I read "Aimez-Vous Brahms" several years ago and that introduced me to Sagan and piqued my interest regarding her other writings. Perhaps it was becauI read "Aimez-Vous Brahms" several years ago and that introduced me to Sagan and piqued my interest regarding her other writings. Perhaps it was because she wrote it a different time, long before the likes of Mr. Grey existed, Sagan's stories tend to be very sweet, romantic love affairs, and quite tame for today's standards. Girl is a student who falls for her boyfriend's Uncle, who -- alas -- is married. Girl is also friends with Uncle's wife, which makes for a strange love triangle but that does not stop girl from continuing the affair. It's almost the same story as "Aimez-Vous Brahms" except this time girl is younger (whereas in the former, the girl was older than her college-age beau).
The story is classically Sagan, who writes with a distinctly French "je ne sais quoi" that one could almost hear french music just reading it. She writes delicately; her characters are nonchalant, introspective but practical. Even at the height of their passion, her characters refuse to be sentimental. They understand how this world works and accepts it almost too willingly. They put the world back in order at the expense of their happiness. Consequently, her stories often end in a somber note. Sagan understands loneliness, heartaches and sadness like no other writer. In her hands, even the barest, dull and melancholic of plots can become exquisitely romantic. ...more
I adore Matheson so this review is obviously biased. (hence, the 5 stars). I think the stories included in his other book (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet) aI adore Matheson so this review is obviously biased. (hence, the 5 stars). I think the stories included in his other book (Nightmare at 20,000 Feet) are more well written and are considered his "classics", which is rightly so because those are truly his best works.
That is not to say that the stories included in this volume are not good. That would depend on how you like your "horror" actually. Matheson is one of my quintessential horror writers; his quick prose style is ideal for turning mundane into something else. It's classic twilight zone: short, direct, intially ordinary then a sudden twist. Horror how he writes it is not necessary horrific, rather is more of a jolt, a sudden realization that drastically shifts the character (or the reader's) perspective.
My favorites: "Button, Button" (or "The Box" as they had retitled the movie based on the short story) is the standout story. A true review of the piece would probably end up being longer than the actual story, so I'll spare you the spoilers and just read it for yourself.
"The Creeping Terror" -- I didn't like it when I first read it but it does grow on you with each rereading. I found it quite funny actually. The image of the farmer's wife in a halter top in the kitchen has been burned into my memory thanks to that.
"Shock Wave" -- The premise is pretty outdated and you can guess the ending coming from a mile away, but I like the way he wrote it. I could feel the struggle between the organ player and the organ -- or was it with himself? In a master's hand, dust can still become gold. ...more
Another vampire book If you're looking for Twilight, move on. Vampires is an anthology of the classic vampire tales wherein Vampires are Vampires -- thAnother vampire book If you're looking for Twilight, move on. Vampires is an anthology of the classic vampire tales wherein Vampires are Vampires -- think ghoulish shadows in the dark, fangs tainted with fresh blood; The Undead. None of those glitters in sun stuff, thank you very much Still I have to thank Twilight for thise resurgence in vampire stories. I actually bought my copy for the sole purpose of owning a hardbound copy of Sheridan LeFanu's "Carmilla". Hence, all the other stories is just bonus for me.
Since they are "Classics", most of the stories are actually pre-Dracula or are Dracula's contemporary. The writing style is definitely old and most plots are predictable.
My favorite so far (besides Carmilla) has been EF Benson's "The Room in Tower". It is the most "modern" story in the bunch, although it still suffers from being predictable and anticlimatic at the end. Nevertheless, the recurring imagery of Mrs Stone's party ending in that room in the tower read like frightening version of Groundhog Day. The repeated party scene. The toast, the invitation to go to the room in the tower. Everytime he stands at the threshold of the room, I hold my breath expecting something. Unfortunately, the ending does not satisfy, so...
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 cI 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.
Like I said, I read this primarily because I enjoyed Roman Polanski's "The Ninth Gate". But the movie only toucheA 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...more