If you ever thought about double crossing someone, you best make sure you know who you're dealing with. If his name starts with a "P" and en...moreHoly crap!
If you ever thought about double crossing someone, you best make sure you know who you're dealing with. If his name starts with a "P" and ends in "arker"...don't. This was my first attempt at Westlake/Stark and what a ride! The pace is relentless and the style suits Parker himself: no extra fluff, straight to the jugular and best with a bottle of vodka. The economy in the prose is brutal and efficient. If you don't like it, screw you. Oh and I took your stuff while you were thinking about it.
I loved this. It was refreshing and pleasently in your face. Looking forward to reading more Parker novels.(less)
Wow (not a good wow). I just read some of these reviews and ratings. I have to raise my hand and be the voice of reason. The public deserves this.
Let'...moreWow (not a good wow). I just read some of these reviews and ratings. I have to raise my hand and be the voice of reason. The public deserves this.
Let's get something straight here: these books are unreadable for anyone older than 15. I love fantasy and I don't have an issue with the world building or the story here. In my reviews, I sometimes excuse poor writing, characterization and other literary elements when the author does other things extremely well. Most novels have multiple flaws and their relative importance to each reader will dictate how much enjoyment is sucked out of the read.
I could not excuse the literary flaws in this book. They were repetitive, sharp and massive.
The characters are as flat as pancakes. At least pancakes have two sides. These guys are so utterly simple. I realize that this book was a relative trailblazer in the early 1980s, so it's hard to say that they are stereotypes. But they are stereotypes. The first 200 pages basically consists of gathering members of the Quest. They are picked up like gum stuck to your shoe; there's no subtlety. As every typical fantasy element was gathered for the Quest, I wondered how this was different than LOTR, other than being crappy.
I thought it would be interesting to read the annotated version of this book so I could see what the authors were thinking. Normally this gives you insight into their thought process, how this plot line impacts the overall story or some background information for characters that might be interesting. Somehow the notations made it worse. My eyes almost rolled straight out of my skull several times as the authors' simple thought process was revealed to me like the opening of a pack of Kraft cheese singles.
The writing is simplistic to the Nth degree. I've never encountered so many adverbs in a single tome.
I only got to page 350 or so, with my effort set to maximum. Perhaps pages 351 and beyond are genius but I'll never know. I'll live.
(As a gigantor caveat, I'll add that I would not discourage kids from reading this - it would be accessible and fun for them.)(less)
A Review of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, by Sauron
[Oprah Winfrey voice-over]: We all remember him. Sauron, the displaced Lord of the Rings....moreA Review of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, by Sauron
[Oprah Winfrey voice-over]: We all remember him. Sauron, the displaced Lord of the Rings. Once feared by millions, Sauron has been living in relative squalor in what he prefers to remain an undisclosed location.
[Video shows unidentified heap of garbage behind a Wal-mart. In front stands a mailbox with the word "Nameless Enemy" printed on the front. The flag is down.]
Oprah: Today, we'll be joined by someone that many of you know but haven't seen or perhaps thought of in decades. Because of his status as a wanted quasi-deity, Sauron has agreed to participate via the internet, thanks to our good friends at Skype. Welcome Dark Lord of Mordor.
Sauron [via Skype, single eye only] Thank you Oprah, it's good to be here, among friends.
Oprah: Sauron, I wanted to do this show so you would have the opportunity to tell the story of the final volume of Lord of Rings, The Return of the King, from your perspective.
Oprah: I'm sorry, I understand you even have trouble with the title. Why do you want to talk to us today?
Sauron: After my review of the second volume, my agent told me that some asswhipe named Ashton Kutcher tweeted that he was going to "punk me". I had no freaking clue what he was talking about but he told me this was trouble. Then one day I was coming back from Costco…
Sauron: Frack you. I use a lot of kleenex. Anyways, I was trying to load all of my items from my cart into my Corolla. They don't even give you bags those bloody cheapskates! Before I know it, a young lady offers to give me a hand. It's the first time in years anyone's ever helped me. I was so grateful. Then as she puts my last box into the trunk she drops something under the car. It makes a metallic sound as it hits the pavement. She looks distressed so, being the gentleman I am, I go on my hands and knees, reach under the car and feel a small trinket. I pull it out. It's a ring. A plastic pink ring. My pants are ruined, I have oil streaks on my arm and my nose is running. She asks me to look to the right and say "You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the void. Only death.", while holding up the ring. I do it. I don't know why but I did. Then that a-hole Kutcher bursts out of the bushes laughing. The cameras were next. It was all over YouTube within like 20 minutes. It was the lowest point for me since I tore my cornea when Barad-dûr came crashing down [a single tear drops from The Eye].
