I had picked up and put down work by Simon Hanselmann a couple of times because I was making assumptions about the narrative based on some bits of visI had picked up and put down work by Simon Hanselmann a couple of times because I was making assumptions about the narrative based on some bits of visual content. I'd see a dick and a bong and I'd imagine an uncensored Harold and Kumar kind of humor, which I've never much been interested in. As it turns out MEGAHEX is nothing like Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. It is something much darker than that.
I ended up giving the book a chance because I met Simon in Seattle and he seemed like a stand up dude, or at least one I could relate to and trust in his desire to express something complicated in his work.
He does that. Don't get me wrong this book is f***ed up. It definitely deserves the trigger warning tag on the cover, but it is complicated and Simon's desire to include the trigger waring is evidence of a certain sensitivity to the material he's working with.
The main character is Megg the witch, but the narrative arch follows Owl, who is an anthropomorphic owl. The supporting cast include Mogg who is an non-anthropomorphic cat and sometimes sexual partner of Megg, and Werewolf Jones who is intense, violent, and tends to bring things to dark ends. Owl is the only character who seems to be consistently trying to change his life for the better, perhaps because he is bottom on the totem pole, and maybe he's bottom because everyone else likes to put down the one who has his shit together just a little more than they do, so they can feel good about themselves.
I consider this a somber read that bares witness to messed up people doing bad things, and getting kicked down by a world that doesn't even know it's doing it. I would recommend Megahex to anyone with a strong stomach who find beauty in sad situations, and has loved someone who does or has done very bad things.
If you're sick of the "other" in fiction referring to mysterious and unknowable femininity, it might be worth trying to experience the "other" as mystIf you're sick of the "other" in fiction referring to mysterious and unknowable femininity, it might be worth trying to experience the "other" as mysterious and unknowable masculinity such as it is portrayed in Mrs. Briggs' novel via the Werewolf.
The story takes mundane all-America activities such as shopping at Walmart on black Friday, making a sandwich for your loved one, or driving while talking on your cell phone and gives an alternate world for it's readers to imagine the next time they are out and about. Wouldn't Walmart shopping be more interesting with your half Werewolf stepdaughter? What if the loved one enjoying that roast beef on rye had just killed a ton of people and was therefore very hungry and very grateful? What about talking on your cellphone while driving a car that was stolen from a vampire? And wouldn't a walk through the suburbs be so much more exciting if you could slink out of your clothes and transform into a Coyote to slink through manicured lawns?
All in all, I had a good time reading this book but I'm not running to the library for the next installment. Maybe that's because I don't shop at Walmart or have a family and children to protect. Maybe it's because the novel has a lot of "twists and turns" that seem to someone unfamiliar with the series to be new rules plunked down on the universe each time the author needs to make something happen. In Briggs' defense she does address this in the narrative, the Coyote changes the rules, but it felt clunky to me. Still a good break from the world, so if your on vacation and this is on the shelf, pop some popcorn, pour a glass of whine, and go for it.
p.s. If you feel the same way as me about this book, you might want to check out my book>> ...more
Sick of books that make YOU turn the pages. Me too. That's why I was so pleased with this novel. In a gory and violent post-apocalypse we see the worlSick of books that make YOU turn the pages. Me too. That's why I was so pleased with this novel. In a gory and violent post-apocalypse we see the world from the point of view of a zombie that is both sentimental and confused (though in no way innocent). A zombie that is changing. A zombie that is trying.
I may have a soft spot for this book because of the thematic similarities to my own A Film About Billy (death's endless presence, teenager's power to feel as an important asset, etc.), but Isaac rides a more traditional arc harder and with an original beauty that is hard to insult. So I won't.
I'll say that what parts might have come off as cheesy didn't because of hunks of living flesh falling from empty rib cages of skeletons. I'll say those parts felt just right when I got to them.
If you're squeamish I don't know what to tell you. If not, down with death up with life--enjoy....more
This hybrid novel alternates between comics and prose to tell a coming of age story from dueling perspectives--(PART 1)a straightforward realistic narThis hybrid novel alternates between comics and prose to tell a coming of age story from dueling perspectives--(PART 1)a straightforward realistic narrative in prose format and (PART 2) a fantastical dreamscape perspective in comic format (as illustrated by Nate Powell).
This is the first work I've read from Cecil Castellucci, but definitely not the first Nate Powell work I've seen. Nate Powell's artwork here is as beautiful as ever. His line-work is precise but far from rigid. The comic panels are often un-framed, but the pages keep a relevantly simple structure which will likely keep the pages quite readable to novice comic readers that may be interested in this book (I really can't say enough good things about Nate Powell).
The prose sections were light and fast, from the point of view of a teenage girl who is dealing with jealousy, love, secrecy, and a general injection of boy interest in her life. Cecil is clearly a seasoned author who's prose, though simple, will stop you from time to time with a images as vivid as a "puddle of skin."
