this is one of my favorite books in all the land. i read it at least a million times when i was little, and it holds such a special place in my heart,this is one of my favorite books in all the land. i read it at least a million times when i was little, and it holds such a special place in my heart, i can't even begin to review it. having said all that, there are those who have a problem with the ending, because let's just say it's fairly devastating. so, as a band-aid to the heart of monica!, i have rewritten the ending to make it a little more jolly. with all apologies to wilson rawls, whose ending i thought was spectacular, allow me to present THE WAY Where the Red Fern Grows SHOULD HAVE ENDED. AND NOW DOES.
(view spoiler)[The fourth time they treed, they were on top of a mountain. After the long chase, I figured the animal was winded and would stay in the tree. In a trot I started to them.
As I neared the tree, Little Ann came to me, reared up, and whined. By her actions, I knew something was wrong. I stopped. In the moonlight, I could see Old Dan sitting on his haunches, staring up at the tree and bawling.
The tree had lots of dead leaves on it. I knew it was a large white oak because it is one of the last trees in the mountains to lose its leaves.
Old Dan kept bawling. Then he did something he had never done before. For seconds his deep voice was still, and silence settled over the mountains. My eyes wandered from the tree to him. His lips were curled back and he snarled as he stared into the dark foliage of the tree. His teeth gleamed white in the moonlight. The hair on his neck and along his back stood on end. A low, deep, rumbling growl rolled from his throat.
I was scared and I called to him. I wanted to get away from there. Again I called, but it was no use. He wouldn't leave the tree, for in his veins flowed the breeded blood of a hunting hound. In his fighting heart, there was no fear.
I set the lantern down and tightened my grip on the handle of the boombox. Slowly I started walking toward him. I thought, "If I can get close enough to him, I can grab his collar." I kept my eyes on the tree as I edged forward. Little Ann stayed by my side. She, too, was watching the tree.
Then I saw them - two burning, yellow eyes - staring at me from the shadowy foliage of the tree. I stopped, petrified with fear.
The deep baying of Old Dan stopped and again the silence closed in.
I stared back at the unblinking eyes.
I could make out the bulk of a large animal, crouched on a huge branch, close to the trunk of the big tree. Then it moved. I heard the scratch of razor-sharp hooves on the bark. It stood up and moved out of the shadows on to the limb. I saw it clearly as it passed between the moon and me. I knew what it was. It was the devil unicorn of the Ozarks.
The silence was shattered by one long, loud bawl from Old Dan. I'd never heard my dog bawl like that. It was different. His voice rang out over the mountains, loud and clear. The vibration of the deep tones rolled in the silence of the frosty night, on and on, out over the flats, down in the canyons, and died away in the rimrocks like the cry of a lost soul. Old Dan had voiced his challenge to the unicorn.
There was a low cough and a deep snort from the unicorn. I saw him crouch. I knew what was coming.
My hands felt hot and sweaty on the smooth handle of the boombox. With a blood-curdling whinny he sprang from the tree with limbs outspread and long, yellow horn bared.
Old Dan didn't wait. Rearing up on his hind legs, he met the unicorn in the air and busted out a smooth pop & lock. the groove rolled him over and over. He wound up in a fallen treetop.
The impact of his classic moves threw the unicorn off balance. Little Ann darted in. Her aim was true. I heard the snap of her paws as she deployed a full-out Harlem Shake.
With a squall of awe and rage, the unicorn spun around and began rocking his pelvis, performing some advanced booty-pops. His right hoof reached out and curved over his shoulder, in a "what you got??" taunt. Sinews tightened.
Little Ann executed a pas de beurre into a jazz square blowing his mind with this bizarre combo.
Old Dan, stunned for an instant from the impact of her footwork, fought his way from the treetop.
Bawling the cry of the damned, he charged back in.
I went berserk, and charged into the crew.
There in the flinty hills of the Ozarks, I fought for the honor of my dogs. I fought with the only weapon I had - the dance.
Screaming like a madman, with tears running down my face, I did the Running Man, the Cabbage Patch, the Humpty Hump at the big twerking unicorn.
Once, feeling the bite of my Roger Rabbit, the unicorn turned on me. His yellow slitted eyes burned with hate. The long, lithe body dipped low to the ground. The shoulder muscles knotted and bulged as it negotiated a textbook Worm. I tried to jump back, but my foot slipped and I dropped to my knees. I knew I was trapped. With a terrifying scream he sprang - in a death-spiral pirouette.
I never saw my dogs when they got between the unicorn and me, but they were there. Side by side, they rose up from the ground as one. They sailed straight into that horn of death, their small, red bodies taking the frantic krumping meant for me.
I screamed and charged back into the battle, swinging my arms, but I was careful not to disrupt the groove of my dogs.
The battle raged on and on, down the side of the mountain, over huckleberry bushes, fallen logs, and rocks. It was a rolling, tumbling mass of dancing fury. I was in the middle of it all, falling, screaming, crying and Crip Walking at every opportunity.
