Tag Archives: quick review

Books for April

south_of_the_border_west_of_the_sunSouth of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami: There’s a definite trend of similarity which runs through Murakami’s work. The awkward young man, who loves a messed-up, pseudo-ethereal woman and his struggles to find himself will be familiar to anyone who has read at least one of his books. Despite that I keep finding myself engrossed in his books with their sad, mysterious and weird characters who live in a very real world that is sometimes interrupted by moments of surreal existentialism. They are wonderful reads, this one included, and I like to think of them as a series rather than standalone books, and that works just great for me.

Hemingway-short-storiesThe Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: As the title says, this is a collection of every short story Hemingway ever published. There’s not much I can say about them, other than that they are good and this is a good book to carry around with you for when you need a little inspiration for your own writing. They’re also good stories for bedtime reading, since they are short and won’t keep you up all night, like the next book in this post will.

under the domeUnder the Dome by Stephen King: This book’s a monster at over a thousand pages, but I’m guessing you’ll get through it pretty quickly. It’s hard to put down. There’s a ton of characters and thick plot that moves along very quickly. In Big Jim Rennie, this book has a character that much like Cersei Lannister in the Song of Ice and Fire series, is so hateable that you will read on just in the hopes of seeing him get his comeuppance. Overall a very entertaining read. On a side note, this is being turned into a mini-series on CBS to be aired this summer. I can’t see how a tv version, especially on CBS can depict some of the savagery that adds to the menacing feeling of the book, but who knows, it could be good.

arlt-mad-toyMad Toy by Roberto Arlt: Translated meticulously by Michele Aynesworth, this is the story of a young man, a teenager actually, who struggles with his place in society and the expectations of his family. He wants to be a great man, but finds himself trapped in the lower class of early 20th century Argentina. Arlt drops a lot of slang and cultural references from that time period into his book and Aynesworth provides footnotes for all of them, making the book somewhat of a history lesson as well. This is a really interesting and thought provoking little book.

Books for March

a-tale-two-cities-charles-dickens-paperback-cover-artThe only non-graphic novel I read this month. Not much I can write about this Dickens classic that hasn’t already been written, so from a personal point of view I will say that I didn’t enjoy this tale as much as I enjoyed Great Expectations. Also when you read A Tale of Two Cities you can feel the serialized nature of Dickens’ writing quite clearly, especially in the first half of the book, but it does start flowing more smoothly later on. It’s a great book about sacrifice, the evils of classism and the dangers of revolution.

 

dmzhiddenwarcaoverDMZ: The Hidden War is a look at six background characters in the DMZ series. With one issue written from the perspective of each character and several different artists used to draw them, the book is hit and miss. I was looking forward to this one, but found only two of the stories to be remarkable. That’s not to say that it’s a bad effort from the series, but it seemed just like filler to me; decent filler, but filler none the less.

 

Y last man cyclesAs I suspected after reading the first volume in the Y series, the second book is better than the first. The dialogue is reined in and the story becomes deeper and more interesting. Yorrick and his two companions stumble upon a seemingly utopian all-female community, while his Amazon-brainwashed sister tries to track him down. A decent read.

 

 

promethea1Promethea is a legendary hero born of imagination who inhabits different human vessels and flits between the realm of fantasy and the real world. Surreal, existential, ethereal… I don’t really know how to describe this Alan Moore-penned novel. A mix between fantasy and sci-fi, it moves along quickly, and at first seems to be a little airy; like something written by an imaginative high-schooler, but as the pages go by, the story becomes much more nuanced and with very solid art work, particularly in the city-scapes, to back it up, it’s well worth a read.

 

FABLE_NEW_EDITION_CoverA super fun book. Great idea (characters from fables and fairy-tales living in New York) with great execution. This first installment is essentially a whodunnit about the murder of Rose Red, the sister of Snow White. Also, the edition I read was the re-issue of volume one, which contains a bunch of bonus material thrown in, making this a great pick-up. This series might be taking over as my favorite.