I read half of this volume years ago, before watching the television series, and it read a little differently. This time around it's difficult to getI read half of this volume years ago, before watching the television series, and it read a little differently. This time around it's difficult to get the anime characters out of my head, especially with the parts that are exactly the same in both versions. While this is disappointing because I've lost that first-time impression that I had before, it's helpful in a way that I know what's going on. At times I find these books to be a bit confusing - there's a whole lot of dialogue and very little action to move it along - you need to be paying attention.
However. Death Note is really good no matter which version you check out. The art is typical manga, aside from the standout designs for Ryuk and other shinigami, including their home world, but even these elements are within the box of their archetypes. It doesn't matter though because the story is compelling and the art holds up to scrutiny, which combines for a pretty awesome series....more
One thing I like about certain manga series is the range of different ideas that get to come out and play. Sure I'm not especially well versed on an aOne thing I like about certain manga series is the range of different ideas that get to come out and play. Sure I'm not especially well versed on an array of manga, but from my perspective, this book tells a unique story that's interesting enough to make me want to read more. It's just a shame that this book (like so many) does nothing exciting with the art, which is half the reason to read these things in the first place!...more
Hmmm. I might be ignorant and unwise to the true beauty of prose such as this, but for the most part: it's over my head. Is it because it's actually tHmmm. I might be ignorant and unwise to the true beauty of prose such as this, but for the most part: it's over my head. Is it because it's actually too high brow? Or is it because it's just not that good in the first place?
I'm not quite sure what this story was about, but I enjoyed some of the imagery. I gathered a few themes here and there that went all the way through - it's the 'plot' for want of a better word, that escapes me. In fact, I'm not sure what the point is at all.
I can accept that I may have missed the point on this one, or maybe it missed the point on me, but either way, it's not really my type of thing.
More often than not, the writing comes across as pretentious and refers to many abstract notions with little explanation. Sure there's a point in there about time being subjective and other existential conundrums that may or may not be worth pondering, but there's very little to tie it all together. Abstract prose can work when it's handled delicately and with finesse... unfortunately this book feels more like a stumble through narrow corridors with random punctuations falling down to shatter on your head.
There's something about this book that just feels like the writer is trying very hard to be philosophical, which isn't bad in itself, but the great philosophical tales are the ones that don't smash you over the head with their message and take you on a profound journey instead. By contrast, this one tries to bash you over the head, but it hits like a child....more
Someone once told me that a portfolio or exhibition of work should run on the principle of 'less is more'. By limiting exposure to only your best workSomeone once told me that a portfolio or exhibition of work should run on the principle of 'less is more'. By limiting exposure to only your best works, the overall impression of your talent is raised - even a single piece that isn't up to snuff will distort your reception.
In the case of this book: forget that idea.
Evans did to America what Atget did to Paris (arguably with different degrees of success) and his collected works stand as testament to the extent that he went to in order to document the people and places that made up his environment and culture. His life involved a lot of movement from place to place and through different landscapes, which is effectively captured in the delivery of this book.
Most of the images reproduced here are accompanied by a few other versions that Evans shot at the same time, as any photographer would, to test exposures/lenses/etc. Couple this with the inclusion of Evans's own notations, excerpts from interviews, letters and technical explorations and you have a volume that does a decent representation of how Evans went about capturing each picture.
It goes without saying that his work is stunning, but this book adds to the images in a way that really brings the photographer to life and is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the medium.
However, the greatest praise I have for a collection of this nature is how I was reminded that I should never leave home without my camera. It's photographers like Evans and Atget who remind us that the local is often more compelling than the exotic - at the very least, it's has just as much value. It's masters such as these who provide motivation for someone like me to get out and document life without being paralised by thoughts of how the work will appeal....more
The story gets a bit more interesting in this volume - there are more elements going on and the pacing is amped up a little. There are a few parts thaThe story gets a bit more interesting in this volume - there are more elements going on and the pacing is amped up a little. There are a few parts that stand out as not making a whole lot of sense and I was only able to figure out why Ryuk was suddenly mentioning apples because I had seen the series. Maybe I missed it earlier in the manga, but there didn't seem to be any real acknowledgement of his apple addiction until it became absolutely necessary. Maybe I just missed it though...
