Viy is a story written by Nikolai Gogol which is most often classified as horror. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that classification, although...moreViy is a story written by Nikolai Gogol which is most often classified as horror. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with that classification, although it does feature a bumbling main character who comes to a sticky end at the hands of a bloodsucking witch and a horde of other demonic creatures. Gogol himself styled it as a folk tale re-telling.
The titular Viy is a creture of Ukrainian folklore, a demon in the form of an old man with his eyelids and brows reaching down to the ground. If the eyelids are lifted, nothing can hide from Viy's gaze and he is able to kill and destroy villages and whole towns with his eyes.
At the start of the story, three seminary students from Kyiv's Bratsky Monastery set off for home on their summer vacation. They veer off the main road to try to find shelter and something to eat for the night. They come across a remote farmstead where an old woman reluctantly lets them in but separates them to spend the night each in a different place. Khoma Brut, our main hero is put into an empty sheep pen and is just about to drop into a dead sleep when the old woman enters and all the fun begins.
Gogol's language is very rich and colourful and he has a particular gift for treating his characters with so much humour that even though most of the story happens in a dark church at night with the hero under attack by a dead body and other unpleasant things, it reads as a comedy.
I really enjoyed the story overall and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Ukrainian/Russian folklore, as well as any fan of Gogol. There is also a fantastic Russian film made in 1967 which is based on it, available on youtube with English subtitles. You can see the first part here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjiB6a...(less)
This was a really strange book. It is a story of a Japanese woman now living in England, whose eldest daughter has recently committed suicide, recolle...moreThis was a really strange book. It is a story of a Japanese woman now living in England, whose eldest daughter has recently committed suicide, recollecting her days in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb and the end of WWII, although surprisingly little is said about the latter and almost nothing about the former.
I love love love Ishiguro. He is a fantastic writer and he does his usual unreliable narrator whose recollections gradually reveal something dark and hidden. However, this is the second of his books (the first was When We Were Orphans) which left me feeling that I really have no idea what went on or why. The twist comes very near the end, nothing much is explained, the past and present are fused together and you are left with a multitude of questions with no answers and unsure about whether anything described actually occurred at all. In fact the only certainty you have, is that if it did occur, it didn't occur in quite the way described and all the events and conversations have been heavily edited by the narrator in the re-telling. I believe that this was Ishiguro's intention, to leave the reader to work out for themselves what may have really happened, but, ultimately, I found this approach too frustrating in this book.(less)
What a ride. I have read the entire series in just under three days and probably need a few days to absorb the whole thing properly. Just wanted to jo...moreWhat a ride. I have read the entire series in just under three days and probably need a few days to absorb the whole thing properly. Just wanted to jot a few preliminary thoughts down.
The series as a whole was magnificent. Emotional, entertaining, challenging, provoking, gripping. An absolute joy to read. Why have I not come across this one sooner? I'm not really the target YA audience but this is easily on a par with Harry Potter and a million times better than Twilight and I heard of both of those.
I thought the first book had the best structure and pacing and was undoubtedly the best in the series. I raced to the end at breakneck speed and wanted to re-read it pretty much as soon as I was done. The world building was incredible - vivid, realistic and terrifying, it had interesting, likable and engaging characters, non-stop rollercoaster of a plot and the enchanting promise of more great things to come.
In the second book, I was expecting that we would learn more about the different districts and thet Capitol and the history of Panem. In fact one of the gripes I have for the series as a whole is that the political system is not really described in any of the books in any detail. We have President Snow and we have the Peacekeepers and that seems to be the extent of the political system. President Snow is the ultimate baddie here, the Hitler/Stalin of Panem and the peacekeepers are the brute force but he cannot be running the whole country single-handedly. A dictatorship requires a huge political machine to support and enforce it but, other than a single reference at the end of Mockinjay to some people being executed for their crimes in addition to President Snow, we see no description or mention of this. The second book with Katniss and Peeta doing a tour of the districts would have been the perfect opportunity to provide these sorts of details of the world that was so magnificently introduced in the first book and we did get some glimpses but I'm not sure I was entirely satisfied with a re-run of the Hunger Games instead. It felt a bit repetitive.