Oprah: I thought you might have trouble today so I've brought you some help.
[Dr. Phil enters to applause]
Sauron: Aww hell no. Who invited this windbag?
Dr. Phil: I feel some negative energy.
Sauron: Thanks Kreskin. I went from the cusp of the total domination of the free peoples of Middle-earth to living next door to Marjory the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock. I think she's dead but I'm not sure. So yes, there's a tad bit of negative energy. A-hole.
Dr. Phil: If you're willin ta change, I can make some resources available to you. Are ya willin to do that?
Sauron: Your accent is melting my brain. Please stop talking.
Dr. Phil: I sense some resistance. This ain’t my first rodeo son!
Sauron: You'll sense some fist in your face in a second, you hack.
Dr. Phil: One of the things I believe is that we're in the biggest teen crisis in the history of this country.
Sauron: [stares] I don't…
Dr. Phil: I heard you've started to abuse narcotics? Your eye does look a little red.
Sauron: I am Sauron the Deceiver, the Dread Abomination. I can do whatever the hell I want you country bumpkin. I'll snort the rest of the hair off your head right now if I feel like it.
Dr. Phil: It's ok to admit it.
Sauron: Fine. I'm hooked on Ent-draught, are you happy? That Treebeard is one expensive pusher. Maybe I do a little lembas bread too, but only in the morning. I can stop any time.
Dr. Phil: How was your relationship with your parents Sauron?
Sauron: Why do we always have to go there!? Fine, fine whatever makes you and Harpo Inc. happy. Freaking vultures. I originated as an immortal angelic spirit, an offspring of the thoughts of Eru, the Creator. I was there before anything else was created. It's all in The Silmarillion you illiterate blowhard.
Dr. Phil: Boy, you're saying a lot of words there but you're not tellin me much! I'll tellyouwhat, if someone out there doesn’t agree with me, then somewhere a village is missing their idiot.
Oprah: That's an Ah-ha moment. [to audience] Isn't that right?
Dr. Phil: Let's talk about the Return of the King.
Sauron: That's why I'm here you idiot. Let's just say, if Aragorn would have accepted the offer I made through the Mouth, we'd all be living happy lives now, with the lands to the East under my rule and those to the West paying me tribute. I felt that was a reasonable offer. I didn't know he cared so much about a halfling. I just want to apologize to everyone.
Oprah: What do you say audience, should we give Sauron another chance?
Sauron: Blow me! I'll forge a new One Ring and come back and stuff it up your asses while it's still hot! Read this in the Black Speech of Mordor detective Gandalf: "May cause a-hole burns". I'm not sorry! I'd do it again!
Dr. Phil: [to Oprah] I think my work is done here. [smiles and look at Mrs. Dr. Phil, who smiles]
Oprah: Sauron…I have a confession to make. I had a dual purpose to bringing you here. I wanted you to face your issues but I always wanted to discuss…OPRAH'S FAVOURITE THINGS FROM MIDDLE-EAAAAAARRRTTTTHHHHH!!!!
[Drab stage background parts to reveal glorious backdrop of Middle-earth. Audience goes ape shit, women make out with the closest person, grown men don't even bother to hide the growing urine stains on the front of their pants, Oprah guffaws triumphantly]
Oprah: That's right! That's right! You're all going to get all of my favourite things from the world that Sauron failed to conquer! Anddddddddd THEN WE'RE ALL FLYING TO RIVENDELL!!! From there, Tom Bombadil will take us on a guided tour of the ruins of Barad-dûr. You may even find a petrified eyelash from the Lidless Eye!!
[audience member]: Tom who?
Sauron: I'm out of here. I'll ship you back the gift basket.
[Oprah voiceover] Thus ends the story of Sauron's Review of Lord of the Rings and our glimpse into the Eye of evil. What new terrors is the Dark Lord of Mordor planning? What new plots will he unleash on Middle-earth in order to recapture what was lost. Thank you. That's our show today. Make sure to sign up for Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge on Oprah.com
Sauron: I'm still here. I'm having trouble logging off. Bollocks! I'm not too good with bloody comput [click]
After my review of the Fellowship of the Ring, my agent BBMed me and said that people still thought I was a bitter a-hole. He suggested that I learn to deal with my situation by talking with some likeminded people who have faced similar frustration. So he signed me up for Dark Lords and Villains Anonymous. At least that’s what it's called on the website. When I send out a FB invite to my peeps I usually use the subject line "Hatas Beware". Because General Zod is still trapped in that ridiculous Phantom Zone, we can't really meet in person so we IM. Every week a member discusses his or her public failure. This is the transcript from my week.