There also seems to be more dynamics in the art of this volume, which is nice to see as the author appears to be making progress with the real fleshy parts of the characters' personalities....more
It's hard to know where to start, or how to write about this book at all. After the first couple of pages I couldn't put it down - if I didn't have woIt's hard to know where to start, or how to write about this book at all. After the first couple of pages I couldn't put it down - if I didn't have work and uni commitments, I doubt I would have! Bone is an epic tale that is a fine example of how graphic novels can excel beyond the limitations of a cartoon genre. In fact, it's the genre itself that makes Bone as close to perfect as the telling of a story should really get.
I'm stunned at how much care and elegance was given to each character, especially the Bones, who manage to transcend their simplistic image on the page and convey powerful and moving depth. Fone Bone is the most simplistic of them all, but I fell in love with him early on. Smith brings Fone out of his shell throughout the book with a gentle ease that allows you to really get to know his big heart by the time he reaches his potential in the final chapters. The plot isn't anything super unique and there aren't any huge twists (although there are some minor ones that are still satisfying), but the real charm of Bone is how it hits every note it tries to hit, so you're never left feeling short-changed.
A lot of books try to achieve some of these elements. Many people would have heard a joke that's trying too hard to be funny, read something tragic that ends up being cliche and corny, or seen the stereotypical treatment that romance gets whenever it's part of a tale. Bone does all these things and more, but there's never that moment when you roll your eyes and just move one because you can see what the author wants you to feel, however unsuccessful they have been. Finally here is a book that gets it right in every way - Bone delivers with honest integrity and I found myself laughing, crying and feeling the emotional strength of each character.
Of course, it goes without saying that the illustrations are superb - as I already said, the Bones are especially beautiful as they offer so much depth and character, while being simple images of cartoon people. Despite this simplicity, the emotions expressed in each illustration are spot on and space is allowed for these images to completely form. There are some truly poignant moments that involve no dialogue at all, and some of the plainest illustrations in the book.
Bone is one hell of an epic journey that tumbles and rolls through the plot with ease and delivers on every goal. I'm a little bit sad that it's over....more
Maybe it's the hype that killed it, but this book left me with a stern feeling of disappointment. Essentially there are some good ideas and every nowMaybe it's the hype that killed it, but this book left me with a stern feeling of disappointment. Essentially there are some good ideas and every now and then a glimpse of some interesting turn - none of which are given the space to grow and build substance.
The naff crutches used to tell this tale far outweigh the unique and promising insight. However, the story of Elphaba's life hints at political and theological debates throughout, although it never does anything more than dip its toes into each, which is surprising considering how often the toes get wet. These ideological slants on the world of Oz are fascinating perspectives that could have been explored in a more meaningful way. Instead they act as a superficial backdrop and motivator to the characters' actions. In particular the plight of Animals in Oz offered a rich depth that was continuously glossed over in favour of the muddy narration that provided frustration aplenty.
By leaning on a generic form of fantasy-novel narration that favours thick portraits of 'realty' instead of insightful glances at the hidden, Maguire has done this book a disservice. Far too often the story gets stuck in the mud and bogged down by its adherance to typical fantasy elements of tiresome exclamation that is more concerned with convincing the reader that the world could exist than it is with debating the world as it is. Further to this, there are so many holes in the retelling of the tale that significant passages of time are skipped altogether, which stands contrast to the effort placed onto periods that made it past the cut.
Although, the most disappointing part of this book came with the final chapter that brings the estranged tale of Elphaba into relevance with that of Dorothy and the popularised version of Oz. In these end pages, the grim political backdrop is upstaged by what can only be described as a miserable farce. All of a sudden there are random stabs at humour, as Dorothy is well known enough by all to have her innocent naivety parodied. The witch herself, who throughout the tale has been in a kind of self-imposed exile of sorts, terrifically loses all inhibition and gallavants across the land, bumping into old friends and wreaking havoc. Any consistency gained while wading through the bog of previous chapters gets lost right at the end, when this unique take on a familiar story could have really shone.
Overall it is a shame that such a promising notion of telling a story from a unique perspective would be simplified and weakened by falling on tropes of the genre. What makes it all the more frustrating is to see glimmers of potential and to never have it realised. It's a damn shame....more
Cope has a way of making profound statements within the guise of a light and funny poem. The first half of this collection can be somewhat random at tCope has a way of making profound statements within the guise of a light and funny poem. The first half of this collection can be somewhat random at times, but there are stand outs like The Squirrel and the Crow that offer an introspective tongue-in-cheek appraisal that works well.