In the third book, Katniss and a lot of the other major characters spend most of their time in a state of complete shell-shock, unconscious and/or recovering from injuries. A lot of the story happens in a daze and I felt not a little dazed and shell-shocked myself by the end of the book. It was still a great book but, for me, not completely satisfying. I had a real problem with the attitude that Katniss had to Peeta's condition and the resolution of their relationship was a complete flop. I wanted to see Katniss realise that she loves Peeta just as deeply as he loves her. I wanted a real punchline to their story with some underlining and exclamation marks. Instead, all I got was Peeta's feelings being wiped away, a couple of sentences where the both "grow back together" and their kids playing together in the meadow. That was a real let down. I was disappointed that Mrs Everdeen and Gale would just fade out of Katniss' life. I can understand the latter but her mum dumping her to go back to 12 alone was just weak. There was no resolution for Haymitch. He simply goes back to drinking and herding geese. Perhaps this is realistic. That some things people never fully recover from. But it irked me nonetheless. What happens to some of the other characters we never even find out. Effie, Johanna, Enobaria? We learn that Annie has a son but nothing else. Also, I am glad that there was no rosy utopia at the end but it would have been nice to see a bit more of the brave new world that Katniss had helped to usher in.(less)
It is clear to me now what the modern European politicians are doing wrong. They are, obviously, not reading their classics.
Europe is in the midst of...moreIt is clear to me now what the modern European politicians are doing wrong. They are, obviously, not reading their classics.
Europe is in the midst of a dire financial crisis with all sorts of complicated schemes being proposed to resolve the situation. And here we have a practical and sensible solution that nobody appears to have considered, despite the fact that it has been around since 1729!
If you don't have enough money to feed your kids, EAT THEM!
What could be simpler?
Now, the author mentions that this is a solution devised specifically in the context of Ireland. And I admit that the calculations will need to be re-done to reflect the demographics and circumstances at hand. But really, there is no logical reason why this solution would not work in the context of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Somebody needs to send this to the Greeks.
Certain celebrities have already endorsed the idea:
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is a short novella set in Russian province in the second half of 19th century. The subject matter is pretty powerful: passion,...moreLady Macbeth of Mtsensk is a short novella set in Russian province in the second half of 19th century. The subject matter is pretty powerful: passion, adultery, murder and betrayal. Yet, for all that, the book is very unsentimental and true to life. It is full of dark humour and the characters are very real and believable. It is a shame that it does not seem particularly well-known in the West, for it is, in my opinion, one of the best works in Russian literature.(less)
Once upon a time there lived a werewolf. And his name was Jacob. Uhhummm.
I suppose the idea was to take the paranormal genre conventions and to put th...moreOnce upon a time there lived a werewolf. And his name was Jacob. Uhhummm.
I suppose the idea was to take the paranormal genre conventions and to put them on their head… or rather back on their feet where they belong.
Jacob (Jake) Marlowe of Glen Duncan's imagination is very very far from a walking talking impersonation of every female fantasy which has inhabited almost every urban fantasy book in recent years. This werewolf is a foul mouthed, smoking, hard-liquor drinking, emotionless sex engaging, layered character. Jake has lived for over two hundred years and though he does not look it, he feels it. He has had enough of life and living (even though living is all there is), he is desperately lonely and is ready to just… end:
"For ten, twenty, thirty years now I've been dragging myself through the motions. How long do werewolves live? Madeline asked recently. According to WOCOP around four hundred years. I don't know how. Naturally one sets oneself challenges – Sanskrit, Kant, advanced calculus, t'ai chi – but that only addresses the problem of Time. The bigger problem, of Being, just keeps getting bigger. (Vampires, not surprisingly, have an on-off love affair with catatonia.) One by one I've exhausted the modes: hedonism, ascetism, spontaneity, reflection, everything from miserable Socrates to the happy pig. My mechanism's worn out. I don't have what it takes. I still have feelings but I am sick of having them. Which is another feeling I am sick of having. I just… I just don't want any more life."
Duncan has given a much needed injection of masculinity to his werewolf but has avoided making him into a grotesque emotionless Rambo-style* action hero (*I have not seen a single Rambo move, so I have no idea whether Rambo is in fact emotionless, but you get the gist). It was also nice that the lycanthropy wasn't used simply to give the hero an air of mystery and an excuse for constant brooding. Being a werewolf in this world means being a monster. There is nothing romantic or mysterious about. You don't get any super strength or transformation at will or become unnaturally hot. Being a werewolf means being transformed once a month and killing and eating people. (view spoiler)[Sometimes people you love. (hide spoiler)] It is brutal, it is ugly, it is horrific and for the rest of the time you have to live with yourself:
"The first horror is there's horror. The second is you accommodate it."
