Mr. Mercedes by Stephen KingPosted: July 12, 2015 Filed under: Books, Fiction | Tags: Books, Crime Fiction, English, fiction, Stephen King Leave a comment
A brain dead fellow on vacation a couple of weeks back, I downloaded Masha Gessen's latest book on the Tsarnaev brothers and patiently started reading it. But in the sun and all, it kinda felt wrong.
So I went to kindle store again and kept on browsing. For whatever. Simpler, I guess. And simpler I found.
About two years ago I dwelled and dwelled in various airport bookstores over buying Stephen King's Joyland novel – liked the film noir cover a lot – but in the end, never had the guts to do it. Don't get me wrong, Mr. King is undoubtedly a good writer, the one who builds a story that gets a grip of you and doesn't let go. Biggest problem – the last time I read King's stuff, I was in my teens, mid-teens, to be exact. Dead zone, the Shining, etc etc. So buying and reading King seemed, ummm, grossly inappropriate and childish for a bit older fella. Well, it did and it didn't.
I also remembered that a year or so ago I read a praise in, what was it, the Guardian, on King's Mr. Mercedes, a crime novel, a novelty for King, as there were no dead clowns creeping in the shadows. Pure crime stuff. And here I was, sun and all, finally reading King. Felt the same as watching crime TV series, the Wire, Sherlock, Breaking Bad stuff.
The beginning and mid part are totally better than the end, if you ask me – as I don't like even a shred of comical in a crime book, and this Holly character was put there for that reason. Other than that, the book has typical King's wit, but it's pulp all right. Burn after reading. Lazy as I am, still I decided, hell, I'll try the sequel Finders Keepers anyways (googled it – better reviews), as at least one thing is true – pulp reads fast.
Blitz by David TruebaPosted: June 27, 2015 Filed under: Books, Fiction | Tags: Books, David Trueba, fiction, Spanish Leave a comment
Blitz is a short novel by David Trueba, a Spanish film director and screenwriter. Una historia de amor, it turned out in the end, and a strange one. A quick delightful read, eh.
En la tele emitían resúmenes informativos del año. Todos hablaban de la crisis económica. En el recordatorio, la presidenta alemana Merkel, con su rigidez, daba una mano fría a los presidentes sucesivos de España, primero Zapatero con sus cejas de bebé asustado y luego Rajoy con esa ausencia de personalidad idéntica al muñeco abandonado de un ventrílocuo. Ambos parecían pedir de ella más que un apretón de manos, quizá ser acunados, que los acercara a su pecho para darles de mamar. Pero ella no era la madre que buscaban.
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time by Hope LarsonPosted: May 8, 2015 Filed under: Comic, Fiction | Tags: Books, Comic, English, Hope Larson, Madeleine L'Engle, Science Fiction Leave a comment
I haven’t read the original A Wrinkle in Time, so hard for me to compare. Seems like a decent sci-fi story for teenagers, beautifully drawn and all.
But I won’t give it more than that, a children’s book, an old and renowned one, but still.
The Goldfinch by Donna TarttPosted: May 4, 2015 Filed under: Books, Fiction | Tags: Books, Carel Fabritius, Donna Tartt, English, fiction 1 Comment
God gracious, I can't believe I finally finished it. Such a long book, for lazy readers like me, it's pure nightmare, these 775 pages.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad one overall, but my opinion of it went down as the pages went. Could've been and probably should've been shorter.
The beginning and the first half are absolutely stellar, and I see why so many people can see the Catcher in Rye echoed there. The joy of youth, then the tragedy and the soul searching – well, these New York and Las Vegas parts are just stunning, cunning, entertaining, can't get my eyes off that kind of thing. It's a Pulitzer Prize winner, and for a reason it is.
But after that, with Theo coming back to New York again in his twenties, and then to Amsterdam, well, these bits are much less appealing. At first the novel lacks action, and then the action is just too much that it becomes klyukva. All the pretty little cranberries, if you know what I mean.
And the very ending, the long tedious passages, the moral of the story – uff, that made me sweat even. Lame. Unnecessary. In want of something else. Brrr.
To sum it up – when I started it in February (well, I think it was February), I was totally mesmerized by it and thinking – damn, it's so good, I will have to read more of Donna's stuff, maybe all of Donna's stuff. Wanted to buy a copy for my dad. When I finished it yesterday night, May already, in a hotel room in Tel Aviv, I'm not sure I want any more. No, not sure at all.
Sugar Skull by Charles BurnsPosted: February 1, 2015 Filed under: Comic, Fiction | Tags: Books, Charles Burns, Comic, English Leave a comment
Sugar Skull, Part 3 of Charles Burns' trilogy, is a comedown of sorts. Had to read all three parts again, by the way, as memory fails.
While both X'ed Out and The Hive were kinda hallucinogenic and mesmerizing in a typical sick and dirty way Burns is known for, Sugar Skull is much more open and sad. It has a NIN Hurt-like halo around it.