Sauron: Hello, my name is Sauron, and it's been 56 years since the publication of my defeat.
Group: Hello Sauron!
Sauron: I'm…I'm not sure where to start. I just don't think I've been given a fair shake. I recently emailed an op-ed piece to the editor of the Times. In it, I argued that the name of Tolkien's "masterpiece" should be renamed "An Unprovoked Attack On Sauron the Merciful" and that the second book should be entitled "Saruman F*cks The Pooch". Crusty old cracker. It looked like my email was blocked so I tried another. None of them worked: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing. Anyways, my point is that none of this was my fault. I mean, things started off fine. That Boromir got what he deserved. I've never tried to destroy someone who cared more about their hair!
General Zod: Can anyone help me!!??
Agent Smith: Shut the hell up windowboy!
Sauron: Thank you. Ahem.
Darth Maul: Bllllllaaarrgghhh.
Darth Vader: You'll have to excuse my associate. He's…useless.
HAL 9000: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
Agent Smith: OMG! Can anyone stop this light bulb from saying that every week!
Sauron: If I may continue. Helm's Deep. My grandma could have tossed that joint before breakfast. But instead of sending her wheelchair-bound ass in to lead the charge I chose an Uruk-hai. In retrospect, since I took the time to hatch those suckers, I could have included some dolphin or chimpanzee in the mix to boost the IQ a little. Or at least supplied them with better loincloths. One Uruk-hai had a bad habit of talking to me while his leg was up on the table. We don't need to see that. Oh, and why don't I put all my faith in Gríma Wormtongue, he sounds reliable. Every time I looked at his multi-coloured eyes I wanted to puke.
General Zod: That was pretty dumb.
Khan: [shouts] THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE!
Sauron: OooooK. I also regret relying on that damn Palantir for global communications! That freakin snowglobe basically told me that everything was going just fine. These days Saruman would have just texted me something like, "Yo, Sauron, we may have an issue." Instead his ass is whooped by trees. You know, man invented fire like 10,000 years ago. Trees.
Jabba the Hutt: Sorry, I got here late. Has that loser Sauron started yet?
Khan: I shall avenge you.
Sauron: Thanks. Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, Shelob. Stephen King's made me afraid of clowns and spiders. I don't want to discuss that bitch.
Khan: You see, their young enter through the ears and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex. This has the effect of rendering the victim extremely susceptible to suggestion. Later, as they grow, follows madness and death.
Sauron: STOP! A-hole. That's why Kirk can beat you while simultaneous boinking a green chick. You're pathetic. Go back to selling coffee or whatever you've been doing. This is getting me nowhere. I never should have signed up for this. And there's no fracking way I'm writing a review of my demise in The Return of the King.
A review of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, by Sauron
Hello. You may remember me as the title character of the Lord of Rings. I go by a lot...moreA review of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, by Sauron
Hello. You may remember me as the title character of the Lord of Rings. I go by a lot of names: Dark Lord of Mordor, Sorcerer, Red Eye, Dark Power, Lord of Barad-dûr, Ring-maker and Base Master of Treachery (I use that one in my band). I actually object to Tolkien's chosen name of Sauron, which I understand originates from an adjective that means "foul, putrid" in his crappy invented language. What can I say, the showers in Mordor are sketchy at best. On weekends, my poker buddies call me Sauron the Destroyer of Nacho Platters.
Because Tolkien intentionally failed to give a proper description of me in his books, allow me to give you an idea. I have a bit of a dark look. My quest for world domination having been thwarted, I watch a lot of TV these days. My body is roughly equivalent to the "The Situation" on Jersey Shore. Oh, no I don't watch that, but the Witch-king of Angmar is obsessed. He won't shut up about Snowcone or some bimbo on that show. I'm missing a finger, which while preventing me from raining down carnage on Middle Earth, allows me to collect decent EI. Plus the best lawyer in Mordor got me covered under the dismemberment clause on my insurance, so I'm riding the double dip gravy train. Much has been written about my terrible Lidless Red Eye, blah blah blah. It freaked out that little twat Frodo pretty good. I'll have you know that conjunctivitis is no laughing matter. Having to keep it open 24/7 to look for hoodlums skulking around Mordor is murder on my hydration. The Nazgul have enough lift and aim to get up there to toss a bucket of Visine at it, but it's just temporary relief. Regardless, I'm still more of a looker than your precious King Elessar or Aragorn or whatever he's calling himself these days. He's never met a brooding look he didn't like. Buy a razor. Get a real job.
