I liked The Gunslinger because it’s the beginning of an epic tale.
And, as with many epic tales, character development does play second fiddle in imporI liked The Gunslinger because it’s the beginning of an epic tale.
And, as with many epic tales, character development does play second fiddle in importance to the journey.
The characters' motivations are revealed slowly in the novel. I found the character Jake annoying. Though I think he is necessary as a moral trigger for Roland in some parts. Oddly enough, my favorite character was David the Hawk in some of the flashbacks.
King based this story off a poem he read. For some reason, I like that. It’s as if someone read Eldorado by Poe and wrote an epic story about that journey.
If you're going to give it a try, know that the first part is slow, but it picks up in the third act with some action-packed scenes and a pretty cool exchange with the Man in Black.
I’m looking forward to The Drawing of the Three....more
Reading this book was an experience. I bought Teacher Man when I was beginning my career as a teacher, and wasn’t ready for it. In all honesty, the fiReading this book was an experience. I bought Teacher Man when I was beginning my career as a teacher, and wasn’t ready for it. In all honesty, the first few chapters of the book left me wanting, but there is so much more awaiting the reader. I felt my connection with Frank McCourt as a man from a blue-collar upbringing who lived in a white-collar environment and all that entails: the blue-collar chip on the shoulder, as it were. Teacher man takes the reader through the author’s life as a teacher from the confusing beginning to the final chapters in which McCourt connects teaching with finding himself, and finding his students. If you’ve given this a chance before, but put it down I encourage you to pick it up again. The latter half brought tears to my eyes, and also laughter. McCourt communicated what he learned connecting thousands of imperfect minds over the years with his own: we are all writers; we all have something to contribute; we are all living a story. With all our failings as human beings, the question we may have at the end is have we done our best to honor the people who wandered into our lives, whether in the classroom or other. I think Frank McCourt can answer yes. And that is an inspiration....more
The Last Kind Words Saloon was another first for me. Of course, I've seen the Lonesome Dove films, but never read this author. If this book is represeThe Last Kind Words Saloon was another first for me. Of course, I've seen the Lonesome Dove films, but never read this author. If this book is representative of his other works, I would say McMurtry's strongest knack is his use of dialogue. It's in the dialogue that character development occurs, and there are laugh-out-loud moments. The weakest point is that none of the characters are actually likable. For some readers, it doesn't matter. For me, I need to like a character. An interesting aspect of the novel is that there are two parallel stories: that of Wyatt Earp and those in his life and of a wealthy cattlemen, Charlie Goodnight, and his friends and family. I wondered how the stories would eventually intertwine. That helped. Also, it is interesting to see what mundane goings-on happen prior to the famous, brief fight at the O.K. Corral. It is a lonely setting of the western plains, less romantic, which fits the less romantic depiction of the Earps. The wrap-up gave me a smile....more
I don't usually "read" audiobooks. However, I am a loyal Stephen King fan. Since this "book" is only offered as a CD, I had no choice but to buy it. SI don't usually "read" audiobooks. However, I am a loyal Stephen King fan. Since this "book" is only offered as a CD, I had no choice but to buy it. So, I did.
I finished Drunken Fireworks on two one-hour long road trips. I admittedly didn't like it and first, but ended up enjoying it. I typically don't like it as much when King ventures out of his best genre: horror, even when it's sci-fi. This story was neither.
Drunken Fireworks is a rather boring story about two neighbors who end up in dramatic yearly competition: the best fireworks for the Fourth of July. There are some twists and turns. Again, a description of the story would bore you, but the tongue-in-cheek narration, humor, and build-up like only King can do gives the story "something".
I don't think this could have worked in written form. Of all of Kings works, this would be the one to skip. However, if you're a King fan, do you really want to? Enjoy....more
With technology, social changes , political changes, economic changes, changes in the workforce, types of jobs available, ways people interact with onWith technology, social changes , political changes, economic changes, changes in the workforce, types of jobs available, ways people interact with one another, changes in the education system, even the changes in our own surroundings and our very roles in society, it sometimes can be hard to remember what is important. Meyers calls the reader to "simplify your life" with some solid tools. I would reword to say , "See past the clutter." Life's meaning remains, regardless of changes around us. God is constant. Sometimes we forget. Some of the overriding themes in the book are that we should "take control of [our own] thoughts", "be quick to forgive", and take responsibility. ...more
'Salem's Lot made me a King fan and a fan of the vampire genre. I read it for the first time as a teenager. I recall hanging my head over the couch tu'Salem's Lot made me a King fan and a fan of the vampire genre. I read it for the first time as a teenager. I recall hanging my head over the couch turning page after page with my family watching TV. I remember feeling terror when Danny Glick came to Mark Petrie's window as a child vampire and asked to be let in. I still felt that terror re-reading in Starbucks. The scene was perfect horror in it's simplicity.
Earlier King novels have something else that is not necessarily lacking, but different, than his later works. 'Salem's Lot has it. This is an oldie-but-goodie. If you've already read it, re-read...with people nearby...hopefully, who can sell you comfort food :)...more
The Last Unicorn is a great book. I briefly met Peter Beagle at a viewing of The Last Unicorn film at Alamo Drafthouse years ago and had him sign my bThe Last Unicorn is a great book. I briefly met Peter Beagle at a viewing of The Last Unicorn film at Alamo Drafthouse years ago and had him sign my book. I've been happy to reread The Last Unicorn again recently, and I still love it. The language is so much fun in the book. Peter Beagle is not afraid to use really fun metaphor and simile throughout. Also, he has great understanding of creating characters through their voice, whether it's a cameo by a chattering butterfly or an evil king. The Last Unicorn is a little bit of everything: a fairy tale, an adventure, a love story. I think both genders can equally enjoy it. It's a little hard to explain, but I think the most fun thing about the story is the main characters seem to be very aware that they are partaking in an epic tale. Parents should feel comfortable allowing their kids to read this book, and it also has a lot of great messages about friendship and what's truly important....more
A Better Way to Live is, in my opinion, one of the best "motivational" or "self-help" books ever written. Most readers are familiar with Og Mandino'sA Better Way to Live is, in my opinion, one of the best "motivational" or "self-help" books ever written. Most readers are familiar with Og Mandino's The Greatest Salesman in the World, which is a very good book. But at 129 pages, this book far surpasses it in ease of use.
I remember the first time I read this book, I was nineteen, and it inspired me so greatly that I typed up the tenets and taped them next to my bed on the wall for a while.
If you want a life that is not "self-serving" in the traditional sense but a life that understands to truly serve yourself, you have to serve others, this is the book for you. It starts off with a brief bio of Og Mandino's life and what brought him to an understanding of purpose that he describes in brief, personal lessons.
And don't read it just for one read. The copy I have is worn and tattered from years of rereading. It still smells like a good, old book, and the words resonate like the voice of an old friend....more