The second half, consisting of the poem The Teacher's Tale is a gorgeous ballad delivered with self-conscious wit and heart warming sentiment. This poem alone shows how Cope is in command of her pen and writes a cracking good poem....more
**spoiler alert** I really wanted to give this book four stars, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Toward the end it lost me a little and if it hadn'**spoiler alert** I really wanted to give this book four stars, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Toward the end it lost me a little and if it hadn't been for the last few pages, this would have remained a rather average book. In fact, there are many reasons why I didn't really dig it, but thanks to some parts that are wonderfully written, all is not lost.
The crap thing is basically the plot and the soppy-all-too-predictable-and-stupid romance side of the whole deal. I mean really: there's a guy who loves this girl, but he isn't allowed to marry her, so he marries her sister because he reckons it will let him be closer to the girl he loves. His poor wife has to deal with the fact that she was tricked into marrying this supposedly incredible man, when really he's just using her for the chance to have a silent grope with her sister every now and then in the dark while everyone's sleeping. Although, the sister is shown to be the evil one in the trio and the poor girl has to suffer along with the man because they can't be together. What a fucking farce!
Then along comes a nice, decent bloke who the girl loves and wants to marry, but the original bastard decides that he's jealous and that she can't go off and marry someone else, even though that's what he did. Nevertheless, the girl decides not to marry the decent bloke, who is humble and respectful about the rejection, and instead she and the original man figure out a system with the sister so that they can all live in the same house and the girl and the man can sleep together whenever they want. The sister eventually dies and the two selfish fuckers are left to their own devices, without a thought for all the people they've messed with throughout their lives.
Blah blah blah... who gives a shit right?! There's no need to read this book for the story - it's not that good. BUT! You want to read this book for the writing, as it's the saving grace that prevents such a naff tale from being trash. In fact, there are some passages in this book that are as excellently realised as they ever will be. There are moments that simply took my breath away, such as the description of Gertrudis's emancipation and the sudden reveal of Tita's blanket during the last few pages.
These moments are peppered throughout the terrible plot with enough frequency to make it worth a read, but not without fair warning....more
The first half of the book is promising and there is a reflection of the charm that made The Time Traveller's Wife appealing, but towards the end - esThe first half of the book is promising and there is a reflection of the charm that made The Time Traveller's Wife appealing, but towards the end - especially the last few chapters - the whole thing kind of unravels. Think of it like a big build up, which suddenly gets wrapped up because the pages are running out.
The story actually has potential and is interesting enough to read - kooky characters throughout and plenty of individual tangents. I don't know a whole lot about what it's like to be a twin, but the relationships portrayed in this vain seem to ring true on a number of subtle levels. However, as with the other book, there is a certain arrogant and indifferent tone that persists for the length of the tale. It's not as pronounced as in the other book, but it's still there nevertheless. For some reason, the author's voice just grates me a little and after a second dose of it, I think I've had enough.
Although, it does seem like she has a knack for writing page-turners, even if they are a bit naff....more
I've been told many times how brilliant this book is, but I just don't get it. I didn't get it when we read it in high school, and I don't get it now!I've been told many times how brilliant this book is, but I just don't get it. I didn't get it when we read it in high school, and I don't get it now! Apparently there are a bunch of metaphors and symbolic passages, which elude me completely. It seems like a straight forward story that's kind of amusing in parts and just plain boring in others. For whatever reason... I just don't get it....more
Sometimes you finish a book and don't really know why you thought it was so good, but there it is. This isn't a confusing book at all and there is notSometimes you finish a book and don't really know why you thought it was so good, but there it is. This isn't a confusing book at all and there is nothing that can be blamed for this lack of definition; it's just a simple thought of "well... that was cool".
I didn't find myself drooling at the literary grace and mastery of Martel's pen (he's quite straight forward really) and I wasn't amazed and struck down with awe at the sweeping plot arcs, or anything of that nature.
It was a good book to read, and by the end, I was satisfied. The story is well thought out and delivered very simply, but effectively. It's interesting and unique (at least to me) and there isn't a single page that feels like a struggle. The ending is as destructive to the tale as everyone says it is, but in a good way.
This book didn't blow my mind or make me want to rush out and read all of Martel's books, but it ticked all the right boxes and even surprised me here and there. Basically, I can't fault it. Hence the rating....more