Both sexy and horrifying all at the same time. This was one of those that I read on the subway hoping that no one was looking over my shoulder. It's p...moreBoth sexy and horrifying all at the same time. This was one of those that I read on the subway hoping that no one was looking over my shoulder. It's pretty graphic. You know those old books of erotica that were super shocking when they came out but are tame by today's standards? This isn't one of them. It's still shocking and perverse.
I don't think I'll ever be able to look at eggs the same way again.(less)
This was my first Stephen King novel (really!) and I seriously don't get what all the fuss is about. Sure, this is an easy read and while it was never...moreThis was my first Stephen King novel (really!) and I seriously don't get what all the fuss is about. Sure, this is an easy read and while it was never so horrible that I wanted to abandon ship, it was the type of book that I found myself frequently setting down and not really dying to pick it up again. It was my commute book for a few days and I never even came close to missing my stop on the train -- you subway readers know what I'm talking about! For something that's supposed to be a horror/thriller-type book, it was not particularly suspenseful. It also wasn't scary at all.
And ugh, the characters. I'm not the type of reader who has to like or identify with the characters in a book, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about anyone in this novel or what happened to them. I don't generally like kid protagonists, however precocious they may be, so that was a big part of it. Wendy, despite being described as "a reader", does absolutely nothing in the book except sleep, whine, cook, and occasionally have sex with her husband. I guess this is King's idea of a modern, supposedly intelligent woman? I was probably supposed to feel some sympathy towards her but sorry, I just couldn't do it. And where do I even begin with Jack? Asshole. Abusive, misogynistic, pathetic asshole. Don't give me that "the hotel made him do it" bullshit. He was an asshole before all that ballroom mumbo jumbo. I would hate him if he didn't bore me so much. The way he complains about needing a drink on every other page and is constantly wiping his mouth -- I'm sure this is supposed to be some endearing flaw but I couldn't help imagining him as some fool bumbling around and drooling everywhere. Halloran... well, I guess he was okay, but I didn't really care about him either. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the few books that would have been improved if everyone died a horrible death at the end.
I haven't seen the movie of this either (I know! Another shocker!) but now I actually want to. I can kind of see how this might work better as a film. At least it wouldn't have random psychic ESP thoughts in parenthesis everywhere... or so I hope.(less)
I stumbled across this while browsing the Young Adult section of my local library, and while I'm still working on the first volume of the free, public...moreI stumbled across this while browsing the Young Adult section of my local library, and while I'm still working on the first volume of the free, public domain Works of Edgar Allen Poe on my kindle, I thought this would be a fun way to enjoy some of Poe's other tales.
This book includes abridged versions of 4 stories: "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether", "The Oblong Box", and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar". I had only read the first previously (and it was a long time ago), so I can't really comment as to how these abridged versions hold up to the originals. Each page is fully illustrated with beautiful, macabre full-color artwork by Gris Grimly that complements the text wonderfully. On some pages, various scenes are depicted in frames like a graphic novel, whereas others are large two-page spreads with just a few lines of text, like a more traditional children's picture book. It's definitely an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so.
I understand that there is a companion volume to this, so I'll be checking that one out as well. (less)
Yeah, so this is a bit of a weird one. But that's totally a good thing. It's not really horror, not really science fiction... but it has definite elem...moreYeah, so this is a bit of a weird one. But that's totally a good thing. It's not really horror, not really science fiction... but it has definite elements of those genres, among others. The plot is twisty and turny and doesn't really make sense because hey, everyone is on drugs!
David Wong (another to add to my author-as-character shelf) is one of the most creative unreliable narrators I've read--and I have quite a fondness for them. He goes so far as to invent plot holes and inconsistencies, then go back later and point them out, showing how the nature of reality is constantly shifting in his world. It's a warning not to trust any of your senses, not to believe his story actually happened the way he says it did while recounting the whole tale to a skeptical yet intrigued journalist in a strip-mall Chinese joint in Undisclosed Midwestern America. And yes, there is an actual story here, despite originally being published as a series of random online posts. It's a meandering, absurd, over-the-top plot, but a plot nonetheless. John Dies reminds me a little of The Illuminatus! Trilogy and Crooked Little Vein in ways, with a similar creepiness factor to something like House of Leaves. The tone is loud and brash and unapologetic, and yes, the humor is extremely juvenile. But come on, who doesn't think poop and dick jokes are funny?
I have to say, though, I was a little disappointed that (view spoiler)[John in fact doesn't die at the end. Misdirect! I guess that leaves room for the sequel that is apparently coming. (hide spoiler)]
In any case, they're releasing a movie based on it this year, and the trailer has me pretty damn excited. Check it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)