THE HARRY POTTER JOURNEY, is a very interesting book about the creation & the growth of Harry Potter.
Presented & designed as a Harry Potter mu...moreTHE HARRY POTTER JOURNEY, is a very interesting book about the creation & the growth of Harry Potter.
Presented & designed as a Harry Potter museum, it is the most complete book that I have ever read about Harry Potter, and it includes so many details that I can only wish to be able to provide that much inside informations for my own book projects. It covers numerous aspects: from the writing (as well as the truth behind some incomplete rumors), to the publishing & the marketing used for Harry Potter, and passing through the illustrated covers & artworks of the first Harry Potter book. Let's not forget that you will also find ALL the informations needed to hunt for Harry Potter collectibles.
This book is a MUST HAVE for any Harry Potter fans, and even more for those that are interested in the behind-the-scenes (of the publishing industry) & book collecting. HIGHLY recommended. And the best part? It cost next to nothing : just a few dollars. (less)
DOCTOR SLEEP is a sequel to THE SHINING. But it is also way more than this. The same way that BLACK HOUSE was the follow-up of THE TALISMAN (co-written...moreDOCTOR SLEEP is a sequel to THE SHINING. But it is also way more than this. The same way that BLACK HOUSE was the follow-up of THE TALISMAN (co-written by Stephen King & Peter Straub), it also was a totally different book: THE TALISMAN was fantasy orientated, while BLACK HOUSE was, instead, horror, deeply related to THE DARK TOWER.
The main story of DOCTOR SLEEP, takes place many years after the end of the first book (it was also the case for BLACK HOUSE after THE TALISMAN), and the genre is different : THE SHINING was a fantastic closed-door novel, with ghosts. To be short, it was about Jack Torrance, a writer, who was to spend a winter cut off from the rest of the world at the Overlook Hotel, with his wife Wendy & his son Danny. The hotel will happen to be inhabited by ghosts, awoken by Danny's gift (the shining). THE SHINING was also a novel regarding the addiction & the violence created by alcohol.
DOCTOR SLEEP goes beyond fantastic. While evil was incarnated by ghosts in THE SHINING, it is instead personified by the True Knot, who are some sort of vampires, nourishing themselves off the Shining gift of (un)lucky individuals.
We find similar themes in both novels: the importance of family, the alcoholism (Dany, anxious about his alcohol addiction follows AA meetings). It seems obvious that Stephen King has used this novel to exorcize his past addictions to alcohol & drugs. Addiction that came back after his accident as he needed strong pain killers, but that he managed, once again, to get rid of. The gift of the SHINING was a minor element, while it is clearly a MAJOR component of DOCTOR SLEEP. Moreover, the terrifying True Knot are so realistic that it's scary. Way more terrifying, in my opinion, than the ghosts in THE SHINING.
First published in 1977, THE SHINING was a novel that seemed "closer" (a family tragedy), more closed, more claustrophobic, but also more instantaneous. DOCTOR SLEEP is, instead, more opened, more pondered, more sophisticated, slower (in the way that it spans its story over 30+ years), and... going further. Stephen King continues to grow his universe, cross-referencing his work (as well as Joe Hill's NOS4A2, by mentioning Charlie Manx, p12). I even wonder if, in the end, CARRIE wasn't simply a girl that had a strong, developed Shining... which unfortunately, with the bullying of her fellow teenagers has pushed her to self-destruction.
DOCTOR SLEEP is way more than a simple sequel. It is an elaborated and entire novel. It doesn't require to have read THE SHINING to be appreciated, nor seen stanley Kubrick's version (who, despite the fact that it is quite different from the book, has marked numerous people), nor the 1997 mini-series). DOCTOR SLEEP is a relentless novel, one that doesn't undo its grip (and that we do not want, either, to let go of). It is an excellent novel, one that I can only highly recommend, and one that will easily join other masterpieces such as CARRIE, THE STAND, or IT... for mentioning only a few of the most popular horror novels by Stephen King. But contrary to those books, Doctor Sleep seems quieter, and shows signs of maturity regarding life. DOCTOR SLEEP will not be remembered for being a sequel for THE SHINING, but for being an exceptional horror novel.
