Funny and dark at the same time, this is a great horror comedy about San Francisco and the end of the world. Starting off with a fascinating story ofFunny and dark at the same time, this is a great horror comedy about San Francisco and the end of the world. Starting off with a fascinating story of my favourite historical figure, Emperor Norton of San Francisco, we are soon introduced to a city where the hospital has a 'body tank' of preserved limbs they trade on the black market, chinese hopping vampires haunt the bus system at night, and to get cheap rent, you have to blackmail a serial killer into being your landlord.
This book is definitely suited to those with a darker, rather macabre sense of humour.
This book was originally published on the Errata Gothic webzine in the early 2000s (I think) and, according to author Poppy Z Brite "City of Apocrypha is one of my favorite novels of all time, a tale with as strong a sense of place as any I've read."
I wasn't there during that time (not having even started high school in the 90s), but I do feel a sense of nostalgia for the idea of it. If anyone was a part of the San Francisco alternative scene during that era, I would love to hear their thoughts....more
It was a real pleasure to read this again today. This was one of my childhood favourites. I still remember getting it from the Scholastic bookstore, aIt was a real pleasure to read this again today. This was one of my childhood favourites. I still remember getting it from the Scholastic bookstore, and getting a free glow in the dark ghost sticker with it. I liked this one because it had a great spooky vibe and illustrations. I love all the bits of the tree house such as the moving wall with the giant key. I would love a house like that!
I found this at my boyfriend's parents' house. He remembered reading it as a kid too, and loving that great cross section of the house.
I had quite a few of the other books in this series as a kid, I always liked the ones with odd adventures much more than the ones with morals.
This one is by far my favourite, and one I would happily read again at any age....more
I re-read this today, and I could not stop laughing! I had forgotten all the tongue in cheek jokes about Australian culture! Some of the things I laugI re-read this today, and I could not stop laughing! I had forgotten all the tongue in cheek jokes about Australian culture! Some of the things I laughed at were:
The minister for kulture (and footy) (sic.) The minister for meat pies and tomato sauce
The fact that the minister for foreign affairs was away on holiday in Bali
The Prime Minister being tired from looking through "heaps of tourist brochures to decide on his next overseas trip... work that was both confusing and exhausting!"
"The navy only had a rowing boat and one oar"
The supreme court judge snacking on KFC in his robes
The bunyip sent to work on a soapie as punishment "After all 20 years working on a soap opera woudl be ample punishment for anyone."
"The Young, Restless, Flying Country Bunyip Neighbours Show" (taken from the titles of Australian soaps)
Feeding the bunyip on 'scripts that didn't rate'. They tasted "awful- dry, musty and unoriginal."
A fake female bunyip called Kylie (Minogue)
ABC fashion guide for sport ABC guide to program repeats
If "you hear a loud shuffling and snuffling outside your bedroom window one night, don't be alarmed, it probably isn't another lost tourist, baffled beaureaucrat or confused politician"...
A great book, especially if you are Australian! ...more
A childhood favourite!Just found it and re-read it today, and still loved it! A young boy imagines himself having unusual animal attributes such as duA childhood favourite!Just found it and re-read it today, and still loved it! A young boy imagines himself having unusual animal attributes such as duck feet and a whale spout, but then imagines all the things that might go wrong....more
The first writer to really humanise vampires, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles remain modern literary masterworks. She took the character of the vampire from dark menacing presence, and fleshed them out. She gave them life histories, motivations, secrets. She made them dark and tortured and beautifully wicked. It was Anne Rice who truly taught us to love vampires.
Her books are eloquently penned, Gothic epics spanning centuries, filled with opulence and terror. Paris, Louisiana, New Orleans, Italy, Egypt... she takes us across the world. I discovered her novels when I was only thirteen or fourteen and was swept away by them. Her stories of the Savage Garden of life, and the predators that haunt it. Tortured, regretful, so very human Louis. Misunderstood and misanthropic Lestat, sometimes the villain, sometimes the hero.
It is clear that most modern vampire stories draw on Anne Rice's mythos. Louis, especially, the tortured vampire sometimes forced by his guilt to feed upon rats instead of humans clearly played a part in the creation of Angel (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel), and, of course, the flavour of the moment- Edward Cullen. In The Vampire Diaries, the painful and unhealthy co-dependant relationship between the brothers could be said to mirror the early relationship of Lestat and Louis. Even the migration of modern vampire novels to America, especially the South can be traced to Anne Rice's novels.