I had impressed the unicorn several times. Sweat ran through its mane, but as yet I had not busted that decisive move. I knew it had to be soon for my dogs were no match against the freestyle mastery of the unicorn.
The screams of the unicorn and the deep bellowing voices of my dogs echoed through the mountains as if the beat box of hell had been turned loose. Down the side of the mountain, the terrible competition went on, down to the very bottom of the canyon.
The unicorn had Old Dan by the balls. Figuratively. I knew he was looking to own him with the all-important move - the moonwalk. At the pitiful bawl of Old Dan, Little Ann, throwing caution to the wind, ran in and began an uprock sequence with burns that I had never seen from her before. With her claws digging into the mountain soil, she braced herself, and started pulling. The muscles in her small legs knotted and quivered. She was trying hard to pull off a routine that would end this once and for all.
In the rays of a bright Ozark moon, I could see clearly. For an instant I saw the broad back of the big unicorn. I saw the knotty bulge of steel-bound muscle, the piston-like jerk of the deadly hind legs, trying for the moonwalk that could disembowel a dog. Again, figuratively.
Raising the boombox high over my head, like John Cusack, I blasted a beat I knew would inspire Ann to funktastery. My aim was true. The beats cleaved through the tension. They seemed to hiss as they sliced their way through the dancers. Ann began to spin, faster and faster.
The unicorn broke eye contact with Old Dan. With a scream of pain, he reared up on his hind legs and started pawing at the air. But it was too late. Ann was in the zone. Her eyes were shut tight and her small feet were digging and clawing in the dirt. All of a sudden, she began to levitate, rising high in the air. Her long, red body sailed and twirled in between the hooves of the gasping unicorn.
The unicorn screamed again. Sweat gurgled and sprayed. In a rainbow-colored mist, it rained out over the underbrush and rattled like sleet on the white oak leaves.In a boxer's stance, he stood and clawed at the air. His slitted eyes turned green with hate. He seemed to be unaware that the battle was over, and kept staring at me. I stood in a trance and stared back at Little Ann's vertical ascent.
The expectation of triumph was slowly leaving him. He had been schooled but was refusing to go down. My boombox continued to churn out fat beats. A shudder ran through his body. He tried once again to moonwalk. But it was too late.
It was the end of the trail for the scourge of the dance. No more would he scream his challenge from the rimrocks to the valley below. The small, harmless calves and the young colts would be safe from his Boogaloo.
He fell toward me. It seemed that with his last effort he was still trying to step to me.
And then, abruptly, his hooves struck the ground. With a final snort, he tossed his mane in defeat, and slitted his eyes at the still-spinning, still-levitating Little Ann. Scowling at each of us in turn, he whinnied as if to say, "You win this one, but this is not over! For realz," and galloped off into the frosty darkness.
Ann's rotations began to slow as she corkscrewed down to the ground again. Panting, Old Dan ran to her and sniffed her all over, his tail wagging furiously. I lowered the boombox, pressed the "Stop" button, and the sounds of the forest returned in the ensuing calm.
"Well, that was close!" I declared as Little Ann and Old Dan wrapped up their olfactory celebration. They turned to me with great doggie grins, their tails red blurs behind them.
"Who wants kibbles?" I asked my beloved pets.
And then the three of us lived forever and ever and ever the end.
this book made me wet myself. twice. i wish to god i was exxagerating. or elderly. but poor dfw on a cruise ship... no one has ever paired genius withthis book made me wet myself. twice. i wish to god i was exxagerating. or elderly. but poor dfw on a cruise ship... no one has ever paired genius with social awkwardness more charmingly. ...more
i had never read this series, but had always wanted to. so ariel straight up mailed it to me! like sahow great is ariel?? ariel is exactly this great:
i had never read this series, but had always wanted to. so ariel straight up mailed it to me! like santa! in june!
ariel, i have also always wanted a choker made of rubies and emeralds and sweet sweet diamonds.
while i am waiting for that,i will write a review for this book. obviously, there are going to be comparisons to that narnia series - british siblings shuttled off to a spooky house with secret passageways behind a wardrobe with an eccentric older relative and some christian mythology thrown in for funs.
even better than narnia, this reminded me of my very favorite series of children's books by peggy parish (but not her amelia bedelia stuff - that just paid the rent). the better series of books were the ones featuring liza, jed, and bill (the only twins that are not evil). they had the best relatives who were always leaving them mysteries to solve in the form of secret notes and clues and maps and little carved wooden toys.... i believe i read all of them, but reading this made me want to read them all again and cross fingers that there was one i missed so i can go back and have an all new exciting adventure with my favorite detectives!!
but i will finish this series,too, naturally.
thank you ariel. i will go run to mailbox now. jewels!! they come!!