Glenn Chadbourne is an illustrator that i know through his work on THE SECRETARY OF THE DREAMS, also published by Cemetery Dance. The "THE DARK MAN" p...moreGlenn Chadbourne is an illustrator that i know through his work on THE SECRETARY OF THE DREAMS, also published by Cemetery Dance. The "THE DARK MAN" project is echoing SOTD, as SOTD is a graphic novel adaptation & illustrations of Stephen King stories. Always with the same original graphic style, Glenn bring an amazing attention to details.
What is exceptional in his style, is that we can easily spend long minutes looking closely an illustration, and keep finding, permanently, elements that we didn't notice. And the same goes with the re-reading the book. This is a really impressive graphic style.
This version of THE DARK MAN brings a terrifying & dark history of the Dark Man. Giving the fact that this is an adaptation of a very short poem by Stephen King, the first reading may be relatively quick... but then we feel the need to go back and re-read THE DARK MAN, and pay a lot more attention to the illustrations, and its therefore at this time that we spend a long time on each illustrations and than we realise how hypnotising Glenn's work can be.
Do not expect to be bloomed by Stephen King's text, as it is really short... but, instead, you will find yourself amazed & astonished by the vision & transcription of the text into artwork by Glenn Chadbourne. From a short 45 lines poem to an exceptionnal illustration book.(less)
A short story about the rise of violence, and the desparation of a writer that do not manage to be going anywhere. It is also clearly criticizing the...moreA short story about the rise of violence, and the desparation of a writer that do not manage to be going anywhere. It is also clearly criticizing the media industry. Short, violent... but a good read! (less)
HARD LISTENING, by the Rock Bottom Remainders, is an unusual book. It's not an anthology as those that we can usually find, but is, in the contrary, a...moreHARD LISTENING, by the Rock Bottom Remainders, is an unusual book. It's not an anthology as those that we can usually find, but is, in the contrary, a real entrance into the universe of the band, and is also an hommage to Kathi Goldmark, who initiated the creation of the band.
This book, written by all the members, is rich in informations & stories related to the Rock Bottom Remainders. Numerous & different stories, for instance regarding the rituals before going onstage, regarding the long rehearsals (or maybe not), about inflatable sheep doll, about Kathi & Amy's whip & leather outfit, or about the entrance of authors into the band. Because over time, the group develop itself, but always with authors... and never upon their request, especially if they were "really" talented for music. Being a 'private club', the RBR remained a closed circle, whose members became really good friends, and bestseller writers who managed to demonstrate their stage & music talent. Some of their musical talent being... unusual.
Enliven with numerous emails sent from the members of the band, as well as with pictures & videos (for the complete digital version), HARD LISTENING is not only an ebook, but an enriched & interactive ebook. For instance with this genius idea: four authors wrote a short story, imitating Stephen King's style, in order to take King's throne! Following those short stories (and as it is also the case with numerous quizzes available in the book), each reader can vote (and read other readers' answers), before knowing which story was actually written by Stephen King.
HARD LISTENING is a real hommage from the members of the Rock Bottom Remainders to Kathi, founder of the band. It is also an entrance in the universe & the intimacy of the RBR, where we discover numerous secrets. We can (almost) feel like being part of the Rock Bottom Remainders. Beyong being exceptional writers, the band is made of people such as you, me or even your colleagues : they send each other jokes by emails, and do not miss an opportunity for laughing.
HARD LISTENING is a book written by peerless authors, and musicians more or less good; an entrance in the intimacy of the band; a very good laugh with stories & pictures of the group; a really good hommage to Kathi who founded this out of the ordinary group, now more than 20 years ago. RIP Kathi.
As for me, it makes me want to take the recording from their 1992 concert out of the closet !
Small reminder regarding the members of the RBR: - Mitch Albom: Keyboards, Elvis - Dave Barry: Lead Guitar - Sam Barry: Harmonica - Roy Blount Jr.: Emcee - Matt Groening: Cowbell, Marge Simpson - Ted Habte-Gabr: Manager - Greg Iles: Lead Guitar - Stephen King: Rhythm Guitar - James McBride: Saxophone - Roger McGuinn: Rock Legend - Ridley Pearson: Bass Guitar - Amy Tan: Rhythm Dominatrix, Remainderette - Scott Turow: Wigs, Remainderette - Bombo: Lead Bark
*Hard Listening : the title comes from the fact that one of the members described the style of the band as "Hard Listening" (contrary to "Easy Listening"), and used to say to the audience : The more you drink, the better the music."
