also loved how Libba Bray’s palpable narrative transformed every unusual character of the story (from an angel, a dwarf, and even a Norse god) into accessible fictional beings. Despite being in an almost crazy and surreal version of America, the secondary characters feel real and three dimensional. Bray’s ability to shift gears when it comes to being philosophical to being downright hilarious is also something I absolutely commend. Only very few authors can pull that off without it looking forced and she did quite an effortless job doing it.
With interesting parodic allusions about pop-culture, religious obsession, and human materialism, Going Bovine jumps from theme to theme with such ease that you couldn’t quite believe all such elements exist in just one story. And while I’ve somehow predicted how the end will turn up, still, its how I got there that matters (no spoilers!). I guess that is the whole point of the story, anyway. All roadtrips are somehow designed like that. So if you ever feel like reading something hilarious/profound/crazy/surreal/ then this is the right book for you! 4 out of 5 stars. ...more
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Apocalypse” or “The End Times?” — clearly it’s something that you don’t want to picture yourself in rWhat comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Apocalypse” or “The End Times?” — clearly it’s something that you don’t want to picture yourself in right? It might sound terrible and frightening, but apparently not so much, if you were to ask Agnes Nutter and her “nice and accurate” prophecies.
In a nutshell, the world is about to come to and end. The Anti-Christ was born. Heaven and Hell are both amassing all their strength for the upcoming Final Battle. The four horsemen — or in this story’s case, motorcyclists of the Apocalypse are banding together for their last journey. Everything, according to the ineffable plan was running smoothly. That was of course, until a dim-headed Satanic nun messed the whole thing up. (or didn’t she?)
Now, Aziraphale, heaven’s representative slash rare book-dealer must go alongside Crowley, a demon who did not fall but merely “sauntered vaguely downwards” to go look for the Anti-Christ, and possibly save the world a few more years. You see, Aziraphale and Crowley had been among us since the day of creation that they grew fond of the human lifestyle. In fact, the two eventually grew a perverse kind of friendship, despite being sworn enemies since the beginning of time.
Is there even possible for a novel this compelling to have a negative review? I seriously doubt that. I mean, both authors are undeniably pure geniuses. I ultimately love how Neil Gaiman’s expertise in writing dark materials (e.i The Sandman series) just wonderfully complemented Terry Pratchett’s comic prowess — a proof of how versatile and flexible both authors can be. The two just fed off into each others’ abilities that the synergy between them had produced a novel of this high caliber.
Oh, and another appeal of the book was its characters which were both funny and well-written. Crowley here, for example is not your usual ill-consumed demon who walks our planet only to spread evil to the minds of people. In fact, I even got a few strong points about good and evil after being inside Crowley’s head.
Overall, Good Omens is one heck of a roller-coaster ride being both exciting, funny and surprising all at the same time. A timeless cynical take on the book of Revelation. Who would’ve thought that the Apocalypse would be this quite funny?...more