So why aren't their praises sung so much anymore? Why are modern YA novels preferred to these classic Gothic tales? Do love triangles and high school romance appeal more to the modern audiences? I will admit to watching a the Twilight DVDs (I could never get into the books) and enjoying them as far as rather uninvolved enjoyment goes. After all there is some good cinematography, and the landscape is beautiful, however I always felt there was something missing. The focus was too small for me, the story of two lovers, not a complex plot involving the lives of many over a long time and it does not share Anne Rice's dark, violent lyricism.
Rewatching films like Interview With The Vampire and Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, they clutch at my heart. I lament ever seeing modern vampire films to equal them. Of course, Coppola's Dracula was heavily adapted from the novel, the whole dark love story element likely having been influenced by The Vampire Chronicles.
On Goodreads, most of the Vampire Chronicles books are rated at a little over 3 ½ stars, far too low a rating for books that spawned an entire genre of their own. Twilight rates approximately 0.20% higher.
I think we need to rediscover the modern classics of our era such as these novels. I will never forgot the sense of awe I felt when first reading these books, the respect I felt for the brilliant writer who, by letting us into the hearts of vampires, let them into our hearts. ...more
As a young teenager, long before the twilight craze, this was the first vampire novel I ever read. I was completely drawn into the world of this storyAs a young teenager, long before the twilight craze, this was the first vampire novel I ever read. I was completely drawn into the world of this story (a retelling of Dracula) and hung on every word. I loved the created chracter of Ox, and the rewritten character of Mina. I will always remember this book with fondness. After this, I moved on to Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and, of course, the original Dracula novel, but I will never forget the dark magic of this book....more
I read this book about 16 years ago and I loved it. I am very vague on the plot now, but I remember some elements like the little wooden doll, that II read this book about 16 years ago and I loved it. I am very vague on the plot now, but I remember some elements like the little wooden doll, that I really loved. I really want to read this again now. It was a very magical book for me. Every time I hear the ice cream van playing Greensleeves, instead of thinking of ice cream like nearly everyone else, I think of this book....more
Catwings was a book I loved as a child. It is the story of kittens who are born with wings and their adventures. There are also apparently a sequels which I have not read. This book really captures the imagination with wonderful endearing illustrations, and a simple tale that children who love animals will enjoy. It is a short book with pictures on just about every double page, very suitable for young children, perhaps it could be used to teach children who are a little older to read. Of course, adults can enjoy it too, especially cat lovers.
This is a wonderful adventure for children and I highly recommend it. ...more
When I was a little girl, my father used to read me these books. It has been a really long time since then and I can hardly remember most of the stories from the book, but I still remember the sense of excitement and adventure in these books. Laura and her family were pioneers, and as a young girl she met each move with a sense of adventure and openness to the world. I also loved that the girl was called Laura like me.
These stories are a true testament to the amazing spirit of the pioneers. They kept moving on, dealing with the problems of their life, never losing hope. The parents always did their best to make this world pleasant for their children, and to make times like Christmas magic. Trips to town were a treat when the girls would get a lolly each. They had very little, but completely appreciated what they did have, something which a lot of us have forgotten in our modern consumer driven society. I don't long for those times, because the life was hard and not everyone made it as Laura's family did, but I love the simplicity and teamwork of their little lives. It reminds us to appreciate what we do have. And anyway, they were just such amazing adventures!
I think this series is must read material! It's also great for parents to read with their children, creating wonderful memories like the ones I have. ...more
Lives of the Monster Dogs is a book that truly explores the nature of what it is to be human, which may sound strange when I tell you that it is a stoLives of the Monster Dogs is a book that truly explores the nature of what it is to be human, which may sound strange when I tell you that it is a story about dogs. When told a short version of the plot, people sometimes laugh, but I have to tell you that it is one of the most beautiful, melancholy books that I have ever read.
The book follows the life of character Cleo Pira, a young reporter who one night meets one of the 'monster dogs' and becomes involved in their strange lives. The Monster dogs are all large breeds of dogs, Great Danes, German Shepherds, etc. They have been genetically engineered to have the intelligence of humans, and have prosthetic hands. They were living until recently in a village in a remote region of Canada. After a revolt against their human masters, they come to modern New York City. Rich and strange, they quickly become celebrities and create their own rarefied world. Cleo comes to know and love two of these dogs especially, her friends Ludwig and Lydia.
Reading this story, I, too, found myself deeply loving these eccentric, melancholy creatures, not human, but not quite animal either, doomed by their intelligence to a sad, lonely existence. The sad, twisted history of their tortured creator is also deeply engrossing. This book still remains one of the most beautiful books I have ever read, and I would recommend it to everyone!
There is also a rumoured film in the works. I can only hope that it will still have the beauty and dignity of the book.