A good story that takes a bit of time to get into. There are alot of characters and family trees that are hard to keep track of and I didn't know abou...moreA good story that takes a bit of time to get into. There are alot of characters and family trees that are hard to keep track of and I didn't know about the appendix until I finished the last page (that would've helped). It wasn't what I thought it would be, yet I was sucked in.. going on to Book #2 which has a banner on it saying 'The Best Fantasy Novel Of the Year'... that's lofty... but I'm taking the plunge. (less)
Wow. This took me a month or so to read and that's actually quite a bit of time since this voracious reading funk has come upon me. Book 2 in the Song...moreWow. This took me a month or so to read and that's actually quite a bit of time since this voracious reading funk has come upon me. Book 2 in the Song of Ice and Fire. Still don't know what the song is, after about 1500 pages they haven't gotten around to explaining that, but at least it was referred to in this one. So, 1500 pages, huh? yep. And I'm still truckin'. As far as I know there are 2 more books with another one coming out soon. There is a whole GR group dedicated to this series too... http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...
And I had no idea this was out there. Not really surprised by that, but still.
I do enjoy this series, the characters are engaging and Martin does a great job of fleshing them out. Each chapter is written in the point of view of one of the oh, 10 or so main characters, and I find that there are a few that I kinda skim over, which sucks, I know, but I don't like them very much, no matter how integral they are to the story (Dany). I think that the story is a tremendous undertaking, I'm imagining SHEETS and sheets of notes on this guy's desk. Problem is that sometimes I get lost and have to backtrack, but thankfully I've discovered the maps and the appendix, so I'm good on that front. I did stall out about 1/2 way through and went and read some YA books, which isn't something that I normally do, I invest in a book, you know? And that's why I have to give this ony 4 stars. Actually, I was thinking 3 1/2 but I felt that that would be too little. I also find that I have to read this when there is nothing else going on (with a houseful of children, it was no guess as to why it took me a month) and that also leads to the 4 stars, because usually when I'm sucked in, I become one of those nasty-please-god-send-in-that-super-nanny-wench-in kinda parents. I will trudge on... (less)
I mean that with respect, I suppose. I guess any author that got me to read over 2400 pages of his writing garners s...more
George R. R. Martin is a blowhard.
I mean that with respect, I suppose. I guess any author that got me to read over 2400 pages of his writing garners some respect, right? A smattering, maybe? I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was raised Catholic, or maybe it’s my sense of follow through or maybe just the fact that I’ve invested so much time in this damn series… whatever. I’m here, I’ve finished book #4. Yay.
Okay, so the reason I’m grumpy is that it took me 480 pages to get into this. Which left me 200 pages to actually enjoy. That’s not fair. And this isn’t the first time, this is a pattern with this guy. I spend all this time trying to remember who is who and why I care that I’m either confused or bored silly. Okay, for example: We have Elys who is married to Alys and we have Belwas and Boros and Balon . And Pate, Pod and Peck (don’t ask me to explain who is who, please) and then we have Sansa who is now Alayne ---not Arianne, she’s someone else--- and we have Arya who was Weasel and then was Arry and then became ‘no one’ and then became Cat of the Canals, who shouldn’t be confused with Cat who was Caitlyn who became ‘The Hooded Woman’ and then later ‘Lady Stoneheart’. Do you see what I mean?
This is worse than Days of Our Lives because then you really only need to watch maybe a day or so to catch up. Oh, and if Jaime and Brienne don’t hook up, there will be hell to pay, Mr. R.R. Martin. HELL. And, thank you for having Sam lose his virginity; that gave me hope. (oh, come on, are you going to get on me for spoilers?? If you’re even reading this review, it’s because you’ve invested as much time in this series as I have.)
Then… THEN I come across this little gem:
‘”Hey, wait a minute!” some of you may be saying about now. “Wait a minute, wait a minute! Where’s Dany and the dragons? Where’s Tyrion? We hardly saw Jon Snow. That can’t be all of it…”
Well, no. There’s more to come. Another book as big as this one.
