Definitely better than the previous volume. I was still disoriented by some of the chronology (including how sometimes the dialogue bubbles seemed toDefinitely better than the previous volume. I was still disoriented by some of the chronology (including how sometimes the dialogue bubbles seemed to be out of order), but getting Jon's backstory/perspective was nice. And I like how the villains have an actually decent reason for their villainy. And that there was a little PSA about birth control in the middle. And the Sex Tips at the end. (My personal favorite: "Shower sex is great because you can fantasize that you're having sex out in the rain, but the rain is hot because these are the End Times.") Plus, the Brimpception.
All in all, definitely an improvement from the first volume....more
She's been to some cool author readings, and I guess the book has value for making me jealous of her New York publishing life...and for dNot horrible.
She's been to some cool author readings, and I guess the book has value for making me jealous of her New York publishing life...and for documenting what they say and what they look like at the time (according to Gavino's perception of them).
But her representations of authors are pretty far from what they actually look like. Like, the opposite of caricatures. Distinguishing features elided or misrepresented.
Maybe I'm just too bitter to truly appreciate other people's stories of love/success, but something about this collection struck me as a kind of braggMaybe I'm just too bitter to truly appreciate other people's stories of love/success, but something about this collection struck me as a kind of bragging, self-indulgent repetition the same basic story. Like a repeated humblebrag of, "Not only am I cool enough to have lived in New York City, but I'm clever enough to have left it and poetic enough to write about it in a way that is gracious enough to admit my faults. Also, I am a white woman who is happily married to a man who has helped me stay financially stable through all my missteps." (I realize not every author in this collection fits this description. I'm exaggerating because I am very bitterly none of these things.) Reading a bunch of stories about how people squandered their privileged New York opportunities and still managed to find success elsewhere got tiresome very quickly.
So many of these writers seemed to move to New York with a sense of entitlement, and in spite of their efforts to dramatize their struggles and their eventual break from the city, the fact that they are all published authors who have found success because of those struggles...makes it kind of seem disingenuous, like they sought out their troubles so they'd have something dramatic to write about. Many of them basically admit that that's what they did. Like, even Valerie Eagle, who had a hard life before New York City and faced some serious consequences due to the drug addiction she developed there, started out in the city with a stable home and job thanks to her aunt. Even stories like Eagle's, which somewhat diverged from type, struck me as repetitive because of this common narrative arc of naive-hope-met-with-harsh-reality-followed-by-success.
Maybe I can't help feeling like the authors all share Meghan Daum's perspective in "My Misspent Youth" (the actual essay, not the introductory part where she kind of hedges her sense of entitlement and acknowledges the fact that New York is excruciatingly expensive), where she writes "Self-entitlement is a quality that has gotten a bad name for itself and yet, in my opinion, it's one of the best things a student can get out of an education. Much of my success and happiness is a direct result of it."
So, okay, these are a bunch of entitled writers reflecting on their shared decision to leave New York...but maybe their entitlement is more of an asset than I'm willing to admit. They're all good writers, and they all have clever and insightful things to say. It's not their fault I kind of resent the uniting premise of the collection they're published in....more
Stephen King writes some great fantasy, man. Kind of like what I wish Game of Thrones had been like (both because it's not so incest-and-violence fillStephen King writes some great fantasy, man. Kind of like what I wish Game of Thrones had been like (both because it's not so incest-and-violence filled and because I'm a sucker for a fantasy story where (view spoiler)[the good guys win (which isn't much of a spoiler, because it's clearly set up as the type of story with a happy conclusion) (hide spoiler)].) This makes me want to check out the Dark Tower series.
The only things that really held me back from awarding that final star: The self-conscious storyteller-as-such trope. It was cute, but a little overused as a tool for reminding you of information or reiterating important points, which made me feel like King had little faith in you as a reader to notice important details. The Super Evil Bad Guy who has a two-headed parrot and is basically Voldemort plus Jafar. I know this was before Voldemort and Jafar, but I couldn't help making the comparison. Which was distracting at times. The way that the beginning of each section began with a fancy oldey-timey letter that had two little diamonds next to it. I know this was entirely due to the edition I was reading, but I kept thinking the first letter of the section was surrounded by quotation marks and being briefly confused. There are a lot of these sections, so it was happening a lot. (Also, the illustrations were not exactly to my liking. I prefer to imagine things for myself, thankyouverymuch. And I felt kind of silly reading a book with pictures in public.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more