JOYLAND is a book full of emotions. That it is a farewell, a lost love following a breakup, making new friends, or the nostalgia or a lost time (as it...moreJOYLAND is a book full of emotions. That it is a farewell, a lost love following a breakup, making new friends, or the nostalgia or a lost time (as it was the case in Stephen King's short story THE BODY, that has become the movie STAND BY ME).
In this book, we are following Devin, a student with a broken heart, who decides to spend his 1973 summer in an attraction park. The work is not easy, especially when the temperature is high and that Devin needs to wear the fur of Howie the Happy Hound. But associated with the lonely evenings (voluntarily spent reading THE LORD OF THE RINGS, or writing letters), or, instead, spent with friends, Devin will forget the girl that broke his heart. Furthermore, he will be on a quest for a truth : four years ago, how did a killer do to kill a woman inside the park?
Taking place in an amusement park that was amazingly given life by Stephen King (including a specific vocabulary from the staff), JOYLAND also includes ghosts, a mystery and thrills. But the real richness of JOYLAND are the characters and their emotions. Emotions that will not leave Devin, since he is telling us this story about 40 years later.
This is a Stephen King novel at the top of his art of storyteller. As a reader have said on twitter : "Whole book is a JOY! I adored it". I couldn't say better!
Great reading about James Herbert, despite the fact that its from 1992. Includes numerous essays by James Herbert, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Ca...moreGreat reading about James Herbert, despite the fact that its from 1992. Includes numerous essays by James Herbert, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker and many more!(less)
The work done by the author over 12 years of researches, is simply amazing. This book is truely a MUST HAVE for all Stephen King fans, collectors &...moreThe work done by the author over 12 years of researches, is simply amazing. This book is truely a MUST HAVE for all Stephen King fans, collectors & supercollectors. Moreover, the price of this book is really low, so no reason for not getting it !(less)
I highly enjoyed Joe Hill's books, but NOS4A2 goes beyond, and brillantly.
NOS4A2 is a very creative horror novel, whose idea is brillantly orchestrate...moreI highly enjoyed Joe Hill's books, but NOS4A2 goes beyond, and brillantly.
NOS4A2 is a very creative horror novel, whose idea is brillantly orchestrated by the author. We follow Charlie Manx, a baddie of more than 110 years, whose particularity is to be alive (after spending almost a decade in a coma, he "wakes up" in a morgue, after being officially declared as dead: this is a scene that i really liked. Horrifying & smashing)... and to drive a Wraith Rolls Royce from 1938, that is also alive, looking for kids that are brutalised, in order to bring them to Christmasland : a territory where all the kids are happy and do never want to leave.
He will be joined by Bing, a high color character with a chaotic past, who, by seeing a job ad by Charlie Manx in a newspaper, decides to immediately apply... and he will land the job. The promise of helping the brutalised kids, in order to be, forever happy, is something that will seduce Bing (despite the fact that he is FAR from being an angel or innocent himself), and he will then have to help Charlie to KIDNAPT (score that) >>> SAVE 9 children, to gain acces to Christmasland.
There are numerous scenes that i really liked, and that will be remembered for a very long time. This is the case of the meeting with the librarian with her scrabble letters, or Charlie's "awakening" at the morgue, scene from which he will be getting his hammer, but also the "final battle" at Christmasland, with all those children/vampires/monsters. Let's not forget the calls of the children to Vic, and the 'shocking' sentences of the kids, for instance, saying that the eyes would be nice balls on the Christmas tree!
Beyond the horror side of the novel, NOS4A2 is also a book about family. Being the contentious relationships with the family, or the couple on the skids between Victoria & her husband Lou... but mostly the tireless & desperate fight of a mother searching for her kid before it's too late, and before him being "turned" into something not human.
Finally, i cannot conclude this review without mentionning the numerous references to Joe Hill's family. It is obvious that the FBI agent that is called Tabitha refers to his mother. Among the references to his father's work, are : the Shawshank prison, the city of Derry in the Maine... and a phrase that may not notice, but that is clearly a reference to DOCTOR SLEEP, his dad's upcoming novel. It is on the page 511 of the ARC, while Charlie Manx mentions that there are other persons that have, like him, the ability to access worlds created by thoughts : "There is the True Knot, who live on the road and are in much the same line of work as myself. I leave them be and they are glad to return the favor." There is also a reference to Joe Hill's Locke & Key : Welcome to Lovecraft.