Okay, so I’m whining. I know. Of course, I’ll read ‘A Dance with Dragons’ (oh, and another thing, George? Can we get you to work on better titles? Because when I’m sitting there reading these tomes and someone comes up to me and says ‘Whatcha readin’?’ I’m a bit hesitant to say ‘A Feast for Crows’ or ‘A Game of Thrones’ without rolling my eyes and explaining that I’m NOT into D&D, just a suggestion. Thanks) but I will do so reluctantly. (less)
My only experience with Neil Gaiman’s writing (other than a viewing of Coraline) was Anansi Boys, which happened to be the sequel to American Gods to...moreMy only experience with Neil Gaiman’s writing (other than a viewing of Coraline) was Anansi Boys, which happened to be the sequel to American Gods to which no one had bothered to tell me about. So, yeah, I was hesitant. I mean really… of all the people on this site that I know that like Gaiman, couldn’t one of you have bothered to let me know? Huh? Fine. It’s done with.
Now, erasing that slight… really, I am… I will tell you that I totally gave Gaiman the brush off. I filed him under ‘what the hell’, ‘hype’, ‘don’t give a damn’ and ‘world weary.’
Neverwhere is brimming with exotic personalities who have ‘fallen between the cracks’ and landed in ‘London Below’, the place below the sewers and train tunnels, where rats have kingdoms and Night is still an idea that is terrifying. The plot is a familiar one, there is a quest, there are bad guys, there is the hesitant hero and a rakish Marquis. Oh, and there’s Door, the determined princess in distress. But Gaiman’s writing creeps along the sewers and delivers us to angels in a way that takes your breath away.
“And then it erupted over the side of the platform. It was diaphanous, dreamlike, a ghost-thing, the color of black smoke, and it welled up like silk under water, and, moving astonishingly fast while still seeming to drift almost in slow motion, it wrapped itself tightly around Richard’s ankle.”
I wonder sometimes what falling through the cracks would be like. If everyone that I knew suddenly ‘unknew’ me. Would I go mad? Would I huddle in doorways and wait for the gloaming to swallow me? Could I survive? (Seriously, help me out here...I'm all for huddling...)Our hero, Richard, meets Hunters and Velvets and Earls and assassins that make those creepy floaty dudes from Buffy episode Season 4, #10 look like Hummels. Richard, of course, is made better by knowing these creatures and learns that life isn’t all about corner offices and pretentious fiancés..and that sometimes angels can be assholes, but we already knew that, right? (less)
I know that this is nothing new. An invisible wall of despondency surrounds me. I could rival any teenager with a slew of Gothic poetry. (Br...moreI am sad.
I know that this is nothing new. An invisible wall of despondency surrounds me. I could rival any teenager with a slew of Gothic poetry. (Bring it on, Bella… I can take you.)
Anyway, this wall… it keeps people at bay. There are certain words that they will not use around me. (Like saying to a blind man ‘But, don’t you see?’) Mostly I am okay with this. It saves me from thinking, I can play a role, it eases people, and I feel safe. The problem is that other stuff, the stuff that I want to get through, is also kept at bay. Like that feeling you get when you are reading and a certain passage makes you shudder (people say ‘someone is walking on your grave’.) I miss having words bring tears to my eyes. This will come back, I hope. It‘s just that sometimes, it’s not soon enough.
Take for instance, Francesca Lia Block. When I was 20, I devoured her Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books series. I sat on subway platforms and saw the Hollywood Hills; I imagined that the broken girls sitting under weeping willows had guardian angels. I saw my future self, with children who wore taffeta gowns and combat boots to school because they wanted to, whose innocence and genuine trust would take on the big bad world and win. What’s this called? Hope? Inspiration? I can’t remember. (Instead, I have My Chemical Romance Tees and 10-year-old daughters who haven’t believed in Santa in years, but just decided to fill me in.)
Anyway, Francesca used to give me this. I poured through her work, I felt the wonder and to use the cliché, had a spring in my step. Oh, to be so young. I guess I was hoping that this still rang true, I realize that I’m a lifetime away from that girl that used to see Harry Houdini’s mansion when she thought of Hollywood. I’m jaded, guarded, I believe in the Miracle Mile now.
