Running Wild What an apt title. I was indeed running wild when I finished this book. At least my mind was. Maybe I was actually running too...I can't...moreRunning Wild What an apt title. I was indeed running wild when I finished this book. At least my mind was. Maybe I was actually running too...I can't remember. This novel follows the investigation of psychiatric adviser Dr. Richard Greville as he looks into the cause of a grisly mass murder. The murder involved some thirty two people and the murder weapons spanned from guns to crossbows, hair dryers to pillows, and even bamboo mantraps. Now let your minds wander and imagine the crime scene. You got it? Yea, that's some crazy shit. Now, at heart this novel isn't truly a murder/mystery type of story so I won't try and avoid pointing out the murderers in this review. I have faith in your intelligence, you'll figure it out before I did. No, at heart this novel is a work of surrealism that looks at human nature through a lens of absurdity.
The Pangbourne Estate The Pangbourne Estate is a place where the upper echelon of London's society raises their children. This is a place of luxury, opulence, and complete security. Nobody unwelcome enters and consequently no one without permission gets out. Each day is uncompromisingly scheduled with fulfilling activities. The parents are pleasant, sickeningly so. The adolescents are the center of everything. They are constantly monitored, constantly kept occupied, and constantly cared for. In essence they are trapped with no choice but to cooperate. Though their prison is undeniably a comfortable one they yearn for freedom, even if that freedom leads to a brutish and painful life.
"The Pangbourne children weren't rebelling against hate and cruelty. The absolute opposite, Sergeant. What they were rebelling against was a despotism of kindness. They killed to free themselves from the tyranny of love and care."
And so the Pangbourne Massacre happened. Most prophetically, as is his wont, Ballard anticipated the happenings of Columbine more than twenty years before with his novel Running Wild.(less)
I took an extended leave from the fantasy genre; yesterday afternoon, I decided to come back to the world of witchcraft and sorcery. Highly recommende...moreI took an extended leave from the fantasy genre; yesterday afternoon, I decided to come back to the world of witchcraft and sorcery. Highly recommended by fellow peers, I chose Garth Nix's well-known 'Sabriel'. Frankly, I was so impressed and drawn into the story that I finished it in two days and rushed to write an amazingly complementary review.
The plot was fantastic and fast-paced; there wasn't a moment I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Exhausting chapters of worthless garble is a common trait in many 'classic' fantasies. Nix has created an extremely believable and well-versed world, without the fluff. Poetic, dark, and forbidding, the heroine and companions are worthy of the world they are placed in. I could simply close my eyes and fly across the borders of what is called the Old Kingdom, in all its dangerous beauty. We are foreign visitors, as is the daring Sabriel. The plot was clear, concise, yet not overly simplistic. It begins as a search and rescue mission, and ends in a rich battle to save both the old and new aspects of this odd world.
Characters - wonderful. As rich as the world they reside in, Sabriel, Touchstone, and Mogget fully impressed me. They all read amazingly like living people, rather than a work of fantasy. Mogget, especially - his duel personalities clash wickedly, and he is not always what he appears to be; a cat? free magic?
To end this tiring review of a not-so-tiring story, I will add that this work is new, creative, and bold. There is a striking combination of modern technology and medieval swords and bows; a wall divides the two areas of the world. Many embrace magic, and others fear it - rightly so, for the wall does little to hold back the Greater Dead, a fearful object of the Old Kingdom.
Following in her father's footsteps, Sabriel will not fail the reader in a quest for a good read.(less)
More like a textbook of all the worlds myths than anything else, this encyclopedia is interesting to peruse at your leisure. I loved it so much becaus...moreMore like a textbook of all the worlds myths than anything else, this encyclopedia is interesting to peruse at your leisure. I loved it so much because it was able to point me in the direction of some of the most epic yarns ever woven from the beginning of recorded time to recent history. I still to this day look fondly through it from time to time.(less)
To all those people who love history here is the Nobel prize winning history of the Balkans. Andrić's style and precision are staggering and his book...moreTo all those people who love history here is the Nobel prize winning history of the Balkans. Andrić's style and precision are staggering and his book covers the history of his homeland over several centuries. The book is much better in the original language but the English translation is well done and succeeds in capturing the mood of the region. For you history students out there this is a must read. (less)