An honest and somewhat clumsy autobiographical graphic novel by Craig Thompson, his first major success, a thick 9-part book about growing up in snowy rural Minnesota, about young boy’s religious acceptance, god fearing reverence, affection, love, and subsequent denial of god, and on finally moving on.
While Blankets is a critically acclaimed masterpiece of modern comic book storytelling, I remain a much bigger fan of Thompson’s next story called Habibi, a much harsher tale of love, poverty, almost medieval violence and bigotry. To me, Blankets vs Habibi is a good US indie flick vs a major groundbreaking Scorsese biopic.
Almost sixty now, Irvine Welsh still rocks my world and gets me glued to the pages like he used to 25 years back or so, even now, with yet another book on Rents, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie. It’s officially the fifth in the series, after Trainspotting, Porno, Skagboys and Begbie’s very own The Blade Artist, but really like the twelfth, if you count the rest of his Edinburgh novels like Glue, Filth, A Decent Ride and the rest.
Traveling between Miami and Scotland, Welsh carefully places his characters on the same routine that he undergoes himself, red-eye flights back and forth, a huge divide between sunny and well fed Florida and a drizzling damp and bevvied up brawly Leith.
Everyone’s now older, somewhat tired and weary, yet Hibs, ching, lassies, parties, and chapter after chapter of this unique Welsh-invented brute Scottish language you first learn, get accustomed to, and only later appreciate. The part on Scottish Cup final of 2016 made me open up YouTube and watch Sunshine on Leith sung by the stadium after a major mash up in the pitch.
I dream that one day I re-read most of Welsh’s books in a TV-show-like binge kinda way, as I am tired of not remembering certain parts of previous books that the old master carefully cross-refs here – without it I’m often clueless, as my memory fails.
I have a confession to make, I’m a first time reader of Julian Barnes, bought this book by its cover (well, I clearly knew who Barnes was), yet I had no clue what and who it is was about – and I was so friggin’ impressed. This is likely the best book I’ve read recently, and by far.
A novelized biographical story about Dmitry Shostakovich, a small time Greek tragedy delivered in three acts, pondering on the relations with the Power and its great carnivorous Helmsman Iosif Vissarionovich, then with the Cornbob vegetarian Nikita Sergeevich, on cowardice, internal insecurity, irony, fear, self-reprimand, and despair by one of the most revered Soviet composers of the past century.
Beautifully written, well composed, and definitely built to withstand the grinding noise of time. I’m impressed.
Не самая мощная книга Сорокина, но все ж ничего, эдакий короткий типический для автора фантасмагорический экзерсис на тему конца литературы, Fahrenheit 451, рукописи горят и все такое. Вспышки и всполохи тревожного будущего. Тьфу-тьфу-тьфу, лишь бы большинство его предсказаний не сбылось, ох.
Конец оживляет, отличный, да. Now, where are my fleas?
В полночь самолет ждет дозаправка в Санкт-Петербурге, красивом городе, построенном царем Петром на костях русских крестьян. Блоха сообщает, что крестьян в то время целыми деревнями сгоняли, вываривали в огромных котлах, кости дробили, мололи в муку, добавляли образовавшийся во время варки клей, гальку и получали так называемый русский бетон. Из этих бетонных блоков сложен фундамент Санкт-Петербурга. И надо сказать, город стоит до сих пор.
A poet of the perverse, sad, twisted and deranged, the late J.G. Ballard is a genius – well, in my scorecard he is. This post-millennium and even post 9/11 Chelsea suburban anarchy novel is a gulp of fresh air, sharp, thought-provoking, full of perennial wisdom quotes.
Сборник коротких рассказов-новелл австрийского Тургенева из Львова, конечно, слабее его романов. Некоторым, в силу их краткой длины, не хватает глубины, резкости, объемности “длинного метра” Захер-Мазоха, они остаются мимолетными историями, пересказом, кратким содержанием, чуть поверхностным, в них нет волны переживаний и эмоций Венеры или Душегубки.
Наиболее выдающиеся два рассказа, на мой вкус, – это Подруги и Женщина-сирена, оба в более нежном, нервном, открытом, игристом стиле. Романтизм 19 века в прекрасной форме, можно читать и сейчас. Что-то можно даже разобрать на цитаты.