However, these are just words strung haplessly together and I’m evading the review… per usual. If you’ve stuck with me this far, you might as well continue.
Francesca decides to take on the V word. I’m sure she’s written about it before. Before Bella and Edward, when it was still just a flighty subject written by women in long flowing gowns. I just can’t recall a whole book on the subject. She is still in the Hollywood Hills, her girls are still broken and looking for rapture, her boys are still beautiful and lost. The words still flow and I can still see the desperation in their dancing and their sunset on the beaches. L.A. is still the wonderland that it was in 1990. (But, I’m different.) I wish I could still be that girl, I wish that I could still feel that awe. I wish that it only took a book, taffeta and combat boots to make me believe.
This review is going to be so biased, so subjective, so, some might say, girlie and may even explain why NOW has denied me members...more I can’t lie to you.
This review is going to be so biased, so subjective, so, some might say, girlie and may even explain why NOW has denied me membership. But, I really don’t care. I have 85 days before I turn 40 and I’m going to embrace my Twilight mom-Johnny Depp-Duranie-Shawn Cassidy epicness and just go with it. Consider yourself warned.
Oh My. I have to admit. I had high hopes for my summer reading. I hit the library, grabbed The Complete Milton and To the Lighthouse. But, it wasn’t going to happen--I couldn’t wrap my brain around anything multisyllabic or with small font (Perseus Jackson, I’m looking at you)
Another confession: This book was a 5 star-er before I even cracked open the cover and relished that new book smell. I was a goner after The Hunger Games. I didn’t even review Catching Fire because I still can’t come to terms with myself and my love of these characters.
Is it because of the writing? Not really. Which may get me kicked out of all the nerdy book talks, but what’s new? I can’t change who I am. I love me the young adult books and I especially love me a dysfunctional heroine torn between two really cute guys. (I’m envisioning my friend count dropping off as I type)
I love Katniss. Who wouldn't? She’s compassionate and she's got that independent thinking going on; she kicked ass in both the Hunger Games and the Quarter Quell and she still has no clue of the effect that she has on people. (where have I heard that before? Oh, right… Bella…..hmmm)
Really, Katniss/Bella, Bella/Katniss. No denying it. And I’m sucked in. Like most girls, (I say ‘girls’, I’m not dumb… most grow up and get over this) I want to be Katniss. Well, yeah maybe without all the deaths on her conscious and having to be responsible for her family and living in this dystopian society that crushes any hope for a happy life…you know, besides all that. Who wouldn’t want to be her? I mean, she’s strong, beautiful, intelligent, and willful. (Jo March/Lucy Honeychurch/Davey Wexler/Weetzie Bat/Liesel/ Lyra) and she’s got two really hot guys gunning for her--trying to ‘save’ her, protect her… unconditionally loving her.
Oh…. Lots of Gooeynesss….yeah.
So, yes, this might be the start of bodice ripping literature for 12 year old girls everywhere or just the continuation of strong heroines in literature…but you won’t find me preaching to or swaying the masses. I am what I am.
When my eleven year old daughter grabbed this book from my trembling, tear stained hands, I asked her…“Who do you hope Katniss chooses?” She pauses…she’s a tomboy, this type of ‘talk’ unnerves her, but I can see it….. that gleam that this series brings out and I grab at it, pull her in, egg her on… finally, she answers…
“Gale.” She grabs the book and stages her exit… another pause… “But, we’re not making teams or anything.” And then she’s gone.
Wow…. what a bummer. I was on a streak; (sort of) I was happily flitting through books and with such glee! I was inspired, intrigued, awake!
What happ...moreWow…. what a bummer. I was on a streak; (sort of) I was happily flitting through books and with such glee! I was inspired, intrigued, awake!
What happened, Francesca? What’s going on? Why are you suddenly writing these vampire and werewolf stories? Don’t you know that you’re above the hype. You are an original. You don’t need to succumb to this mainstream muddle of muck.
