Probably a 3.5 rating, but I have a feeling I will be talking about zombie vampires for a long, long time. Always a sign of an enjoyable, memorable reProbably a 3.5 rating, but I have a feeling I will be talking about zombie vampires for a long, long time. Always a sign of an enjoyable, memorable read....more
I am enamored with Elizabeth Kostova's writing. Every scene and paragraph she writes is so well crafted, and I often find myself sighing after passageI am enamored with Elizabeth Kostova's writing. Every scene and paragraph she writes is so well crafted, and I often find myself sighing after passages that are particularly delicate and moving. I wonder how much time she put into making them just so, or maybe it's a talent that comes to her with ease. She's the kind of writer that has this effect on me: when she makes a subtle link back to a hint she made much, much earlier in a book, it makes me all the more motivated to be a careful, thoughtful reader. Tying these clues together is so satisfying; while every thread required to get to that point might be just a touch exhausting, it's well worth the effort for the sheer talent that Kostova has with her words and character storylines.
The Swan Thieves is elegant, understated, and a great romance story. I think these are also accurate of The Historian, but those who loved the latter for its plot will certainly find Thieves lacking. While The Swan Thieves does have a progressive narrative, it doesn't have that macabre, the darkness, the intensity that The Historian has, which was much more epic in proportion. The European settings, the gorgeous scene descriptions, the old-fashioned narrator are all here, but Thieves is a quiet book, one that I have thoroughly enjoyed on long, lazy Saturdays and on evenings with a glass of red wine (if you're that kind of reader, this is definitely the book to seek out).
By the end of the book, I really loved Marlow. He's such a trustworthy narrator, gentle and someone who makes a great therapist even from that narrator's role. I think I haven't read a book in some time with such a strong, honest protagonist, and tender moments between he and his father and his future wife occasionally had me tearing up. While I was encouraged to learn what would happen with the artist and patient, Robert, what really drove me to love the story was how much I wanted Marlow to find what he does not realize he is searching for: that is, a life with love, for which he has been patiently waiting on for quite some time.
Well done again, Ms. Kostova. You tell a grand tale, and I just need you to come out with your next book faster, please. However, if you're as careful with it as you are with your previous two books, then please feel free to take your time (just not too long)....more
I think I enjoyed this book more for my friend's recommendation of it than the actual characters themselves. Mostly, I had fun imagining her sitting aI think I enjoyed this book more for my friend's recommendation of it than the actual characters themselves. Mostly, I had fun imagining her sitting and reading, so absorbed and aggressively underlining passages and sentences that spoke to her. At times, I found myself thinking about her doing this more than the actual book's passages, and maybe that's ok. It's still a three-star reading experience for her observations I thought about as well as the classic narration that was so engrossing....more
I can't believe how much I enjoyed this book, and for the first time in so long, I did not want to put it down. Already I want to recommend it to everI can't believe how much I enjoyed this book, and for the first time in so long, I did not want to put it down. Already I want to recommend it to everyone, even if you think zombies are not your thing - which is not to say exactly how I felt before I picked this up - but horror reads in general are a genre I typically don't read.
So, zombies and all that are a very terrifying force, and Max Brooks has made them a reality. I've spent hours talking with my boyfriend about how to survive and what to do if a zombie apocalypse were to occur, and as silly as it sounds, I feel adequately prepared.
The most terrifying element about this book is that zombies - unlike werewolves, vampires, Frankensteins, etc. - are closest to what us humans can be, and perhaps this is why the subject of this book is such a frightening thought. They aren't individual attackers, as one would think a vampire is. And there is no way to avoid their wrath or to stop them without a swift blow to the head (brain, specifically).
I love how Brooks answered so many of my questions as the book moved along. What about people in space? How did they react to the zombie apocalypse? What about dogs? Do dogs become zombie dogs when they are bitten? When people die, can they still become zombies even if they weren't bitten before their death?
I have so many questions still about zombies - it's absolutely ridiculous. And yet, Brooks writes so that I can't feel silly about it. I, the innocent reader, feel like this could be a real, legitimate threat, to the point where I have developed a looming zombie-apocalypse evacuation plan. Or at least thought about it, seriously, and consulted some very smart people.
And perhaps that's also why this book is so great: the speculation of it all is fun, the "What if?" factor. Because really, who knows what kind of apocalypse could hit us next, be it zombie or plague or nuclear.