I think this is one of Wilson's darker and more depressing novels, geared toward slightly older children. Marigold is great at getting tattoos, not so...moreI think this is one of Wilson's darker and more depressing novels, geared toward slightly older children. Marigold is great at getting tattoos, not so great at anything else. Especially naming children - poor Dolphin. Dolphin doesn't even like dolphins. I remember that. The novel focuses on Marigold's spiral into depression, and touches on some sensitive subjects - mental health and depression, alcoholism, learning difficulties, bad parenting... At the age of eleven or whenever I read this book, I couldn't relate to a single one of those issues, but the book still got to me.
I found the book quite fascinating. Mental health issues - Marigold, as it turns out, suffers from manic depression - have always held interest with me. And poor awkward little Dolphin turns out to be quite gutsy and resourceful, which is nice. I felt for her. It sure as hell can't be easy dealing with a crazy momma.(less)
I loved Skinny Melon and Me! It's set in a time when Doc Martens were fashionable, and revolves around one girl's relationship with her sweet-yet-geek...moreI loved Skinny Melon and Me! It's set in a time when Doc Martens were fashionable, and revolves around one girl's relationship with her sweet-yet-geeky hippie stepfather. It's set in a diary form, it's easy to read, and it's cute to see the girl begin to warm to Slimy Roland. The poor guy will do anything to impress her, and now I think he'd be very likable, but you have to remember that the girl, Cherry, is only eleven. I think in that way it was probably true to eleven-year-olds. Roland wasn't 'cool' so she didn't like him. That's fair when you're that age.
There are lots of cute picture messages which Slimy would push under Cherry's door, so they're fun to interpret. Oh, and you get to see some letters her mum writes to a friend in Dallas. All the mum can talk about is Cherry Cherry Cherry, which vaguely annoyed me, but it gives you an adult's perspective.
There's also a deadbeat dad to contend with. I don't know. Thanks to my stable home, I never had to go through parents divorcing or stepfathers or anything of the like. I still really enjoyed the book though. Maybe kids from 'broken' families could get even more from it.(less)
I actually don't remember when exactly I read this, but I remember it being one of my favorites as a kid.
Percy is a talking cat who lives with some ec...moreI actually don't remember when exactly I read this, but I remember it being one of my favorites as a kid.
Percy is a talking cat who lives with some eccentric inventors called the Looby-Fartils or something along those lines. They're on the brink of poverty, and if I remember correctly Percy manages to win them seventeen babies. Which sounds kind of hellish to me now.
I loved this book. Great kid's book. In fact I need to read it again. And the illustrations were good. Honestly, as a kid what more do you want than good illustrations?(less)
The second book in the Dark Tower series picks up right where the first left off, and it's a whirlwind ride straight from the beginning. I adore readi...moreThe second book in the Dark Tower series picks up right where the first left off, and it's a whirlwind ride straight from the beginning. I adore reading, but I have to say that there are few books which I've found truly unputdownable. This was one of the few, and reminds me of lying awake at night in a hostel room in Sydney, not really caring if my bedside light was disturbing anyone trying to sleep because I needed to know what happened next. It really just sucks you in, you don't want to put it down and you feel a real sense of disappointment when you realize you're halfway through the book already.
The book is very dramatic for the most part, but also has some hilarious moments. I found myself in hysterics over Eddie's altercation with airport security, Roland's first taste of Pepsi, and the fact that he holds a drugstore pharmacist at gunpoint...for some penicillin. Eddie, in fact, may be the reason I'm so fond of this book. I fell in love with Eddie right from the start, when we meet him, a heroin addict from Brooklyn, smuggling drugs into New York. He may not sound promising, but it's impossibly not to fall in love with him and his wisecracks. The moment when security bursts in on him in the airplane's toilet is priceless.
Really, I was just hoping for more from Jack Mort. I was hoping Roland would bring him back into his own world, because it would have been fascinating to see how the two would interact. As it is, we really don't get enough information on who he is and why he does what he does.
King does get a little rambly in this book. One stream-of-consciousness sentence in particular runs on for about two and a half pages but if you stick to your guns (no pun intended) then you should be just fine. Annoyingly, Odetta is referred to throughout as suffering from schizophrenia when there is no indication that that is the case.
DOTT reads more like a Stephen King novel than The Gunslinger did, which should keep Constant Readers happy. There are a few little creases which still need to be ironed out in the book, but in general it's a fast-paced read which you'll have a hard job putting down.(less)
This is the book which first catapults us into Roland's world, introducing us to the enigmatic gunslinger and his rather strange world.
This revised ed...moreThis is the book which first catapults us into Roland's world, introducing us to the enigmatic gunslinger and his rather strange world.
This revised edition was published in 2003, to coincide with the release of the final books in the Dark Tower series. In his introduction, King compares this to the expanded edition of The Stand, only on a smaller scale. Generally, a few alterations have been made so that the book, originally published back in 1982, ties in more nicely with the later books in the series. I own, but have yet to get around to reading, the book in its original form so as yet I can't judge as to whether or not the revised edition was necessary.
The most common complaint I hear about this book is that people have found it boring. It seems a strange complaint to make; here we are, introduced to this compelling and mysterious character, a gunslinger capable of wiping out the entire population of a small town in just one afternoon, yet you can sense that he is inherently good. You immediately want to know more about this character, why he seems so dead set on catching up to this Man in Black, and why an eleven-year-old boy from New York City could end up in the middle of the desert in another world. With so much to think about, it seems odd to think that a person could get bored reading this.
If you are familiar with King's other work, then this book will seem a little strange at first. Unlike the other books in the series, it doesn't read quite like a Stephen King novel. Perhaps because it was one of the first books he wrote, or perhaps because its protagonist is a character who has never heard of America, let alone the state of Maine. A Clint Eastwood-esque gunslinger who grew up in a castle and whose coming of age was marked by a bloody fight with his teacher, Cort. In fact, for the first portion of the book we're not even told the gunslinger's name. That, along with the title of the novel, is symbolic of how mysterious this character is. We read an entire novel about him and come away realizing that we actually know very little about him. Throughout the whole series there's something enigmatic and distant about Roland. By the end of book seven we've come to care for him deeply, yet we still don't really know him.
A point to note is that you should definitely re-read this after completing the series as you'll be amazed at the little references you missed first time around (which I presume do not exist in the original text). I was also quite delighted to find a Watership Down reference in there too.
For me, The Gunslinger is a fantastic introduction to the Dark Tower series and I would highly recommend it to everyone.(less)