Where is THIS Francesca?
"Everything was chocolate ice cream and kisses and wind."
"Morning. Strawberry sky dusted with white winter powder sugar sun. And nobody to munch on it with"
Where are you hiding?
"Stories are like genies...They can carry us into and though our sorrows. Sometimes they burn, sometimes they dance, sometimes they weep, sometimes they sing. Like genies, everyone has one. Like genies, sometimes we forget that we do. Our stories can set us free...When we set them free."
Set yourself free… Don’t fall into the rabbit hole. Don’t drink the water. Don’t click it. Don’t stop believing. Put on your faerie wings and drink from the clouds. “The most Beautiful people are the ones that don't look like one race or even one sex”
Stop. Listen to your own words. You don’t need to be Stephenie Myers or any of those hacks. YOU are the one that set the bar so high. You made me believe in haunted mansions and fairy tales and that good can bitchslap evil.
Your blog post about your mom… that was beautiful… I miss that Francesca… I don’t care about their versions of vampires or werewolves. I just want you back. Please come back.
“When you are little, people, movie and fairy tales all tell you that one day you're going to meet this person. So you keep waiting and it's a lot harder than they make it sound. Then you meet and you think, okay, now we can just get on with it but you find out that sometimes your soul brother partner lover has other ideas about that. "
"There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire."
So it begins. Fine. Yep. These are the stuff fairy tales are made from-blahblahblah...more "There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire."
So it begins. Fine. Yep. These are the stuff fairy tales are made from-blahblahblah. Sure thing. What else you got?
I really don’t get the point of this novella. I mean, yes, I see that there once was a man who made a journey to capture the uncapturable (a fallen star) for the woman that he loves. Wait. Does he really love her? Do I really care? I spent half the book thinking his name was Tristan not Tristran, so I guess the answer is no. Yes, he thinks she’s a hottie. Yes, he stalks her like a bedazzled Margaret Mary Ray rumbling around in Letterman’s bushes. Christ! He sits in trees and watches her undress. What of it? Where is the love? Has he sat down and had coffee with her? Does he know her favorite book? Whether she likes boxers or briefs? Seriously?
So, he leaves his boring town of Wall to enter Faerie and find this star who is actually a beautiful young woman.(YAWN) He meets colorful filler characters along the way…yadda yadda yadda. But wait, we have another story line going on about some princely brothers who want to take over their kingdom but have to find a topaz that their father threw out the window, towards that SAME fallen star, before he croaked. And wait, there’s ANOTHER story line where 3 old witch hags also want that fallen star because her heart will given them some much needed youth. SEE HOW THEY INTERCONNECT?
Good, because the rest of it is really just a ‘she did this, he did that, they fought, they died, they tricked, he smartens up..’ kind of story. I didn’t really know the characters, I really didn’t care who ended up with who. They all kind of irritated me. The action was pretty dull. What happened to EPIC? Not like ‘dude, that frat party was so epic…’ but like Princess-Bride-Epic or Long-Island-Lolita-Epic… C’mon, Gaiman..bring it on. I know you can do it.. People wouldn’t be so enamored of you if you couldn’t. Right? (less)
I have a confession. I… um… don’t know how to read comic books. There. I said it. Let the heckling begin. In my defense, I am a girl. Ok, no. I mean,...moreI have a confession. I… um… don’t know how to read comic books. There. I said it. Let the heckling begin. In my defense, I am a girl. Ok, no. I mean, it’s not like the mid 1970s really gave us any good comics. Uhh… Okay, I don’t know. I have no excuse. It’s never been my thing. I remember trying to read some Archie ones and some Wendy Witch ones.. meh. Plus, I um... always screwed up the reading order.
So, last night I sat down across from my sixteen year old. She had the manners to at least glance up at me during My Little Pony (the NEW version… I must specify that) and give me a look like ‘Wait.’ I did---until a commercial, when she proceeded to dramatically roll her head in my direction.
