This story reminds me of classic sci-fi movies. You know, the kind with the horrible special effects and strange premises. ("Close Encounters of the TThis story reminds me of classic sci-fi movies. You know, the kind with the horrible special effects and strange premises. ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind," for example. People turning into pods? Really? What is that?)
That's not to say that this story is terrible. Old sci-fi movies are fun to watch, because they're completely different from the entertainment we have now. The monsters back then were more odd in appearance, more imaginative. And the plot of older movies built their momentum slowly - instead of leaping out at you at a rapid-fire pace from the first scene, as is done in movies today.
Small rant here. Forgive me, but~ I think we've lost a bit of our creativity with today's blockbusters, no? Where is the creepiness? Where is that tingly feeling you get, as if someone is watching you from a distance? We don't get that feeling in movies now. Now, the monsters all look much the same. And they're more interested in blowing things up than in watching you, prowling after you.
So yeah, this was a nice change from what I'm used to.
I have to say, though, that this story would've looked completely different if it was written in our time. For one thing, it's obvious that Lovecraft built on people's natural fear of new things/ugliness to create the atmosphere of horror in this book. The monsters are humans who look like fish, and therefore, they are evil. EVIL! (He even emphasized this by describing people with the fishiest faces as having "evil countenances." Lol.)
Today, I'm sure "fish-people" would be regarded with more curiosity than fear. We would, at the very least, be trying to understand them, instead of avoiding them altogether.
But I guess that is a sign of a changing culture. It doesn't reflect badly on the book or Lovecraft himself. It's just a different approach.
Overall, I really liked this book. As usual, Lovecraft does a great job of building suspense. And even though I didn't enjoy it as much as some of his other stories, it was still good. ...more
I feel like I've completed a rite of passage by reading this. Now I finally know where the term Cthulhu comes from! (Yes, yes, I know, I'm an unculturI feel like I've completed a rite of passage by reading this. Now I finally know where the term Cthulhu comes from! (Yes, yes, I know, I'm an uncultured swine.)
This book was satisfyingly creepy. Since I didn't know much about Cthulhu going in, I had no idea what to expect. The imagery was brilliant: castles dripping with green goo... an alien world unaffected by Earth's laws of physics... and of course, the monster Cthulhu himself. That awesomely odd creature that brought to mind the kraken, Godzilla, and a bat all at once.
Here is a slightly less creepy version of the great Cthulhu:
But anyway, back to the review...
The Call of Cthulhu is written in the point of a view of a historian, who is endeavoring to piece together some strange events that have been occurring. After reading this, I can see why Lovecraft is considered one of the pioneers of this genre. It's evident his writing has influenced later science fiction works. For instance, the monster's way of "calling" to people telepathically is now a common occurrence in sci-fi shows and movies.
I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, is unfamiliar with older pop culture references. Or if you're just looking for a quick read when you're bored. That works too.
The Librivox recording is excellent, by the way....more
I don't typically read picture books. But I've recently started shelving books at my local library, aDang, I wanted a laugh but this book made me cry.
I don't typically read picture books. But I've recently started shelving books at my local library, and the Bad Kitty books are everywhere. Might as well read one, right?
Bad Kitty reminds me a lot of my Daisy-kitty. She gets into things she's not supposed to, and she wants things to go her way. (I tried to set up my Christmas tree this year, but Daisy decided she wanted to eat it. So I had to take it down. *sniffs* )
In this story, Bad Kitty is caught being mischievous. In her anger, she runs off and finds herself living on the streets during the holidays. She's taken in by a friendly woman, who reminds her of the importance of family.
This is a poignant story, which I think both kids and parents could enjoy. The illustrations are great. And I love how the author wrote it in the poetic style of "The Night Before Christmas."
(Also, kudos to the author for a subtle nod to lesbian couples.)...more
I saw the movie first. It was neat to read through the book afterward and find scientific parts that the movie didn't have time to mention.