Werewolves are hunted and exterminated by the World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP) until, at the start of the book, the hero finds out that he is the only one left and is, therefore, next on the list. Which he does not mind much, until, that is, fate intervenes and certain events unfold and then, suddenly, everything is changed.
The plot was by and large uncomplicated and moved things along nicely without getting in the way. It was a good balance of action and reflection, overall. And reflection is what I mostly loved about this book. Glen Duncan has a way with words. His style seemed fresh and different to me and he is clever and witty and peppers his narrative with literary allusions ("Reader, I ate him." and "Talulla, light of my light, fire of my loins… Ta-loo-la: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate… Ta. Lu. La." particularly cracked me up) and cultural observations (e.g. "Humanity's getting its metamorphic kicks elsewhere these days. When you can watch the alchemy that turns morons into millionaires and gimps into global icons, where's the thrill in men who turn into wolves?" and "Two nights ago I'd eaten a forty-three-year-old hedge fund specialist. I've been in a phase of taking the ones no one wants.") and his sentences were a joy to read (e.g. "The snow was coming down with the implacability of an Old Testament plague."). Duncan is also (as one of the other reviewers referred to him) "wonderfully obscene" and, frankly, any book that features a woman who has a c*nt which has a mind like Lucifer deserves to be read.
My main beef with this book is the same one the reviewer I linked to mentions. There is a twist two thirds of the way in and then too much plot and melodrama gets in the way and the hero's personality does a sharp veer off into… but this is major spoiler territory. If you really, really must know (view spoiler)[ Instalove happens. And I really really hate the instalove bollocks, no matter who does it or how well it is done. I even hated it in Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Laini Taylor is a goddess. Plus Talulla essentially has the same narrative voice as Jake, which was annoying. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I am really ambivalent about this book. I have not been so ambivalent about a book for a long time. Maybe it has given me my own brand of bipolar neur...moreI am really ambivalent about this book. I have not been so ambivalent about a book for a long time. Maybe it has given me my own brand of bipolar neurosis. If only I could weaponize that.
The premise is certainly fresh and different. There is no butt-kicking or fairies or werecreatures or vamps or ghosties or ghouls or zombies or any other supernatural nasties in of any kind*. The story revolves around a vigilante squad of neurotics who change the world for the better by flushing their crazy into unsuspecting criminals, thereby plunging them into a pit of despair, making them lose all their money and scrambling and rebooting their personalities.
*although there are people called highcaps with special abilities (telekinesis, telepathy, dream invasion, force fields, that sort of stuff)
The heroine, Justine (ok, not the best name and I had a really hard time trying to get rid of the De Sade connotations) Jones is a regular non-highcap human, except she is a raging hypochondriac who dreads that she has a condition called the vein star syndrome (of which her mother died) which could cause one of the veins in her brain to burst causing immediate and sudden death. She obsesses about every single twinge and pinprick in her forehead, spends her free time trolling the internet for new medical info and sudden death stories involving the decease, attends ER for cat scans on a regular basis and expects to die any minute now. You would have thought someone so whiney and paranoid about their health would be extremely annoying. But, surprisingly, no. On the contrary, it was rather endearing. In fact Justine reminded me a lot of my other favourite kook, Emma Pillsbury:
Their fashion sense seemed sorta similar too (or did I just make them have the same fashion sense in my head?) so that's how I ended up picturing Justine. I adored her, she was charming and funny and kooky. I mean how can you not like a girl who says things like this:
"I say this nonchalantly, as if I'm accepting a mint bonbon from a butler instead of a new vigilante lifestyle from a slightly maniacal mutant."
The only thing that really annoyed me about Justine was her tendency to blame herself for everything. I mean (view spoiler)[she comes home to find her boyfriend having clearly just slept with another woman and proceeds to give herself a hard time because she is making him bitter (hide spoiler)].
And now we get to the love interests:
Cubby. I don't really need to say anything do I? With a name like that the guy was doomed as a love interest from the start. He is a self-absorbed dickhead and I'd very much like to punch him in the face.
Packard. My favourite of the lot. Anyone so deliciously diabolical gets my vote.
Otto. Creeps me out. The name also doesn't speak in his favour. And what's with the beret, dude? I mean, I know what's with the beret, of course, I did read the book, but really? A beret? This was the kind of image I had of him throughout most of the book:
Until I managed to think of this which wasn't much of an improvement but now Otto is forever Che in my mind:
Also, all the hot cold I love you how could you crap. Not for me, thank you.