“What?” “Um.. I need your help.” “I’m not doing the dishes. It’s Marley’s turn.” “No, not that. I um… got this from the library…” “Sandman. Cool. Nice graphics.” “Yeah, yeah… cool. Um… how do I read it?” “What?” “I mean… what’s the order? Do I read the balloons that are above the other balloons? Do I read down or across? Why are some fonts different?” “Seriously?” “Um… Yes.”
After much laughing and calling in ALL the other children, she showed me the correct way to read a comic book. Sorry, graphic novel. I still screwed it up. I jumped all over the place and then had to go back and re-read the pages. I probably didn’t pay enough attention to the pictures because I’m not used to doing that while I read. I didn’t understand who some of the characters were. Especially when they brought in the Justice League peeps. I think I missed some of the nuances. I didn’t understand why Dr. Dee had to (view spoiler)[kill that really nice woman who gave him the coat. (hide spoiler)] I mean…c’mon… you were like gross looking and she helped you out.
The scenes in Hell were interesting, even if I didn’t get the whole battle. It reminded me of a Wonder Twins cartoon where Zan and Jayna are constantly changing forms. Lucifer was kind of hot if you like that fallen angel look. He reminded me of a young Leif Garrett...
The scenes in Arkum were confusing. I am not familiar with those characters outside of the Batman movies. Like the professor who was tricking people into thinking he was a hanging corpse? What was that all about?
I did enjoy the last part of the story where Morpheus meets up with his sister and they’re hanging out in Washington Square Park. I’ve heard that there are other stories where his family play into the plot more. I’m looking forward to those. That whole Robert Smith/Siouxsie look is fun to revisit and I can't wait to meet Delirium.
Ohkaaaaaaayyyyy... Now I get it. Carrie D'Amour, if you're out there, I apologize for mocking your Sandman fascination back in 1989. And for that hair...moreOhkaaaaaaayyyyy... Now I get it. Carrie D'Amour, if you're out there, I apologize for mocking your Sandman fascination back in 1989. And for that haircut.(less)
The other night I happened to pass by the living room and noticed that my children were watching this show where this freaky guy in black has these tr...more The other night I happened to pass by the living room and noticed that my children were watching this show where this freaky guy in black has these trampy half-dressed assistants and is proceeding to show us, the audience, how magic is faked.
I don’t want my kids being jaded before they hit high school! I want them to think that people can regurgitate multi-colored scarves and be sawed in half or beheaded and still slink away in that sequined bikini thing. Fuck, Houdini died for our sins after all, right? Let us be heathens and revel in the magickal.
The Night Circus seems to be a love/hate book, from what I can tell from my goodread friends anyway. And, it seems that my male friends are the ones leaning towards the hate. I can draw all sorts of conclusions but why bother… it is what it is.
I liked it. I thought it was bewitching. Le Cirque des Rêves… it even sounds pretty. A circus of dreams… not of elephant dung and sketchy drifters.. Nothing like Carnivale which was a Lynchian head fuck. I liked Celia and Marco.. they made a great duo. They created these awesome exhibitions like The Cloud Maze, the Labyrinth, The Wishing Tree, the Ice Garden, the Wunschtraum Clock. These are places and objects that would make my eight year old self squee.
It has all the right ingredients for a fantasy/young adult/romance novel, there are star-crossed lovers, there’s the steampunkish setting, the mystery and whimsy, the heroes never age, it plays off of Shakespeare, there are ‘villains’ of sorts, there are fucked up childhoods, there are kittens…
We even have the purple prose chapters, where you find yourself meandering through the circus, buying caramel apples and feeding your insomnia.
It’s not a ‘great read’ but it is a good read. It’s written to sweep you away and I think that that’s what books should do. Escapism. Gotta love it. And, I will go on believing in magic because otherwise the world is like having sticky fingers without the joy of cotton candy. Blech.
“Not a one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world, and what’s worse is that none of them would listen if you attempted to enlighten them. They want to believe that magic is nothing but clever deception, because to think it real would keep them up at night, afraid of their own existence.” (less)