Paddington is more familiar to me as the 1987 or 1997 animated TV show, one of my favorites as a kid. Not sure which it was, but in any case I missedPaddington is more familiar to me as the 1987 or 1997 animated TV show, one of my favorites as a kid. Not sure which it was, but in any case I missed Tim Curry as Mr Curry, because children's shows are usually dubbed around here. For some reason my heart is happy about the thought that Curry is in a Paddington TV show (at first I confused Mr Brown with Mr Curry, which is a shame, because I'd like to see Tim Curry adopt a bear).
Anywho, Paddington gets his name after London's Paddington Station, from where he's found by Mr and Mrs Brown. The bear from Peru loves marmalade and becomes known from his duffel coat and big hat. Well-meaning but clumsy, Paddington immediately starts to get into all sorts of situations. Among other things, he wanders around a tube station, goes shopping, visits the theatre, and makes a friend. Despite his tendency of getting into trouble, Paddington is very polite, but also doesn't accept poor treatment or what he interprets as poor treatment, reserving his icy stare for the culprit.
Classics of children's literature, the Paddington books are integral parts of British culture and therefore very British in nature. London exists very thinly in the background, with only a few mentions of landmarks and locations, but Bond has a knack for capturing the city, or maybe the country in a broader sense, with only a few strokes.
A Bear Called Paddington is cute and innocent fun, but doesn't underestimate its readers. Although I personally didn't fall in love with it (considering my usual taste in children's books, I didn't expect to either, but that's fine), it's nevertheless a classic that fully deserves that title. Paddington has a heart and soul that is the essence of children's literature. It's "a pot of tea and a plate of hot, buttered toast", a long Sunday morning in clean crispy sheets with the sun warming your face, and a bun and a cup of cocoa in a messy Portobello Road antique shop....more
When they first announced the TV show (2014-), I immediately jumped on board. Vampires? Yes please. Monstrous non-Twilight vampires? Hell yes. The dayWhen they first announced the TV show (2014-), I immediately jumped on board. Vampires? Yes please. Monstrous non-Twilight vampires? Hell yes. The day when I realized Kevin Durand was Joshua in Dark Angel (2000-2002), one of my favorites when I was an innocent 12-year-old, was surreal to say the least. The premise of The Strain was, if not entirely original or exciting, very intriguing and the entertainment factor seemed promisingly high. It might not have become my favorite show, but it was great to get my mind off everyday drudgery and watch something straightforward and... well, entertaining.
The show's book counterpart is exactly that as well, and I wasn't surprised, because del Toro is involved in both. Nothing revolutionary here, just simple fun that transports you to a world of supernatural. The downfall of the book, for me, was precisely the fact that I'd seen the show. Because the show really is faithful down to the events and characters, and I appreciate that. Especially the character part, because nothing is as annoying as witnessing important characters or characters that are your favorite getting completely mauled by completely clueless individuals, who probably haven't even read the book.
In this case, though, it would have benefited me to actually get around reading the book first, like I'd planned, because now I just couldn't get into the story the same way as I did with the show. Would have been nice to see how cool everything I'd just read looked in visual form.
Thing is, that's not the book's fault. I could still see objectively all its merits. Oddly enough, all its flaws that flew past me in the show were heightened on paper. Although I liked the portrayal of vampires (animal-like creatures gradually becoming more intelligent) and the infection theme, I didn't see the overall story arc as anything more than an awfully pedestrian and clichéd story about a bunch of (one-dimensional) people that try to stop an end of the world. It's when you start to think about it, it's really not that interesting nor haunting, although I think it should be, considering that the entire city of New York is turning into bloodthirsty worm vessels (those worms creeped me out the most in the whole thing).
The occasionally cringey writing doesn't help either. I wish I had written some of the worst parts down, but there were moments where I could hear the violins that must have been playing in the authors' heads, or moments where I was rolling my eyes so hard I thought they'd pop off. However, The Strain is still a page-turner. It may not be strong sci-fi nor horror, but in its middling class it's worthy of the time spent. I don't know how much del Toro participated in the writing process, but I think his visions are better suited for visual media.
Will I check out the sequels? Uh, don't think so. I am, however, interested in the comic adaptation. Here's hoping the artist is good, or otherwise the visual aspect is pooped as well....more
An ancient and Biblical creature lurks in a remote fishing village, except it's a giant bloodsucking leech-like creature, which I thought kind of hilaAn ancient and Biblical creature lurks in a remote fishing village, except it's a giant bloodsucking leech-like creature, which I thought kind of hilarious. Another inspiration for Lovecraft, apparently. I somehow feel like if M. R. James had written this, it could have been a lot better. In relation to what the ending turned out to be, there was way too much introduction, exposition, and padding, whereas James would have focused on terror and kept things to the point. I mean, Benson isn't a bad writer, but I hope his other horror stories are more entertaining and effective....more
Merirosvot ovat kiehtoneet jollain tasolla jo lapsesta asti, mutta vasta viime aikoina olen miettinyt, että voisiko näis(Short stories about pirates.)
Merirosvot ovat kiehtoneet jollain tasolla jo lapsesta asti, mutta vasta viime aikoina olen miettinyt, että voisiko näistä merten kauhuista löytyä vaikka jotain mielenkiintoista luettavaa. Kristallimeri noudattaa Black Sails -sarjan linjaa, eli mitään hullunkurisia ja latteita Disney-rosvoja ei kokoelman sivuilta löydy.
Poikkeus tähän on oikeastaan Maija HaavistonMeri vaatii, joka etenee lehtileikkein ja yleisönosastokirjoituksin. Espoon Westendin meiningille naureskeleva novelli näyttää merirosvot vähän erilaisessa valossa ja ottaa kantaa mm. vähemmistöjen paikkaan yhteiskunnassa.