Overall, the world building was good but I struggled with the writing style for a bit. It felt quite distanced. Like watching marionettes with visible strings. It took me a while to get used to, but I think it worked in the end because that is how Justine views herself. Distanced. Apart from other people. There were some plot holes and inconsistencies. I also didn't like the ending. The climax was very anti-climatic. On the other hand, I loved the characters. Even the secondary ones were pretty well drawn. Shelby was my favourite. Love love love Shelby. The story was interesting and I haven't come across a UF series I have enjoyed quite so much recently and I will most definitely be finishing it off.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm not, I'm afraid, a huge fan of steampunk. It's not that I mind it, so much. I find some of the ideas quite intiguing. I like steampunk drawings an...more
I'm not, I'm afraid, a huge fan of steampunk. It's not that I mind it, so much. I find some of the ideas quite intiguing. I like steampunk drawings and artwork, I used to enjoy Jules Verne as an adolescent and Brazil is one of my favourite films of all time. It just doesn't rock my world, I suppose. Or, to put it another way, it's not of itself enough to have some dirigibles and goggles to make a book for me.
I am also beginning to get slightly fed up with vampires and werewolves. Pure oversaturation. So it is, perhaps, no surprise that this one took me forever to finish. To be fair, I have been manically busy, had family visiting and have been away some of the time but still, it has taken me over three weeks to finish this book, an it is not particularly long.
I loved how the book is written and the characters are still all larger than life with some new exciting members added to the cast but there was absolutely no spark between Alexia and Connal and the story line lacked momentum to really draw me in. I couldn't care less about the mystery and what the cause of the "plague" was, to be honest. Until the very few last pages the only thing keeping my attention was watching the characters and listening to the way they talk. And then... this is the astonishing part... there was a slight twist, a few words and, just like that, I was hooked and couldn't wait to get through the next book in the series. (less)
I meant to write a review but I was feeling quite ambivalent about this book. Still do. I guess I'd better jot some thoughts down before I get complet...moreI meant to write a review but I was feeling quite ambivalent about this book. Still do. I guess I'd better jot some thoughts down before I get completely diverted onto other things.
I definitely thought this was interesting. The idea of an alien race that functions as a single organism (almost) and the problems that humanity would have in communicating with and understanding such a race, the ideas about military manipulation, war tactics and online political debate influencing the real world were all pretty good. I saw a lot of reviews where folks thought that the book was boring and had trouble visualising the fight scenes. I actually had no problem with this aspect, though I do agree that the whole thing was very repetitive. I had too many other problems with this book to truly enjoy it, though.
The writing was primitive. I get that he was trying to write for kids and make it as simple as possible in terms of language but it all read forced and fake to me. The way these kids spoke and acted just didn't ring true and this whole they are all geniuses so that's why they don't act or talk like kids just didn't work for me. Characterisation was appalling. Barely anyone had any character at all. Mostly they all seemed like carbon copies of each other with the only thing to differentiate them being their attitudes to Ender. And those seemed to be always polar opposites. Love or hate. No one was allowed to be indifferent to Ender.
The Russians as the head bad guys was completely cliche. I also didn't really like the little description of the earth politics that we saw. It seemed too much a reflection of the international politics as they were at the time the book was written, in early to mid eighties, with Cold War in its dying throws but still alive and, it seems, very much in Card's mind.
The treatment of women in this book was appalling, with most of the female characters mainly serving the purpose of manipulating Ender and Graff stating at one point that there were hardly any girls at this super genius military school because "too many centuries of evolution are working against them". One could argue, I suppose, that this is a reflection of Graff's prejudice and those of the military establishment in this world, rather than the author. But, again, I don't buy that. The author at no point indicates that he might disagree with this point of view and he is the one who has created this world in this fashion.
But most of all, I just couldn't believe in the whole premise that space warfare is really indistinguishable from playing computer games (as much as it may stroke the ego of computer nerds everywhere) and that the military command would put a bunch of kids who don't even realise they are fighting a war in charge of all military strategy and operations. Up until the very last moment I kept on believing that he would not go there. That he could not possibly expect his readers to believe this. Of course, he did.
I also wondered whether I might have enjoyed this book more if I wasn't aware of and disliked intensely the author's views on subjects which are not necessarily connected with the book. It's possible. I do believe the author's conceit and prejudice played a big part in my being unable to enjoy this book. Perhaps, it wouldn't have been so apparent without that awareness. Who knows. At the very least, it threw the homo-, perhaps even paedo-, erotic undertones of this book, that other reviewers have referred to, into starker relief.
