Robert E. Howard. Man what can be said, I definitely have a thing for insane geniuses, and he fits the bill to a T.
My personal favorite of his storiesRobert E. Howard. Man what can be said, I definitely have a thing for insane geniuses, and he fits the bill to a T.
My personal favorite of his stories and one of the single scariest things I've ever read. Modern readers might be made uncomfortable, by some of the books racial undertones, but this is more simple naivette, rather then the intentional virulent racism of say HP Lovecraft. And like The Naked Prey it's racial politics are more complex then they originally appear. With Howard more or less giving his thumbs up to slaves not merely uprising against and killing their masters, but going the extra mile and damning their immortal souls as well. Now that's some dedication.
Pro-tip: This reading was accompanied by Tom Waits wonderfully creepy Bone Machine, I personally can't think of a better soundtrack to this extremely creepy bit of pulp. ...more
I kind of loathe postmodernism. I find it to be polite nihilism at it's very best, a type of free floating respoA little light reading before bedtime.
I kind of loathe postmodernism. I find it to be polite nihilism at it's very best, a type of free floating responsibility remover that would make Dionysus go "DAMN" at worst. But out of all the boring, meaning free, jackassery I've had to read this semester, Bauldrillard's has been the least gorge rising.
Last of The Existentialists Right here baby. ...more
Me: "Carter Beats The Devil, it's about a master magician battling a shadowy conglomeraA Conversation I had earlier,
Friend: "So what are you reading."
Me: "Carter Beats The Devil, it's about a master magician battling a shadowy conglomerate of the government, corporations, and secret societies to find the truth about president Harding's death with the help of his pet lion."
Friend: "... There's no part of that sentence that doesn't appeal to me."
There is a word for this book and it is awesome. A big thank you to Natalie for bringing this to my attention. ...more
Eh. Unlike Blue Monday I do know that I'm the target audience for a story about a Samurai warrior sent to a dystopian future to fight a demon writtenEh. Unlike Blue Monday I do know that I'm the target audience for a story about a Samurai warrior sent to a dystopian future to fight a demon written by Frank Miller but this didn't quite work for me, I liked it but I wanted to love it.
I'm a big Frank Miller Fan, I'm the kind of guy who can't wait to buy All Star Batman And Robin the two times a year it comes out (It's HILARIOUS, like John Waters wrote a comic book, c'mon!) and his art here is fantastically rough and dynamic. And I still say Frank Miller writes the apocalypse better then anyone this side of St. John. But the story itself isn't that great, the last few twists in particular serving as a prime example of being too clever for one's own damn good.
Still I can't call any book where a Samurai fights CHUDS, Hippies, Demons, Robots, Gangsters, Nazis, Super Soldiers, and a Living City made out of Nano technology bad. It's just not in me. ...more
Got impatient waiting each week for the excellent David Simon adaptation. I have plenty of friends and family in this war and have heard all kinds ofGot impatient waiting each week for the excellent David Simon adaptation. I have plenty of friends and family in this war and have heard all kinds of crazy shit.
Oddly though nothing really brought it home like this book. It's not so much the details of the story. It's more of a situation where I can't help but feel "Fuck if this is what it was like when the lines between us and them were clearly drawn I can't imagine how bad it must have turned when everything really went to shit.
One of Stephen King's favorites. I've been meaning to get to it for awhile. Apparently this is another book that has been ruined for generations of scOne of Stephen King's favorites. I've been meaning to get to it for awhile. Apparently this is another book that has been ruined for generations of schoolkids by unimaginative teachers. But as it was not part of my curriculum I was able to enjoy it quite a bit.
The books future is unique and well imagined and illustrated for such a slim tome. WATCH FOR THY MUTANT, BLESSED BE THE NORM and all that. It's not perfect. The book almost feels more like two short stories strung together then one novel, and there are a few parts at the end where Wyndham crosses the line from merely being pedantic to straight up "I'm just going to lecture you for awhile."
Still SciFi this self realized doesn't pop by everyday. ...more
I've got a confession to make, I'm not an Elmore Leonard fan.
Yes I know, I'm Mr. Hardboiled, and as Elmore Leonard is more or less responsible for moI've got a confession to make, I'm not an Elmore Leonard fan.
Yes I know, I'm Mr. Hardboiled, and as Elmore Leonard is more or less responsible for modern American crime fiction, revolutionized the use of dialogue in pulp fiction, he writes cracker jack plots, vibrant characters, and by some accounts smells like cinnamon. By all rights I should be shining the man's shoes.
But something is just always off for me in his books and it always manages to ruin them for me.
Killshot's a perfect example, on the surface it's a great plot. An innocent couple gets caught up in an extortion scheme orchestrated by two hardened killers. Hijinks ensue.
The problem was that I never believed for a second that the more experienced of the two wouldn't fill his young inept partner full of sky with seconds of meeting eachother, let alone embark on a job with him, or stick with him when the job went south. And while Killshot hums along quite well in it's first half, it unceremoniously goes dead, about halfway through, and doesn't revive until the tense, but rushed last fifteen pages.