HEART-SHAPED BOX & HORNS had their own success... but i am convinced that we will hear a lot (more!) about NOS4A2, given its high creativity and the treatment given to this creativity. Moreover, i will be very surprised if the rights to do a movie version are not quickly bought.
Once started, i didn't want to leave NOS4A2 aside, even for going to sleep. Highly recommended.
I am a fan of Stephen King and The Dark Tower is a wonderful saga... but i am not what is called a "Dark Tower junkie", nor a specialist of The Dark T...more I am a fan of Stephen King and The Dark Tower is a wonderful saga... but i am not what is called a "Dark Tower junkie", nor a specialist of The Dark Tower. Bev Vincent, is definitely a Dark Tower specialist. Abnd he just released THE DARK TOWER COMPANION, whom is his second book about The Dark Tower, the first being THE ROAD TO THE DARK TOWER.
But you dont need to be a Dark Tower specialist to read and appreciate THE DARK TOWER COMPANION. This book is well structured, and it covers EVERYTHING that could be said & need to be said about THE DARK TOWER.
After an initial introduction, the book opens with a wonderful presentation of the saga ("What's it all about?"), before developping the original work which corresponds to 8 books + a short story titled The Little Sisters of Eluria. TDC presents all the links between The Dark Tower and Stephen King books & short stories, but also covers the extented universe : Discordia (an interactive experience on the official website, which tends to be forgotten. ie : i personally wasnt aware of the recent update of Discordia), and the graphic novels + its appendices that are the guides & almanachs created by Marvel. On top of this, Bev Vincent adds to this book a work that seems quite comprehensive in which he presents the characters & Roland's ennemis, the places (fictitious or the true places of Manhattan), as well as the timeline of The Dark Tower. And finally, let's not forget the different interviews that Bev Vincent conducted and which are relevant for each parts of the book : the original work (with Stephen King), the extended universe of Discordia(Brian Stark & Robin Furth), the project of adaptation in movies+series+games(Ron Howard & Akiva Goldsman in which they present their vision for this ambitious project), and the Marvel graphic novels (with numerous artists & people involved in the comics).
As it was the case with his other bestseller 'companion' book on Stephen King, THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING COMPANION, Bev Vincent keeps proving, if it was needed, that he is a real Stephen King specialist, and shows with great attention the large scale of the saga that Stephen King wrote over 40 years and that is his magnum opus. Despite the fact that THE DARK TOWER corresponds to 8 books + 1 short story, which span on more than 4,000 pages, the saga do also develops its roots & story arc in the rest of Stephen King's work... and is a lot richer that 'only' 8 books.
This saga will last, and i am certain that if a project of adaptation one days sees the light, despite the challenges that will surround such a project, this saga will only gain in popularity. The same way than did THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But i think that it's honnest to see that, currently, THE DARK TOWER is mostly known by Stephen King fans.
If you want to go back to THE DARK TOWER. If you want to discover more about the saga, or you want to refresh your memory. If you want to find out more about the other side of the mirror of the extended universe of this work, or even if you want to broaden your vision of the adaptation that Ron Howard & Akiva Goldsman wants to do, then do not wait anymore. You will simply not find a better book about THE DARK TOWER, than this DARK TOWER COMPANION... written by a recognised & great specialist es Stephen King.
"This novel is 'different' as Gaia, is a character : we can see the world as she sees it, including the problems regarding the growing humanity, using her natural ressources (ie : forest, the oil that is her blood). Gaia will also have to protect herself & react against those aggressions, and the exponantial growth of the humanity... that do only weakens her. [...]
I made a bad decision : i started reading this book at 3am, and i didnt want to leave aside to go to sleep, but instead, keep wanting to turn pages. [...] If you like Bernard Werber's books, you'll like "Troisieme Humanite". If you do not know his books (which is likely as only his first book is available in english : Empire of the Ants), then it would be a good way to start reading his work, as this novel is representative of his style, give an idea of his themes (although those developped in this novel are new), and help to understand how original his work is.
"From his 'eco' point of view, I believe that this novel have all the elements to become a best-seller... if an american or british publisher was to consider publishing it in english version. As for me, i am impatient to read its sequel... next year." (less)