The Tale of Fedot-strelets is a satirical play in verse written in 1985 by Leonid Filatov and is hugely popular in Russia. Leonid Filatov was primaril...moreThe Tale of Fedot-strelets is a satirical play in verse written in 1985 by Leonid Filatov and is hugely popular in Russia. Leonid Filatov was primarily an actor, though he also directed theatre and films and wrote a number of books of which Fedot-strelets is by far the most popular. I have stumbled across a translation into English here: http://samlib.ru/a/alec_v/fed-rus-eng... which may give an English speaker some idea of this book though, inevitably, it is just a shadow of the original as a lot of the humour is in the particular phrasing used by Filatov which is untranslatable.
The play is written in folk fairytale style with some modern terminology woven in to comical effect and you can often hear Russian people using phrases from the book without even realising they are doing so, because many have since become colloquialisms. All the characters are common Russian folklore figures which a Russian audience will recognise immediately.
The main cast:
Fedot, a wise cracking, vainglorious and incredibly lucky hunter/soldier:
The Tsar, a petty and malicious tyrant and an old lothario:
Marusja, a beautiful maiden of typical Russian folklore stock, one who will cook, clean, pander to the man's every whim, play the violin and solve every problem that he has ever had:
They all seem to have huge sad eyes. Don't think the one in the picture turned into a bird of any kind but plenty of them do turn into pigeons, swans, doves and the like. In Russian folklore there were even two types of bird women, Alkonost and Sirin, which I find fascinating. Both used to sing heavenly songs with the former making you forget everything and the latter being prophetic.
Baba Yaga, a forest dwelling evil witch:
The General, a lazy fool happy to follow all orders:
The tale is narrated by the jester who makes a number of shrewd observations along the way and starts with Fedot being ordered by the Tsar to bring a pheasant or a grouse from the hunt. While on this task, Fedot comes across a pigeon who begs him to spare her life and then turns into the beautiful maiden, Marusja. Unsurprisingly, Fedot is not the only one who thinks that Marusja is a real find. Having learned of Marusja from the General, the Tsar sends Fedot on a number of quests thought up by Baba Yaga in an attempt to kill him off on the sly so that the Tsar may marry Marusja, finally sending him to get that which cannot exist. There are a number of side characters including the Tsar's daughter, a spoilt princes who the Tsar tries to marry off to every foreign envoy (including one from a tribe of cannibals) and her nurse, an old woman with a sharp-tongue.
I really love this book but, I guess, when it comes right down to it, it's not a literary masterpiece by any stretch and my love for it has probably more to do with my own nostalgia than anything else. Plus it's really funny (in Russian at least). However, while not being an original folk tale itself, this book is closely based on one and does provide a very accurate and humorous look at the quintessential Russian fairytale and also represents an excellent example of the social and political satire in Russia both at the time when the book was written but also throughout most Russian history, with the Tsar and the General being caricatures of the political and executive powers, respectively, and Fedot representing the people. (less)
Onegin, the main protagonist, travels to the country where he meets the idealistic poet Lensky, who introduces him to the sisters Olga (whith whom Len...moreOnegin, the main protagonist, travels to the country where he meets the idealistic poet Lensky, who introduces him to the sisters Olga (whith whom Lensky is in love) and Tatiana (who falls in love with Onegin). So starts this story of love, life, innocence and jaded young dandies who can only love what they cannot have.
This is one of my favourite books of all time. I have read it countless times and I am sure I will continue coming back to it again and again.
It is so simple yet so beautiful and the poetry is incomparable (in original at least, I am not sure what the translation is like).
We had to learn certain passages off by heart at school and, astonishingly, this was one of the very few books that we had to read as part of the curriculum, when I did not mind, in fact, was eager to do so. Tatiana and Onegin were more real to me than many of the people I know today. I remember reciting bits over and over again aloud to myself pretending that I was Tatiana. I WAS Tatiana. Restless and drunk on love, staying up half the night and writing poetry to my first crush (alas, never sent) and crying with her over Onegin's letter at the end.
Tatiana to me is one of the best written female characters in all of literature. She has depth, intelligence, passion but, most of all, integrity. Whereas Onegin is charmingly decadent and devoid of morals and gets his come-uppance well and truly in the end.
Having just read and adored McKinley's Sunshine and The Blue Sword when I started this book, I was full of love for the author and expecting great thi...moreHaving just read and adored McKinley's Sunshine and The Blue Sword when I started this book, I was full of love for the author and expecting great things. This book is a re-telling of the Donkeyskin fairytale, which I actually do remember from when I was little, though I have to say the incestuous subtext did go completely over my head when I was 5.
