I have been a fan of Zorro since I was... 8? Maybe even younger... Anyway, in my teen days (16? 17?) I found The Curse of Capistrano in district libra...moreI have been a fan of Zorro since I was... 8? Maybe even younger... Anyway, in my teen days (16? 17?) I found The Curse of Capistrano in district library. It looked a bit suspicious to my eyes - thin and with illustrations inside - but I carried it home anyway and merrily gobbled down in two or three hours. I was sorely disappointed. The plot was thin, full of unbelievable and unrealistic twists; the characters were either black or white. Basically, everything in it screamed either 'young adult', or 'silly adventure for casual pulp readers'. Thus, I was led to believe that I stumbled across abridged version for kids and left it as that.
Imagine my excitement when I found this free eBook on GoodReads! I downloaded it at once and started reading, anxious to get to know what the original looked like...
Well, I had read the original. LOL
Everything I stated above is still true. This book has almost no value for anyone looking for serious, realistic, complex story and fleshed out characters. It's just pulp. However, once I realized what it was, I have to say I enjoyed it - as a comedy and a very light read. It's not written in the way that makes you cover your face in shame, but its silliness is actually... fun. It's a nice read once you know what to not expect.
(Though I still miss some realistic approach to Zorro story... It seems that Allende's version is the only one, and I didn't like it.)(less)
This book is an anthology of 30 stories by M.R. James, who is considered one of top ghost story writers ever. The omnibus covers majority of James's p...moreThis book is an anthology of 30 stories by M.R. James, who is considered one of top ghost story writers ever. The omnibus covers majority of James's published stories; there are only several that have been omitted. The stories look short (about 15 pages per each), but horrid typesetting (that could as well stem from the very character of the stories themselves) makes them feel as if they were at least twice longer. The pages contain basically wall of text - the longest paragraph I've encountered spanned two whole pages. All the stories are told from main wrapping POV - that's the reason for these awful blocks of text. They contain everything from descriptions to whole dialogues quoted by the main narrator. Combine it with various weird dialects in such dialogues (i.e. country dialect, which gave me a lot of trouble - it's okay to decipher what old people are saying if it's a couple of sentences, but not about one quarter of the book) and you'll get something that is very hard to read and understand without getting lost in massive black column that covers entire page.
Normally I don't pay much attention to such things, but in this case the way the text was organized killed half the joy for me. The stories themselves aren't very scary - they can give off uneasy feeling, but in my opinion they were a bit too repetitive. They took too long to fire off and they were ending right after the climax, not developing enough to truly scare anyone (me). It's probably best to read them in right setting - for example, an open living-room at night, when the curtains are not yet drawn and all the doors are open, and by the light of a candle. There's just not much of an atmosphere when one is locked in their brightly lit bedroom. That said, much of these stories' appeal is in the style of writing, not content-related spookiness.(less)