There are things to recommend it, Bird's a pretty fascinating character, and it's cool to see a crime novel with a feminist bent, but on the whole, like with most Leonard it just didn't add up for me. ...more
I've avoided reading Chuck Klosterman for the same reason I avoid punching babies in the face. It just seemed too easy. Did I really need to read anotI've avoided reading Chuck Klosterman for the same reason I avoid punching babies in the face. It just seemed too easy. Did I really need to read another weary Gen Xer obsessing over the minutia of Pop Culture and then obsess over why they're obessing. Were Nick Hornby, Sara Vowell, David Sedaris, Nathin Rabin, and countless others truly not up to the task? Was there truly such a void in my soul calling out for another pretentious post modernist to come and suck all the fun out of everything? Had I not learned my lesson from the testicle shriveling anti-prose waking nightmare that was "Nobody Belongs Here More Then You?"
No, I was not particularly looking forward to jumping on the back of another Hipster Sacred Cow. I feared another book of clever oh so affected but oh so uneffected prose might actually kill me. And the fact that I could still hear the publishers orgasm after receiving a title as marketable as Sex Death And Cocoa Puffs did nothing to allay my fears.
It turns out that my fear was unfounded. While Klosterman is too pretentious, post modern and overly analytical he is also fun, in possession of a mean sense of self deprecative wit and keen sense of the absurd. While some of the essays on SDACP do take the fine art of navel gazing to unheard of extremes (Pamela Anderson article I'm looking at you). Others manage to dissect modern culture with a surprisingly sharp and dare I say even level headed style.
Whether it's formulating a surprisingly believable hypothesis that Breakfast cereal commercials are responsible for the existence of hipsters, explaining why soccer will never be popular, or examining the paradox of "authenticity" in country music Klosterman serves as a witty guide through the madness of modern life. ...more
As an writer I love I get into alot of arguments about Frank Miller, and his philosphies, and poltics, and whether or not he's an evil racist sexist cAs an writer I love I get into alot of arguments about Frank Miller, and his philosphies, and poltics, and whether or not he's an evil racist sexist caveman.
But I'm not going to do any of that today, because Born Again shows how pointless it really all is.
No matter what you think of Miller you can't deny he's a hell of a storyteller who knows how to tell a damn good story.
When people talk about Miller flooding the market with grim and gritties, they miss the point. Miller isn't dark for dark sake (Well... OK sometimes he is), it's just that he doesn't tell stories about Superheroes, he tells stories about heroic people. ...more
Had the brilliant idea to read this after Less Then Zero.
It's strange being inside the mind of someone who actually enjoys LA, but well c'set la via.Had the brilliant idea to read this after Less Then Zero.
It's strange being inside the mind of someone who actually enjoys LA, but well c'set la via.
Weetzie Bat has always been a strange phenomenon for me. I like them but I don't know why. Normally it would be a detriment if a book was nothing more then a series of barely coherent vignettes loosely strung together sustained only by hipster dialogue, John Waters style done by someone other then John Waters, made up slang, genies, Audrey Tatou levels of tweeness, and characters who are defined by how WC Fieldish their names are, but in this case all these all are positive boons.
Anyway I don't fight it I just roll with it, and the reread has finally inspired me to track down the sequels...Albeit not soon.
Best read while stoned out of ones mind and listening to Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and a bit of Tom Petty for variety. ...more
Recommended to me by a friend who usually has great taste.
The "Aren't superheroes screwed up." stuff was done much better in Watchmen and about a millRecommended to me by a friend who usually has great taste.
The "Aren't superheroes screwed up." stuff was done much better in Watchmen and about a million other books, and the supervillian who is always a day late and a buck short was stolen wholesale and half as well from The Monarch in The Venture Brothers.
The story does offer some chuckles and twists, but it doesn't build to anything, and the big twist doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
It's no fun writing a hatchet job, much less a hatchet job on one of your heroes. I read Charlotte Simmons about a year ago and hated it, but dSigh...
It's no fun writing a hatchet job, much less a hatchet job on one of your heroes. I read Charlotte Simmons about a year ago and hated it, but decided that the generousity of the Christmas Spirit might make it the perfect time for me to read it. Jesus it was even worse.
I love Tom Wolfe, his early journalism is alive as very few works I know. His critism is sharp and cutting and can make a whole school of thought look ridiculous in a clever turn of phrase. His novels are flawed sure but like his journalism the sheer verve and style of his prose carries them across whatever bumps they might have.
Until Charlotte Fucking Simmons.
The problem is that since Hooking Up Tom Wolfe has found himself fascinated by post modern philosphy. He's no longer concerned with writing about individuals but has instead decided to focus on the misfiring chemicals in their brain in a probablistic equation. He makes Kurt Vonnegut look like Saint Augustine when it comes to subject of free will and it's sucked the life write out of his books. It's heartbreaking.
Worse yet is he's lost his ear for society and character. Ms. Simmons who has been raised around meth mouths and shit kickers would not be shocked by an errant Silver Bullet Tall Boy.
The book goes from muddled to straight out surreal about midway through where Wolfe suddenly decides to play a two hundred page game of "Whose's going to bust Charlotte Simmon's Cherry." which would be bad enough if Wolfe didn't narrate the proceedings with the smirk of a dirty old uncle.
It's sad that Zadie Smith accomplished in a page long vignette in On Beauty what it took Wolfe 700 odd pages to not accomplish....more