Like I said, I read this primarily because I enjoyed Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate". But the movie only touche...moreA love letter to reading the classics
Like I said, I read this primarily because I enjoyed Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate". But the movie only touches on a few plot points found in the book, and removes a bulk of the story -- I.e. : the entire Dumas plot line -- reducing it to a more devil-worshiping detective mystery than a historical-romp-through-the-classics-do-you-believe-in-the-devil story it really is.
I'll polish this review when I have more time but reading "The Club Dumas" surprisingly paralleled reading Dan Brown's "The DaVinci code". Both books delved a lot into history and into our notions of God or Devil; both left me wanting to know more about other historical readings of Jesus and the devil. And both ends up with the protagonist finding some sort of connection with Jesus or the devil. But while Dan Brown reads like a paperback mystery, "The Club Dumas" feels richer, more thought out, and it reeled me in with its intriguing world of rare books. In an age where nearly everything can be found in the internet, and nothing is hidden anymore, mysteries are welcome reprieve. So, where else can one find the best mysteries other than in books? Paper books, that is. Old books that hold more than what their musty old spines tell.
Even at this early in the millennium the thought of real books, bound and written in paper, has started to sound old fashioned -- and, gasp -- archaic that paper books are beginning to elevate into an art status. Less for practically, more for art. Like paintings where once cameras came, or Polaroid films when digital cameras arrived. And that thought reverberates, especially to a book lover like myself. There is no mystery in an Ebook. We don't touch a machine and wonder who bound it, who cut the pages, who has touched this pages before us, and perhaps did they poison it, a la Arabian Nights, and so on. All we get are a bunch of letters in a faux sepia screen.
The Club Dumas is a nostalgic ode to reading, to getting lost in the pages of a good book, to opening new chapters and living different lives other than ourselves. To discovering more than what is just written on pages To biting the apple and knowing(less)
Actually, I've only read the ebook version of Matheson's short story "Button, Button". It was reminiscent of WW Jacob's The Monkey's Paw with a dark t...moreActually, I've only read the ebook version of Matheson's short story "Button, Button". It was reminiscent of WW Jacob's The Monkey's Paw with a dark twist in the end. I have seen both the Twilight Zone version and the Cameron Diaz movie, both of which weren't faithful to Matheson's original concept (although the Twilight Zone version seemed closer even though it differed in the ending). Personally, I think I prefer the Monkey's Paw, but Button, Button is still a nice, good read, especially since it's short enough to read while sitting in the waiting room. (less)
It feels a little weird to read girl-on-girl romance being portrayed realistically, especially at a time where being gay was not an open subject. At s...moreIt feels a little weird to read girl-on-girl romance being portrayed realistically, especially at a time where being gay was not an open subject. At some points, in terms of lushness of the visuals and the dark ambiance, I think it's better than Stroker. Can't wait to finish it (less)
Not the worst book I've read, but not the best either (considering it was getting good reviews).
Admittedly, the story actually started out well; Niff...moreNot the worst book I've read, but not the best either (considering it was getting good reviews).
Admittedly, the story actually started out well; Niffenegger hit hit real emotions about the disorientation of time travelling and the frustration of finding oneself at a different time and place altogether. But it goes downhill from there for me. The characters -- Henry and Claire -- were as bland as cardboard paper, and too mushy at that. I didn't really care for them, Claire especially who sounded like this flat, emotionless woman with a dazed look on her face. It did not matter if the author spent one line or an entire chapter describing her characters, I just couldn't picture them because none of them seemed real or fleshed out. The molecules in my med books were more exciting than her characters. And, it's disappointing since I was really looking forward to the idea of time-travelling and of Henry meeting his future love as a child. I suppose I'll try to read this book again someday when I'll be stranded on a desert island and this happens to be the only book around. That's the only reason I can think of, of picking it up again. (less)
Frankly, the only reason I wanted to read the book was because of the "Avonlea" series on TV. I was obsessed with that series and I think I cried when...moreFrankly, the only reason I wanted to read the book was because of the "Avonlea" series on TV. I was obsessed with that series and I think I cried when it ended. Childhood never looked so idyllic and magical as it did on the show -- the endearing innocence, the clumsy chaos and petty squabbles, the boundless imagination heightened by the panoramic, postcard quality landscape of PEI. It reminded me so much of my own childhood, enjoying the summer with my cousins, climbing hills and trees, exploring caves and closets; when the world became our playground and the days never ended. God, did I want to be a kid again.
So when the series ended, and the bubble of being a child again burst, this book seemed like the perfect pill to keep my depression at bay. There were a lot of differences between the book and TV series, but I think the nostalgia and magical image of childhood it portrayed were still the same. The story is a testament to being a child and the simplicity and complexity of life as seen through a child's eyes. It's wonderful and sad at the same time, and just like with the TV series, I cried at the end. I know Montgomery isn't Coehlo or Alboom or what not, but it's ironic that she's done more to help me appreciate life more than those other authors have. Y(less)
Brilliant story. I've never read anything by Neil Gaiman until I stumbled upon this wonderfully written story, and now I'm a fan. The creepy, medieval...moreBrilliant story. I've never read anything by Neil Gaiman until I stumbled upon this wonderfully written story, and now I'm a fan. The creepy, medieval vibe; the supernatural undertones; the twist at the end. It's the best Snow White story, in my opinion(less)
A so and so read; not too long nor too short. As a romance, it tends to be a little slow and melodramatic for modern standards. Like most novels writt...moreA so and so read; not too long nor too short. As a romance, it tends to be a little slow and melodramatic for modern standards. Like most novels written from that century, the plot drives the story leaving Marguerite and Armand to the mercy of the author's whim. From the moment the lovers meet, it's clear that their doomed to suffer. The plot itself actually reads like a soap opera with all the obstacles thrown to separate them, that even when they do get together, things like money and family still get in the way. But for all the plot's simplicity, the characters are very human that I quickly felt sorry for them. The ending especially really tugs at the heart. I read this because I liked the opera "La Traviata", which is just as melodramatic as the book. Dumas fils may not write sophisticated political dramas like his dad, but he certainly knows to touch the heart. (less)
I don't understand books in series. The commitment requirements, the funds. It's one thing to watch it on free TV, its another when one has to start c...moreI don't understand books in series. The commitment requirements, the funds. It's one thing to watch it on free TV, its another when one has to start collecting them. Even as a kid I was never one who collected those Sweet Valley books like everyone else.
One exception in my collection is Harry Potter. But the rules are meant to be broken for classics
Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Blood series, however, is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading her books immensely. In Blue Bloods, she introduces us to the world of Vampires as members of New York City's most elite family. But they can't just be vampires (or this would be Twilight), de la Cruz's vampires are fallen angels, Michael, Gabriel, Setieil and the like, thrown from heaven after the wall and toiling their time on Earth as they wait for a chance to return to heaven. As they struggle to reform their ways, they are pitted against the "Sliver Bloods" another group of vampires who feed on their own, with no wish to return to heaven.
After reading "The Club Dumas" and all its devil connection, I do feel saturated by all these angels/devils stories that I am not quite sure where Dumas ends and de la Cruz start. But overall, it made for a rich reading. I love the little connections to history: the Ranoake tribe, the historic settings of Venice, the glamour of old New York. While her characters itself are passable, the fast paced historic story line does drive the series forward, making these series a wonderful guilty pleasure.