this book is about zombies the same way the bible is about god. they are mostly background actors who are the reason other characters do what they dothis book is about zombies the same way the bible is about god. they are mostly background actors who are the reason other characters do what they do and occasionally they will rarrrr in and kill a bunch of people because they cant help it, but mostly they are an invisible presence, always to be feared but never given a voice.
this whole book takes place after the zombies have already destroyed most of the world and is a collection of the testimonials of hundreds (?) of different characters detailing their experiences with the zombie outbreak, and how they have survived. because of this, there arent really any action scenes, or any immediate terror. this book is more about politics and global concerns and human nature and dissatisfaction with the way the government handles natural disasters and (im gonna say it, im gonna say it) the zeitgeist (woohoo) than it is about man-eating corpses. it takes into account so many different aspects of post-zombie experience that i never would have considered like what will the actors do now? and what happens if a zombie gets on board your boat? and how will this affect the rest of the food chain? very multi-faceted, if not what i was expecting.
also interesting: the role of castles in a zombie holocaust, and the underground tunnels in paris: unsafe. so for people like alfonso, who do not enter a room without first considering their escape routes should zombies attack, this could give some interesting perspectives about what may have been overlooked, and provide some good food for thought. brains are for thought. brains are zombie food. you do the math.
uh-oh - book avalanche... maybe more later......more
im no teen, so i cant adequately judge this. it seems more interesting than some of the teen fiction books out back when i was wee, but more like a faim no teen, so i cant adequately judge this. it seems more interesting than some of the teen fiction books out back when i was wee, but more like a fable or a fairy tale than a full length novel. not a waste of an hour and a half.......more
good gravy, i love chip kidd. this book is like bookporn; me drooling over every cover, because i am someone who is completely influenced by covers -good gravy, i love chip kidd. this book is like bookporn; me drooling over every cover, because i am someone who is completely influenced by covers - i cant even help it. i have multiple books-by-the-same-author even if ive never read the author just because they consistently have great covers. i just buy them every time they write a new one, and every time i think - "man, i should read one of them - they might not even be that good", but that is a problem working in the book biz - the seeing and the wanting and the having. chip kidd just happens to make a disproportionate amount of wonderful book covers. and hes funny, too, when talking abouit his process and experiences. i wanted this book for so long, but for some reason it didnt seem like somthing one should buy oneself. so i wishlisted it and now i have it, and i can admire its layout and contents any time i please. volume two please......more
eh. this book proves that we must always read the back of books before buying them, and not just be transfixed by reflective silver surfaces. i boughteh. this book proves that we must always read the back of books before buying them, and not just be transfixed by reflective silver surfaces. i bought this years and years ago and decided to finally read it. and for some reason, even after a casual remembering-glance at the back cover copy, stubbornly mentally insisted it was victorian. a nice victorian suspense-y thing, thought i. it actually takes place in the 90's. the 1990's. so it was jarring at first, and then there's an exhausting amount of detail involving impenetrable (to me) english estate law, which i just said blah-di-blah to and carried on... it's fine, but not great. if you are a londoner, it might be more enjoyable to you, because of all the descriptions of location and a subtext which i'm sure i didn't appreciate fully, having been in london a total of 2 days. in the 1990's....more
i have a long and troubled relationship with the russians. for years i didnt want to read them, because i felt that i wouldnt understand them with thei have a long and troubled relationship with the russians. for years i didnt want to read them, because i felt that i wouldnt understand them with their troubled political history, their interchangeable names, their fucking ability to endure that is so intimidating and making-me-small-feeling. and then i read bulgakov. and i felt a little more confident.... then i got a little older and i thought... maybe im ready for some dostoevsky... and then i wondered what i had been so worried about, because it was all so accessible. then in my twenties i read kurkov, solzhenitsyn, nabokov, makine, zamyatin, chekhov... i have been around the russian block, my friends... and yet... theres still this barrier between us. i feel like there is so much subtext i am just missing... that unless you are russian, there is something gently exclusionary about the writing - that you could know all there is to know about russia and its history and its peoples and still - this is not intended for you. anyway, this book was very good but im sure that a real russian would appreciate it in some more deeply personal way than i ever could. ...more
okay so i,of course, was initially drawn to this book because it has shiny cover. i am like a magpie or a raccoon or something... and then it just satokay so i,of course, was initially drawn to this book because it has shiny cover. i am like a magpie or a raccoon or something... and then it just sat on the shelf for ages and one day i read the description of it somewhere. and it's all "whore" on her ankle and "pain" on her heart or whatever.(which is not on the back cover copy, but is right up there in the goodreads.com description) and i thought - "oooh you are so edgy and shocking!!" and i rolled my eyes and figured i would just never read it. but THEN i was so sleepy today i thought i would just read something unchallenging that it might be fun to write a bad review of. alas, its actually pretty good; and not cheesy-edgy. it can be read in a day, no problem, and it features the most unhealthy mother-daughter relationship i've ever read. and i've read bastard out of carolina....more