Ну и, в любом случае, Venus is calling.
Лодка проплыла совсем близко, и дама, точно сошедшая с библейской картины итальянской школы, повернула голову. Дэлер увидел бледное интересное лицо, с энергичным маленьким орлиным носом и большими черными горящими глазами.
– Это принцесса К., – шепнула Цецилия.
Когда лодка отплыла достаточно далеко, Дэлер заметил:
– В свое время она, по-видимому, была хороша.
– Она и теперь хороша! – воскликнула Цецилия. – Женщины сохраняют свою красоту до тех пор, пока не перестают одерживать победы.
Good lord, let me start with a friggin spoiler – the dumb of me, I didn't pay attention to the cover, I didn't read the summary on Amazon – so man, I nearly jumped at the end of chapter five. Cause damn, it's not yet another US novel by Irvine Welsh, no sir – it's a FRANK BEGBIE novel – God, who could've thought.
Overall, as Welsh's prose typically is, it's a fast read pulp fiction novel, spanned between California and Edinburgh. Filled with archetypical rage, hatred, violence – but also totally shows Welsh (well, Begbie) getting old, reserved, treacherously double-faced. Breathe, man, breathe, one, two, three
The finale, with all the knives and chisels, is somewhat like a ball gag scene from Tarantino – but despite all that, the book lacks something. It just needed more – story, drama, action, well, I dunno what. And it sure as hell left the page open for a new Renton sequel. I'm in, always!
Read my first Welsh's book in 1996. 20 years have past, everyone chose life, and sadly, no-one got a bit younger. And yeah, Decent Ride was much funnier.
A good funny read from Mr. Irvine “Scotland-moved-to-Miami-and-then-came-back” Welsh.
As it's quite typical for Welsh to reuse and expand his old characters, this is now a third book about “Juice” Terry Lawson, a rough and cynical fellow from both Glue and Porno novels – and, to tell you the truth, I'm quite sad that I seem to remember very little from both of them. Need to re-read Glue one day anyway.
So as I was saying, the story revolves around Terry, who is mid-forties, works as an Edinburgh cab driver and, surprise-surprise, still acts as a true insatiable ladies man. Sex, drugs and rock'and'roll – and sex again.
Then, suddenly enough, the story of Terry charges its course – it becomes the epitome for aging and getting a bit more sad and mature at the same time. I couldn't but felt that Mr. Lawson caught up some of Irvine Welsh's own nostalgia of getting older – a former poet of Leith skag and casual youth, Welsh now writes about the same very folks, but 25 years older, 50 pounds heavier, and with a bad ticker on a brink of an imminent heart attack.
And then, miraculously enough again, it comes back positive again in the end. But no spoilers, eh, no spoilers.
PS: It's not yet available in the US, only comes out in Feb next year – so I had hit the shelves in the UK store of Amazon instead.
Everything’s negotiable. As ah eywis say: fuck off means naw, naw means mibbe, mibbe means aye n aye means anal. Guaranteed!
Ah’ve goat a bookcase wi some books Rab Birrell lends ays which ah nivir fuckin read but ah keep tae impress the student burds. Moby-Dick, Crime and Punishment, that sort ay shite. That Dostoyevsky cunt, ah tried tae read um but every fucker hud aboot five different names, n ah left the scheme tae git away fae aw that! Too fuckin right.
Part three of the Criminal series is a beautiful three-part story told from three different angles.
No point retelling the storyline here, though. Never saw a point in that.
Part two of the Criminal series is entertaining, like all of Brubaker's noir graphic novels. To me, they all have the feel and touch of Westlake, Chase, and the likes of them. Brubaker is one of their kin for sure.
In essence, I'm convinced that comic books are a great medium for crime fiction, something quite on par with the great black and white noir movies. Even the ones with color, like this one, not just Frank Miller's Sin City.
This particular chapter is as good as others – it lacks one thing only – a gory finale, with blood splattering everywhere, and everyone, good, bad, innocent and guilty, moving their bodies in a well rehearsed John-Woo-of-the-80s dance of bullets and brains. On the other hand, I'd say not all good crime books end in death and suffering. So, maybe not too bad for a change, huh.