For me, however, the driving force of this story was the dichotomy between the comics and prose. . .
Timeout for full disclosure: I came to this novel because of it's format. I have recently completed a hybrid novel that alternates between comics and prose similarly--which probably skews my opinion here somewhat.
...Like I was saying the disparate content in the two forms makes a driving question in this narrative. Like in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World the reader is forced to wonder how or if these narratives join. Cecil clearly plays with this expectation by describing Tessa's hair as somewhat alive, while in the comic pages Tessa is illustrated with living snakes for hair. The opening of the story at a creepy carnival plays into the expectation for magic and in the prose magic has happened--the magic of kisses and young love.
(view spoiler)[Spoiler Alert (kind of?)--anyway I wouldn't want to read this part before I read the book. I found the way the two narratives were joined to be kind of disappointing. The naratives came togeather by inferring the illustrated seces were from a dream that the main character had near the end of the story. I would have preferred the fantasy elements to have never be mentioned in the prose at all since that connection did not further the plot. The comic pages ultimately existed as an emotional backdrop that manipulated the pacing of the story and parsed out foreshadowing--I don't think that needed to be justified in the same way I don't think that the orchestral music needs to be justified in a film. (hide spoiler)]
In the end I thought this was a good fast read that used comics and prose in a a way that was innovative and successful. I would recommend it for a younger crowd, but if you like love triangles, looming uncertainty, and left fields then give it a go. It's worth the experience.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The Night Circus was a literary fantasy which indulged in detailed descriptions of wondrous and magical settings. This was probably the books strongesThe Night Circus was a literary fantasy which indulged in detailed descriptions of wondrous and magical settings. This was probably the books strongest aspect, and for that reason it was a solid bed-time read. However I felt that the overall story arc was less than compelling. Two powerful magicians compete in an obscure game, which this story is structured around and ultimately became the weak point of the narrative(for me).
The game itself seems to have been created without much of a reason, in part by an aged wizard who seems well above the kind of petty competitiveness involved. If I had believed in that character's motivation or perhaps if he had seemed more complex as a character the whole book would have gotten a couple more stars.
As is, the book is an enjoyable read on a page-by-page basis with colorful characters, but those characters failed to move me for the most part....more
My roommate and I listened to this as an audiobook while we worked on a comic over a long period of time. The slow repetitive style helped us pick itMy roommate and I listened to this as an audiobook while we worked on a comic over a long period of time. The slow repetitive style helped us pick it up effortlessly even if we hadn't tuned in for a month or two. But this is not a book for the light weight reader.
In the beginning I found the style frustrating, but some of the tediousness in the first few hundred pages morphed into something awesome as we got into the meat of the book. Murikami's extensive knowledge of plot mechanics helps him manipulate the aware reader. By addressing possible plot points repeatedly Murikami is constantly confusing the reader that knows the rules. If there is a gun it must go off... but what if you vocalize that in the story--then no perhaps? What if you talk about how a gun introduced to a story must go off a hundred different times over the course of 500 pages?
If you're interested in the Audiobook I would say that the voice actors were very good, and again it is excellent for a long projects that may be spaced over a length of time. I thought it was a good book with an emotional build up and a constant surreal feeling of being lost in your everyday life.
Galloping Mountain is an incredible book if you can get your hands on it. 60 copies exist on this good earth, all of which have hand bound with the auGalloping Mountain is an incredible book if you can get your hands on it. 60 copies exist on this good earth, all of which have hand bound with the author's own hands. In their story Gunner plays with language and their audience at the same time, in a way that might come off as pretentious or frustrating if it wasn't so funny.
Galloping Mountain is about a small group of young (apathetic?) Americans, a forgetful angel, a smooth talking alien, and and awkward out of time Jesus as they attempt and fail to make any kind of real connections with each other and in general. It's as sad as it is funny, and it's quite funny (did I mention that?)
Good luck finding it, but if you do don't let slip through your fingers. ...more
Beautiful, definitely a comic style I respond to. However I really am a sucker for a strong plot, and for the most part King City lacks that property.Beautiful, definitely a comic style I respond to. However I really am a sucker for a strong plot, and for the most part King City lacks that property. Pretty much the main character is never seriously in danger because his cat is so damn good. However the ending deals with this kind of distance from a traditional story well enough that I got back on board--plus there are tons of great one liners like "once I ate candy out of a dead man's mouth."...more
There are few books which have forced me to defend myself quite as often as The Host. I got a lot of flack for being a grown man reading the new bookThere are few books which have forced me to defend myself quite as often as The Host. I got a lot of flack for being a grown man reading the new book from the "Twilight lady."
I would say it was worth the flack. To start, the premise is baller--pov body-snatching alien parasite who is of course likeable on a post takeover earth.
Even the kind of over simplified romance part which turned me off in the beginning changed into something twisted and interesting.