Tagline: "Saving the world by beating people up." Hilarous send-up of superhero comics tropes. Art is vibrant and colorful, and delivers emotion and ph...moreTagline: "Saving the world by beating people up." Hilarous send-up of superhero comics tropes. Art is vibrant and colorful, and delivers emotion and physical actions very well. I cackled out loud on pretty much every page. Definitely a must-read if you're well-read in comics--probably not quite as funny if you're not.(less)
The narrator's tone is a cross between that of Pushing Daisies, Spider Jerusalem, and Kurt Vonnegut. Trippy, stylized, rambunctious and weird, with a...moreThe narrator's tone is a cross between that of Pushing Daisies, Spider Jerusalem, and Kurt Vonnegut. Trippy, stylized, rambunctious and weird, with a highly political undertone. Years ago, mankind's most fearsome weapon was invented: the Go Away bomb. Simply put, it removed its targets from existence. Completely. But what was supposed to consequence-free proved to have fall-out beyond mankind's wildest nightmares--or rather, *comprised* of mankind's wildest nightmares. After months of fighting back intangible enemies and twisted chimera, a savior appears. The Jorgmund corporation has produced FOX, a liquid that dematerializes the unreal. With FOX constantly spraying above and about them, the remnants of humanity can go about their daily business as though nothing has changed.
When the pipe that sprays FOX is attacked, only the ragtag group of ex-covert ops soldiers that comprise the Haulage and HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company can save the day. But before this, the Company's shining hour, we flashback to their childhoods and training. And that's where the fun really begins. Zaher Bey and his band of raucus, piratical revolutionaries; the nature of corporations; martial arts training; belling ones windows against ninjas; the gritty horror and boredom of war; falling in love; a fleet of desperately loyal mimes--all this and more!
There are some serious twists and turns in this book. Literally 350 pages in, the entire story is turned on its head--and I bought it completely. It made perfect sense. The twists, betrayals, paradigm shifts and last-minute reveals continue right until the very last few pages. THIS BOOK IS VERY EXCITING!
SPOILERY SENTENCES THAT I LOVED FROM THE LAST PARAGRAPH: (view spoiler)["The world we knew is gone for good this time. The new one is beautiful and dangerous. It is *us*." (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well educated, sensible, and apt to take people in hand, Miss Flora Poste is nevertheless a teenaged orphan without much in the way of finances (at le...moreWell educated, sensible, and apt to take people in hand, Miss Flora Poste is nevertheless a teenaged orphan without much in the way of finances (at least by her standards). So she resolves to live with relatives, both as a cost-savings and to provide her with material for the novel she intends to write when she is 50. She chooses her second cousin Judith's farm on the basis of the town (named Howling, Sussex), the farm (named Cold Comfort) and Judith's vague mention of owing Flora based on a wrong done years ago. It turns out that Cold Comfort Farm really is as gothic, trite and squalid as she'd imagined, but Flora is not daunted--she sets out to solve the farm's problems one by one, from her arty teen cousin who is sure to be unlucky in love to the farm's nominal leader Amos, who only wants to preach hellfire and damnation.
It is laugh out loud hilarious, with a wonderfully impish tone that never gets annoyingly arch.
(I saw the 1995 movie before I ever read the book, and was astounded to find that nearly all of the dialog and action is word-for-word pulled from the book. Some side characters are combined or removed altogether, but it really is an astonishingly faithful adaptation.)(less)
Centuries before the events of The Amulet of Samarkand, the irreverrent djinni Bartimaeus was enslaved to a magician serving King Solomon. He involves...moreCenturies before the events of The Amulet of Samarkand, the irreverrent djinni Bartimaeus was enslaved to a magician serving King Solomon. He involves himself in a young warrior's quest to assassinate the king, but on the moment of their victory they realize that there are far greater threats than Solomon.
It's such a pleasure to read about Bartimaeus again. He's so wonderfully sarcastic, untrustworthy, and secretly just a little good-hearted. His footnotes alone would make me love this book, but the plot is a fast-paced adventurous romp, with just enough darkness to be scary, so it's all great fun. It is far, far more light-hearted than the series, and for that I am grateful. It's an enjoyable prequel to the depressing dystopic series that will someday succeed it.(less)