Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. That being said, I do have a few issues... 1. Who is Isobel, what's her real name, and how did she have so...moreOverall, I thought this book was fantastic. That being said, I do have a few issues... 1. Who is Isobel, what's her real name, and how did she have so much power over the circus? Her story was never fully exposed, and that's something I would have liked to have learned more about. 2. I feel pretty bad for Bailey, who just wanted to go to the circus and be with Poppet, and ended up taking control of the circus from Celia and Marco. Kind of a sad future if you ask me. 3. I think it would be cool to learn more about the magic Celia and Marco were using to manipulate the circus, particularly toward the end. I got a little confused and lost at some parts. 4. Was Tsukiko good or bad or, like she said, completely indifferent? I don't get it. Was she jealous of Celia and Marco because of her lost love? 5. I'm not really sure I understand Tara's death, because she was more of a minor character until that chapter.. And the clockmaker was one of my favorite characters. Can books STOP killing off my favorite characters already?! 6. While this WAS an advanced copy I read, and not the final product, there were discrepancies with the verb tenses that I hope were smoothed out in the final edit. Almost completely present tense, with a few past tenses thrown in there.
I did like most of the story though, minus these few things. I really wish a circus like this existed.. The clock, the pool of tears, the illusionist.. this circus sounds incredible and amazing. Parts of it were a little cliched and romantic for my taste (re: Celia and Marco at the end of the book), but I think it was a very well put-together novel. I also was really happy that Celia had a better grasp of the magic that her father had failed in performing (kind of karma for him putting his own daughter in such a competition).
This book was extremely detailed and descriptive, and so much fun to envision. I had a lot of fun reading The Night Circus, and highly recommend this for anyone who enjoyed 'Water for Elephants', or just likes circus or magic stories in general.(less)
Sums up working in a bookstore pretty damn well. Everyone should read this book and see the kinds of questions booksellers get. Hint, we really get th...moreSums up working in a bookstore pretty damn well. Everyone should read this book and see the kinds of questions booksellers get. Hint, we really get these questions and weirder..(less)
Mike Doughty's memoir of sex, drugs, and cult rock stardom is a fantastic read, and earned itself 4 out of 5 stars on my bookshelf. But, don't pick it up if you'll be crushed by his hatred for his years with Soul Coughing, since he's pretty vocal about how that part of his life basically sucked.
I was recommended this book by a good friend of mine, and it's times like this that I'm glad I'm friends with him. This was a fantastic memoir of rock stardom, drug addiction, and the upward climb back out of that hole. Similar lines to Russell Brand's autobiographies, but I understood more of the references and didn't have to check my American-British dictionary quite as often.
One of the best parts of reading this memoir was having Doughty's music playing on my Spotify account.. I just feel like I appreciated the music more from learning about his life, and it was great mood music (Seriously though, go check out Haughty Melodic and some of his other solo albums. The Soul Coughing albums were alright, but I feel like his solo work is better).
I have to say though, I wasn't a fan of the layout of The Book of Drugs. Stream of consciousness is great, but having chapters or more identifiable breaks in the narrative would have been greatly appreciated. Also, maybe a little more background in some of the stories; I wasn't familiar with Doughty or Soul Coughing before I started this book, and I feel like a little more history and information might have been good. I did like his refusal to name almost all the people and characters, most notably his Soul Coughing band members. Be it from dislike or from worry over being sued, it added a very real sense of what being in this band must have been like. They did NOT get along, and for him to still not mention them by name over a decade after splitting up is pretty interesting.
Doughty's battle with poly-substance abuse and addiction was clearly very tough, and it's great that he got through it (not only because he's still alive and well, but because he's put out great music and I think it's a shame I haven't heard any of it before 2 weeks ago). I particularly liked his thoughts on 12 step meetings and prayers and god, it's refreshing for people involved in these meetings to express their discomfort at the cult-esque-ness of them. And also for the heavy reliance on religion... god isn't going to be the answer for every addict, and I don't really think it's a great idea for them to focus so strongly on praying and turning to god to solve things. Or maybe I'm really just jaded thanks to my years in psychology and forensic psychology classes, and happen to like other theories of drug abuse and treatment. Ah well, to each his own.
Some quotes I happened to like throughout the book: "Look to this day, for it is life! The very life of life." "You can wear life like a loose garment." "If we had true knowledge of the cosmos, our skulls would burst. You're like a flea contemplating the Empire State Building."
Food for thought, is all... Keep an eye on my blog in the following weeks; I've been insanely busy but by the time my finals are over (again, two weeks still...) I'm hoping to have finished A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin and to have reviews up for both that and for Without Conscience by Robert Hare.
Keep reading, and don't forget to let me know what you think of my reviews or the books themselves! - Justin(less)
Funny, although now I know that Russell Brand doesn't actually act, just plays himself in every single movie role. Kind of a let down. I did feel real...moreFunny, although now I know that Russell Brand doesn't actually act, just plays himself in every single movie role. Kind of a let down. I did feel really bad for him though, being so addicted to heroin and sex. And on that note, I need to use my psychology background to investigate sex addiction more.. I still don't fully believe that behavior addictions like sex and gambling can be considered the same as substance addictions. Mysteryyy(less)
Honestly, I don't really even know where to begin with this book. There were a lot of strengths and a lot of weaknesses to this horror story set in rural Australia, and it's difficult for me to decide which are more important to me in writing this review. My ambivalence lends itself very easily to my 3 out of 5 star review of The Dark Horde.
Well, the lack of comprehensiveness of this story is very evident in its ability to create many different questions, and not provide an answer for a single one of them. This story was one that I was reluctant to read late at night, as my imagination produces very vivid dreams (or in this case, it would be nightmares), and the plot was very fast paced and interesting. However, this is one of the few books where I feel like there just wasn't enough character and plot development.
From Brian and his 'family' to Vincent and his friends to Dr. Dawson and everyone else, a very wide plethora of characters are introduced to us by Brewin. So many, in fact, that it was difficult to keep track of everyone. Especially since people kept dropping like flies once the Dark Horde showed up (you know, in the first chapter). It's hard to start empathizing with characters when everyone starts dying, you get tired of getting emotionally invested in a character just to see them crumble in the next chapter. This is a particular shame in The Dark Horde, because the characters are almost all relatable, if not likable.
I don't know, I'm not big on description and setting and stuff, which is probably why I like teen/young adult novels that are geared toward an entire demographic of ADHD individuals, but I just felt lost throughout this story. The perspective/story line changed with almost every single chapter (mostly because the character that the chapter focused on died more often than not), and it was difficult to keep track of who was alive, who was being talked about, and just what the hell was actually happening.
Sometimes, not knowing what's going on is a plus (see the original Amityville Horror if you don't agree). In this case, I just felt like it made the story very confusing and hard to truly enjoy. The conclusion especially just left me with more questions than ever. It seems like that was the point, but at the same time I just ended up frustrated that I didn't know what the hell had happened the entire story, and how the characters ended up after the book. And yes, I love getting to make my hypotheses about what happens to the characters when the book ends. But, I just couldn't in this case because I had no idea what happened. I think a little more information regarding this mysterious Dark Horde (and their relation to humanity) would have made things a little more enjoyable.(less)