Someone sent me Peter Jackson's movies in the mail. The package had no return address but it was postmarked "Hobbiton", where ever the hell that is. As I watch these movies over and over (I never even finished the books) I was reminded of all my mistakes...
Perhaps a ring was not a good choice. Some buddies have suggested that maybe I shouldn't have tied all of my terrible powers to something as easy to misplace as the One Ring. In retrospect, I should have forged The One Gas Station Bathroom Key Chain of Power. It would have been a lot harder to tief. I even could have pimped it out by making it from an Ent branch or Saruman's foot, for all the good that old fart did me. Maybe a ring would have been just fine if it had been a toe ring. Then it wouldn't glow in the dark like a target for every freaking Man on the battlefield. I heard that the guy who beat me was named "Isildur"!!?? WTF. Maybe I could have worn tougher gloves, I don't know. Perhaps the door to the Fires of Mount Doom should have had a better lock. ADT could have hooked me up with motion detectors but I hear that even cats can set those off. They claim they can calibrate them but I'm not so sure. The Uruk-hai are always jumping up on the table, so they would set it off for sure. Maybe just the alarm that goes off if something hits the lava, like pool alarms for kid. Although I guess it would have been too late by then. "My preccciioouussss!". Learn some balance a-hole.
Frodo. That little prick. I'd rather not discuss how my quest for utter dominion was defeated by something I could poop out unnoticed.
I'm getting off track. I'm supposed to discuss the events of the first book, the Fellowship of the Ring. Good times! I was on a comeback! Then the withered up senior citizen Gandalf had to go to the library and do a little research and figure out that my Ring was not some cracker jack prize. My Ringwraiths tried to track down the Ring but apparently taking it away from children was too difficult. If I had put the Nazgûl on fell beasts rather than bloody horses from the start I might have tracked down Frodo (prick) and his three buddies in the bloody woods. Don't horses have a good sense of smell!? Anyways, the fell beasts would have at least avoided drowning in a river. Sweet Mary. Then those Elves suggest a damn "fellowship". Could you have come up with a lamer group name?? Why not call it the "Loose Association of People Who Share Common Beliefs or Activities…of the Ring". That Balrog almost did me the biggest favour, he was always one of my peeps. "You shall not pass!!" What a line Gandy! How cow. I heard that one took like 15 takes because Pippin kept making everyone laugh by adding in the word "gas". Fool of a Took!
Anyways, by the end of the Fellowship of the Ring, I still had a fighting chance. Great book. Anyways, The Two Towers won't be as fun to review. Sh*t hits the fan.
I read Issac Asimov's The Gods Themselves a few years ago while lying in the sun on a beach so I'm not sure if any positive feelings I have are linked...moreI read Issac Asimov's The Gods Themselves a few years ago while lying in the sun on a beach so I'm not sure if any positive feelings I have are linked to the quality of the novel or my tan.
The novel is divided into three parts. The overall story revolves around aliens from a parallel universe (the para-Universe) who exploit a difference between the physical laws in their para-Universe and our Universe: in our Universe plutonium 186 decays into tungsten 186 and in the para-Universe tungsten 186 turns into plutonium 186. The exchange leads to a clean, apparently never-ending nuclear reaction. However, let's just say this exploitation will not have a negligeable impact on our Universe.
Part 1 takes place on Earth where Frederick Hallam discovers the exchange to the para-Universe and is thrust into fame and power. I enjoyed the beginning of the novel which had a lot of mystery, cool science and promise. Part 2 takes place in the para-Universe. The two levers for this novel are the energy exchange idea and the exploration of a truly alien universe, both in physical laws, and weird beings. Part 2 is clearly where Asimov wanted this novel to make its mark. Most people seem to enjoy it so I don't want to rain on any parades, but I was dissapointed and my interest really dipped here. I just wanted to get to the end to figure out the mystery aspect but I had little interest in the sexual and social norms of the Rationals, Emotionals, and Parentals. This very well might be a realistic look at what such creatures might be composed of in such a parallel universe, but it's not one I would choose to visit. I was bored frankly. Part 3 wraps it up.
On a re-read I might enjoy this as others on this site have but I have little motivation to pick it up again. (less)