I'll admitI saw the movie first. It was neat to read through the book afterward and find scientific parts that the movie didn't have time to mention.
I'll admit, I hard a hard time enjoying the book. I felt like it was missing something. The only character I felt a connection with was Watney... but even he was too super-human to be relatable. And there wasn't much depth to any of the other characters.... Their scenes were limited to movie-script style brevity. "She said this," "He said that." That's great for a movie, but in a book I'd like more description of these characters who are speaking. It wasn't enough to make assumptions about them based on the rare detail that was given. I wanted more. ...more
This is a great gift for a Harry Potter fan. The illustrations are brilliant, and the cover is beautiful. It'll make a nice addition to my shelf.
FantaThis is a great gift for a Harry Potter fan. The illustrations are brilliant, and the cover is beautiful. It'll make a nice addition to my shelf.
Fantastic Beasts is a lot of fun, but in some ways, also much darker than Harry Potter. (view spoiler)[A kid basically imploded. That's pretty dark. (hide spoiler)]
Eddie Redmayne as Newt was a perfect casting choice. He adds a nice amount of wonder and goofiness to the movie.
But Jacob is probably my favorite character.
I also love the beasts. The Niffler is adorable.
But there is an issue I had with the movie. Given that it's set in 1920s New York, and not 18th-century New York, why the Puritan theme? It honestly seems stereotypical. "Oh yeah, witchcraft in North America is associated with the Puritans. So one of the antagonists has to lead a cult of religious extremists!"
For me, that dampened the charm of the movie. Even in the 1920s, New York was a diverse city. Puritan ideas would have been fading away. I wish we'd gotten less religious overtones, and more "roaring twenties" charm. I mean, 1920s + magic + magical creatures sounds like the perfect equation for a fun movie. But instead, it sometimes felt like a jaunt into a hyper-religious nightmare. (Also, what exactly is "a 1920s version of Puritan dress"?)
Another thing that bothered me about the movie is that the magical community in New York was so austere. Queenie was the only magical person who seemed to have any sort of warmth. Everyone else was a slave to their job, and to their strict laws. Why? Surely Newt and Queenie couldn't be the only witch and wizard in New York with a personality, ha.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I liked the light-hearted bits, and wish we could've seen more of that.
Overall, it's a great movie. I'm not sure I'd read the screenplay again, but it's nice as a collector's item. I'm looking forward to the next installments. I hope we get to see Jacob, Queenie, and Tina again.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a quick read, and I have to admit, I rather liked it. I didn't think I would. After suffering through the dreary bog that is The Children ofThis was a quick read, and I have to admit, I rather liked it. I didn't think I would. After suffering through the dreary bog that is The Children of Húrin (which is a story found in The Silmarillion), I told myself that I would never, EVER pick up one of Tolkien's tragic stories again. All they do is drag you from one heartbreak to another.
But for some reason, I found this enjoyable. Odd, right? It's even darker than Hurin was, and has a choppier plotline. Usually that would turn me off. But there was something about it that drew me. I think maybe it's the fact that Tolkien wrote it in the style of a myth. It was almost whimsical at times, if you ignore all the death and revenge.
And I confess, because the writing style is so different from Tolkien's other books, I felt less pressured to compare it to Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. (I think that was my problem with Hurin. I'd held out hope that it would have some similarity to LotR, when in reality, it was very different. That's my bad.)
Oh! Quick note! If Tolkien fascinates you in general, you might want to take a peek at this book. He never finished writing it, so it's published in the form of a rough draft. That means that it shows words that he crossed out while writing it, and even lists some notes that he had written in the margins. How neat is that? I liked getting a glimpse his writing process.
Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to Middle-earth fans. But just know going into it that it's very dark. If you haven't read Silmarillion yet, you could maybe try your hand at this one first and see what you think. It would give you a small dose of all the horrible tragedies waiting for you later on. :p...more