Are you one of those people who likes to read the book before seeing the movie? I am. So when I found out (around 3-4 years late) that there was a White Queen mini-series, I was excited to jump in. I had also just lost my job and I was really looking for a book to serve as a screen saver for the brain; something that would entertain me but wouldn’t test me. A historical family drama definitely hit the spot. Philippa Gregory’s collected works specialize in this particular style of story – a fictional account of a real historical […]
Altered Carbon recently became a Netflix series, so I decided to do it the wrong way round – I watched and then read it. I know there’s more in the series, so I wanted to see if I liked the writing style so that I could explore further. In the world of Altered Carbon, people’s memories are stored in their “stacks”, in the back of their necks. People’s bodies are a “sleeve”, and those wealthy enough can rent sleeves, clone them, alter them, etc. Those who are poor don’t do so well – if they commit a crime, they might […]
This book is almost like OG American Gods. Not really, but it does share the kind of mythopoeic qualities of gods and goddesses of other cultures wrapped a kind of metanarrative/ meta-worldview. This is a novel written for children, and I was curious about finding out when it was published (I was listening to the audiobook) and I waited until after I finished. It turns out it was published in 1972. I also wonder if maybe I read this when I was a kid, though I don’t have any explicit memory of doing so. Anyway, it’s Halloween and a group of […]
As you can see, I didn’t really like this one. I got it as part of a subscription to Open Letter press, a translation press run out of the University of Rochester that translates relatively little known authors from around the world into English and publishes good, hefty editions of them. It’s a good press and I have enjoyed a handful of the books I got through the subscription and realized after I got my first book that I actually had others from the press in my collection that I hadn’t otherwise noted. All of this background is to push […]
So this is a collection of stories from John O’Hara, who wrote many many more than are contained here, and there’s also a weird gap in the middle that I will discuss. For first third of this book, we have very short short stories from about 1935-1950. This represents a period in which John O’Hara was heavily publishing in The New Yorker and in a lot of ways, he kind of invented the genre of the “New Yorker” Story — short, impactful. For me, the kind of story that best exemplifies this one is something like John Updike’s “A&P” — short, […]
As with so many other things, I’m reviewing a thing long after it got popular, and yet this time, at least, I’m managing to be at least a little bit on-trend, so go me?
I am an unrequited fan of Jim Thompson’s novels. If he’s not my favorite writer of all time, he’s one of them. I usually read books for good, well-plotted stories with richly developed characters. Rarely do I read them for metaphysics. Such is not the case with Thompson’s work. Famously dubbed the “dimestore Dostoevsky”, Thompson’s unrelenting nihilism and views of the corruption of human nature weirdly fit my own despite my cheery demeanor. I believe we’re all mere steps away from chaos and those who take advantage of the void protecting us (maybe?) from chaos are the strong preying on […]
Modern day London: home to a vibrant mix of cultures, faiths, and hipster coffee shops. And, in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, also home to gods and goddesses, the fae, ghosts of past London, and the terrifying spirit of Mr Punch from the Punch & Judy puppet show. Really it’s not surprising that the Met Police need their own magic division to cope with a city where any building could embody the spirit of a 2500 year old anglo-roman who got worshipped as a god and a vengeful magic practitioner wants to sacrifice them to change reality and make […]