Awesome short read recommended to me by Jared. Mystery/adventure with plenty of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in. Lots of fun, very fast pace, one of the fewAwesome short read recommended to me by Jared. Mystery/adventure with plenty of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in. Lots of fun, very fast pace, one of the few books this year I've finished on the same day I started.
Reminded very strongly of Lost (though darker), Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Wool (in pacing/tone).
Will definitely be finishing the trilogy, and probably checking out more of VanderMeer's works....more
Enjoyable literary mystery story with lots of twists and turns. Definitely kept me guessing to the end, and generally a fun story. Some parts were preEnjoyable literary mystery story with lots of twists and turns. Definitely kept me guessing to the end, and generally a fun story. Some parts were predictable and some character behavior unrealistic, but those were fairly easy to set aside and focus on the fun main story. The audiobook (that I listened on) was great....more
As a fan of Pessl's first book Special Topics in Calamity Physics, I was eager to get my hands on Night Film. I wasn't sure what to expect, but suffice to say it's nothing like her debut novel.
I was hooked almost immediately -- within the first twenty pages. The prologue and first chapter set a very high bar in this novel, though the rest isn't as suspenseful. The story draws you in quickly, and you can get consumed by the intense creepiness early on. I was drawn into Scott's life, a deeply flawed man that we alternate between cheering and anguishing over. His two sidekicks quickly slip from annoyances to personal friends, and I could hardly stand to leave any of them, even for a minute.
This novel is impressive in so many ways. It starts with a vibrant yet ominous New York City that holds much of the action. The characters are well-drawn and never two-dimensional. The mystery is handled incredibly well, too; it's almost diametrically opposite Lost. The writers there could learn a thing or two from Marisha Pessl on how to handle a mystery. (Not to mention, this would be awesome as a miniseries)
The novel also explores a number of intriguing topics. Risking spoilers, I will say that the exploration of supernatural occurrences is handled very well. What should you believe in? How much proof do you need? The nature of celebrity and isolation is also explored, and how that affects one's public image. And the ending… the ending is better than I could have imagined. There were times I doubted that I would get a satisfactory resolution, but there's no need to worry.
I've lately been throwing 5-star ratings on everything, but a book that kept me so enthralled can't be given anything less, despite its egregious abuse of italics. This is easily one of my favorite books of 2013 so far. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a great thriller....more
Since my only other experience with Pynchon was his epic Against the Day, something like five times as long as this, I was unsure what to expect fromSince my only other experience with Pynchon was his epic Against the Day, something like five times as long as this, I was unsure what to expect from this book. While not having the same sprawling scope or historical fascination as that novel, there is still plenty of mystery, humor, and paranoia. Even though it required more concentration than many of the novels I've recently read, it was a beguiling tale that I was eager to dive into.
If you're a fan of Pynchon, mid-century contemporary literature, conspiratorial mysteries, or (especially!) stream-of-consciousness novels, you should check this out.
There's also a whole separate topic about how I really need to read more mid-century literature (50s, 60s, 70s). I was shocked at the use of "groovy" in a completely serious context. But that's a discussion for another day......more
I often worry about the health of my favorite authors. If Douglas Adams hadn't died at the age of 49, just think of what he could have done! Of livingI often worry about the health of my favorite authors. If Douglas Adams hadn't died at the age of 49, just think of what he could have done! Of living authors, Terry Pratchett perhaps concerns me the most, with his posterior cortical atrophy (related to Alzheimer's). It's upsetting to think about what will happen when he can no longer produce a new book once a year, right on schedule, for infinity. A sad day for comedic and fantasy literature, and really for book fans everywhere.
In any case, the reason we care so much is just because of how good the work is that he turns out. Perhaps "good" isn't the right word here, since it's more like a homecoming. The familiar stories, with their familiar characters, themes, style, and humor make every Discworld book a pleasure to read, like a favorite armchair or wine.
This installment is perhaps a bit more tired than others -- the story follows many similar themes, and has quite a few callbacks, to the previous Vimes book, Thud! -- but in the end, the story is more localized, more character-driven, and is less unfollowable than the ending of Thud!
So, yes, much familiar ground, almost all familiar characters, and a complete lack of stalwart Pratchett favorites such as Death, but still a great book. With an inevitably-dwindling number of Discword novels left, it's always fun to spend some more time with the City Watch....more