Muuten kokoelmassa onkin enimmäkseen seikkailuja historiallisten romaanien ja fantasian henkeen, mutta valitettavasti en itse välitä novelleista minitarinoina, vaan erilaiset koukut, mielenkiintoiset tyyliseikat ja ajattelemaan kannustavat juonenkäänteet miellyttävät enemmän. Nyt tuntui useamman tarinan kohdalla lukeminen vähän nihkeältä, vaikka kirjoittajat sinänsä eivät suinkaan ole huonoja. En tiedä, jotenkin jäi suoraviivaisemmista suuhun sellainen maku, että mielelläni etsisin jonkun pidemmän historiallisen romaanin merirosvoista.
Haaviston novellin lisäksi mieleen jäi kuitenkin myös pari muuta, jotka pelastivat kokoelman kahdelta tähdeltä. Magdalena HainKaunis Ululian on siirtänyt merirosvot Kristallimerelle, jossa uiskentelee kristallilohikäärmeitä, ja tarinan lopetus on kiehtova. Janos HonkosenPiru erehtyi vuodella on puolestaan kauhutarina, jossa merten syvyyksien yksinäisyys ja kammottava tunnelma on tavoitettu erinomaisesti. Ei jotenkin tee mieli ihan heti sukeltamaan....more
After reading about a couple of Gothic vampires, the Croglin Grange creature strikes me as a more deformed monster variety with its flaming eyes and bAfter reading about a couple of Gothic vampires, the Croglin Grange creature strikes me as a more deformed monster variety with its flaming eyes and brown and mummified appearance (I kept imagining it as one of those creepsters in The Strain, but with dry brown skin). Originally, the story appeared in Hare's memoirs where he mentions that it was told to him and it's supposed to be true, but obviously the tale is mere hogwash. The scene where the vampire emerges from the darkness and climbs through the window is pretty creepy, especially if you're scared of people looking through your window at night and are generally uneasy living in a house or on the first floor. Not a mediocre story, but very short and not quite a necessary read for vampire fans. Still, deserves its place in anthologies....more
(More like 3.5 stars). Considered as the first vampire story (I haven't found a reliable academic source for that claim yet, but it's certainly circli(More like 3.5 stars). Considered as the first vampire story (I haven't found a reliable academic source for that claim yet, but it's certainly circling widely around the internet), Tieck's tale of a female bloodsucker is essentially about Walter's torment of thinking grass is always greener on the other side. The inability to decide who the hell he wants as his wife is actually a pretty flimsy plot, even for a Gothic story, but for an early example of the genre it's pretty great, and I can see how English authors would have perhaps emulated Tieck.
Brunhilda seems a very traditional vampire with her broody, seductive and pale demeanor, but there are enough differences to keep it interesting (waking from the dead through necromancy, hypnotizing her victims with her "violet breath", sleeping a human's sleep every once in a while).
Despite the occasional drawn-out plot, the fantastic lush Gothic imagery makes this well worth it: a sorcerer doing some necromancing, rushing wind, hair wreathing like black snakes, nightly bloodsucking (which leads to, at least I'm fairly sure it did, to some steamy lovemaking and more bloodsucking). A wordy and predictable piece, but those who are already used to wordy Gothic novels should have no problems with it.
"Why," continued she, in a tone that increased his horror, "why dost thou make mouths at me like a puppet? Thou who hadst the courage to love the dead -- to take into thy bed, one who had been sleeping in the grave, the bed-fellow of the worm -- who hast clasped in thy lustful arms, the the corruption of the tomb -- dost thou, unhallowed as thou art, now raise this hideous cry for the sacrifice of a few lives? -- They are but leaves swept from their branches by a storm. -- Come, chase these idiot fancies, and taste the bliss thou hast so dearly purchased."
(Fairy tales for adults and wih a modern setting, written with a traditional style.)
Perinteisille saduille kumartava kokoelma aikuiseen makuun tarkoit(Fairy tales for adults and wih a modern setting, written with a traditional style.)
Perinteisille saduille kumartava kokoelma aikuiseen makuun tarkoitettuja kertomuksia. Ammeet esimerkiksi on mielenkiintoinen Ritari Siniparta -mukaelma, jossa ylellisyydestä ja täydellisen elämän lupauksista kertoo mm. hylly täynnä sekä klassikkoelokuvia että uudempia hittejä, mutta jossa myös otetaan huomioon, miltä vanhemmista tuntuu tytärten lähtiessä miehen matkaan tai kun nämä eivät pidä yhteyttä.
Satujen ja kansantarinoiden piirteet on hyvin saatu mukaan. Outoja asioita tapahtuu ja se pitää vain hyväksyä. Sulhanen ei tunnista valemorsianta, vaikka tällä on vain peruukki päässä, eikä kukaan tunnu ihmettelevän valemorsiamen tekorintoja eli vedellä täytettyjä Tupperware-astioita. Huumori jäi kuitenkin kokonaisuudessaan aika köykäiseksi. Paria tarinaa ei myöskään oltu sijoitettu selkeästi nykyaikaan ja niissä ei ollut oikeastaan muutenkaan mitään lisäarvoa alkuperäisiin verrattuna, joten ne jäivät aika turhiksi itäeurooppalaisten satujen uudelleenkerronnoiksi.
Mukiinmenevä kokoelma, mutta ei ehkä satujenkaan ystäville mitään pakollista luettavaa. Angela CarterinVerisen kammion (1979) tyyppiset rehevät ja sydäntäsärkevän kauniit jutut miellyttävät itseäni enemmän....more