Princess Lissar Lisslar is a lonely and awkward child who grows up obscured by the shadow of her glorious parents who are so completely obsessed with each other that they do not seem to notice that they have a child at all and are so totally fantabulous that everyone around them only has eyes for them and is blinded to Lissar's existence. Throughout her childhood Lissar is told stories of the magical fairytale wooing of her mother, the most beautiful woman in the seven kingdoms, by her father, one of the seven suitors who had to go to the ends of the earth to win her.
But then one day, the most beautiful woman in the seven kingdoms falls ill and, because she cannot bear the fading of even the tiniest fraction of her beauty, confines herself to her bed and covers herself up with a veil, so that no one can glimpse her, not even her devastated husband. The queen also orders a portait to be painted, depicting her at the apex of her glory and, as her dying wish, extracts a promise from her husband that he would not marry again unless his new wife was no less beautiful than herself. The king, as they do, goes mad with grief after the queen's death and, on Lissar's 17th birthday, announces his plan to marry his daughter, for she looks so much like her mother.
I knew this book was about rape, incestuous rape at that, going in and I thought this aspect of the story was handled with great understanding and sensitivity. The way McKinley deals with blaming the victim syndrome (what has she done to this wonderful glorious man to make him behave like this? she must be evil and amoral, she must have asked for this and enticed him with her wiles... it is astonishing and disheartening how prevalent this thinking still is in real life, how ready we are to blame victims of sexual assault for what happens to them) and the devastating impact the rape has on her feels genuine and heart-breaking.
So why three stars? Well, I'm just going to put it out there (although I do feel like there must be something wrong with me for not liking the book more) I found this story pretty dull. I don't know if it was because I knew exactly what was going to happen from the very start (but what did I expect, this is a fairy tale retelling?) or if it was the deliberately languid quality of the prose in which McKinley chooses to tell her tale that didn't quite work for me. It also didn't help that I found Lissar to be a complete blank. She is like a bud that is stamped out before it really gets a chance to bloom, before she really finds herself as a person and after, it is all about coping and survival and pushing out the horrific memories and avoiding being herself. And I know that this is exactly how it would be, that it couldn't really be anything else, but it was dull for me to read about a person who is simply pulled like a puppet on a string without any rhyme or reason throughout most of the book.
I wanted Lissar to take control of her life and choose to do something because that is what she wants to do, because she is ready for it and for me, that never really happened, though other readers may disagree with me on this. Even the final resolution, when Lissar finally faces her father again, seemed baffling to me because, again, she seems to be simply pulled into it by the mysterious magical force that has been guiding her steps ever since she left her home, and it is not something that she consiously chooses to do. Also the imagery of the climax was pretty disturbing with Lissar seemingly re-living her rape in order to condemn her father. While this is probably inevitable in this context, it also left me feeling perturbed. Yes, I realise that this is the reality of every rape case, that in order to bring to justice the perpetrator, every rape victim has to re-live their ordeal in front of the police, relatives, lawyers, jury (that is, after all, why so many choose not to report). I just wish there was another way. (less)
A hilarious fairytale for adults which proves conclusively that size really does matter and that penises are not as evil as they are sometimes made ou...moreA hilarious fairytale for adults which proves conclusively that size really does matter and that penises are not as evil as they are sometimes made out to be.
A fun, silly and quick read available for free here.(less)
Wow, I never thought I would give one star to a Julia Quinn book, but here we go.
I have been recovering from an operation for the past week or so. I...moreWow, I never thought I would give one star to a Julia Quinn book, but here we go.
I have been recovering from an operation for the past week or so. I am on a ton of antibiotics and my head is spinning, so I just wanted something light and frothy and unchallenging that would distract me from wanting to weep from boredom for a bit but that I can put down whenever I can't look at the page anymore. I have been watching a lot of daytime TV, and let me tell you, I can feel my brain turning into goo, so Quinn with her trademark light romps and humour should have been just the thing.
Unfortunately, this was too ligh and too fluffy and cute even in my current state. The hero and heroine fall in love on the first page and really the rest of the book seems to have no purpose other than to make you projectile vomit across the room from its sickly sweetness. There is no real conflict or obstacle standing in the way of the instalove other than the fact that both the hero and the heroine seem too TSTL to notice and Ms. Quinn's usual delightful humour and witty dialoge are completely and entirely absent from this book. If you have not read any of Ms. Quinn's other work, I urge you to give this one a miss as it is very far from her best.(less)