With no new nasty creatures (well, not entirely true), this time pieces of the puzzle mostly include real people, their fears and pains, poorly drawn plans and hastily made decisions.
The dream ends, and it ends, and it ends.
Still, to be fair to myself – it took Burns a while to make this book – and this trilogy is indeed a great piece of comic literature. Not sure whether it is a success commercially, but personally, I was waiting for the book to come out – as I will for next one.
Here's a quick interview with Burns from The New Yorker, where he speaks on Herge as his inspiration – and it gives tons of page scans as well. And damn, I need to make sure I read all the Tintin books one day!
The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine WelshPosted: January 3, 2015 Filed under: Books, Fiction | Tags: Books, English, Irvine Welsh, Maimi Leave a comment
As much as I like all of Irvine Welsh's prolific literary work of the past two decades, it pains me to admit that this is probably his weakest novel.
No, it's still a fun read, as it has the traditional Welsh ingredients in the mix – narrated in the first person by multiple characters, who are full of cynicism, irony and spite. Welsh likes people who defecate in words – and not a single soul spared, oh no.
Plus, given my 4-hour body diet affections, all that get-the-lardass-byatch-to-lose-weight-while-punching-calories-in-the-iPhone psyche stroke a chord with me.
But all of that is not why it's his weakest. The story – the real welshian story, with all its typical shocking brutality, anger and vengeance – it just starts too late. Which, in contrast with a true no holds barred Korean action movie styled chapter one, is a pity. I guess not enough cheap thrills for me, huh.
Still, I wouldn't call it a miss – and I still will avidly consume every piece of Leith or Miami trash that Welsh may throw at me in the future, and chew on it with determination and glee. May strike you as odd, but he is probably the only writer on this sad lonely planet whose every book was devoured by yours truly. I mean, every. Some come close to that – i.e. I read tons of Miller's and Mamet's plays, or Limonov's self praising novels, or Mendoza's barcelonese stories, both serious and funny – but definitely I missed quite a few. Jonathan Littell is in the same league, with every book as well (or so I think at least), but he has written much less. Well, I guess I got too hooked on Welsh's eurotrash stories at high school. Go figure.
Logicomix. An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di DonnaPosted: November 24, 2014 Filed under: Comic, Fiction, Non-fiction | Tags: Alecos Papadatos, Annie Di Donna, Apostolos Doxiadis, Bertrand Russell, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Comic, English, Logic, Philosophy Leave a comment
An extremely difficult comic book, probably the most difficult graphic novel I've read so far. It couldn't have been otherwise, as it is a partly fictitionalized story of Bertrand Russell's life, work and his path in the field of modern philosophy and mathematics.
To a dumb person like me, going through logical paradoxes and mathematical concepts was tiresome and ultra calorie burning even via this “easy” medium of a graphic novel – so I dread the very thought of trying to read Russell's or his fellow Wittgenstein's stuff in full.
Still, I suggest to all comic book lovers, as well as those who never read comic books, to try it. It's something of a kind, a history of modern philosophy in the first half of the XX-th century, presented in witty colored pictures. Not Tintin's adventures, but still.
All You Need is Kill aka Edge of Tomorrow by Hiroshi SakurazakaPosted: November 17, 2014 Filed under: Books, Fiction | Tags: Books, Edge of Tomorrow, Emily Blunt, English, fiction, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Live. Die. Repeat, Science Fiction, Tom Cruise Leave a comment
Coincedences happen. Silly enough – watched the movie on Friday – and on this very Saturday morning stumbled upon the original book translated into English. Hm, must be a sign.
By the look and feel of the movie, I sensed it would have the Heinlein's Troopers touch to it – and the book, even more so.
Now, with less than 200 pages and a rabid pace, I can't but realize it's much more Verhoeven's.
Anyways, that bug queen sci-fi was dear to my mind, and I ate the book in a blink of an eye. Ay, yummy. Feels like I'm twelve again. Hope my son catches that affection a few years down the road.
Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie MarohPosted: November 15, 2014 Filed under: Comic, Fiction | Tags: Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue is the Warmest Colour, Books, Comic, English, French, Gay, Julie Maroh, La vie d'Adèle Leave a comment
Her name was not Adèle, her name was Clementine. Julie Maroh’s original book cuts like a knife, same shapness and quality as Kechiche’s award winning 3-hour masterpiece. Makes your heart beat and ache.
If you’re not homophobic, if you didn’t watch the flick only for the very long scene and nothing else, well, you may wanna give it a shot.
It’s no less touching, it’s no less beautiful – though, granted, it’s a notch more melodramatic at the end (as the film ends quite differently) – but it’s a master’s work nonetheless, beautiful and complete.
When I read that, I thought of Pliura and his only book of poems. It seems that gay people, probably due to harassment and bullying, came up with a few very touching literature and movie gems in the past several decades, Romeo and Juliette of the 21st century kinda thing.
I can’t recommend it though, as it probably breaks Russia’s new homophobic laws that prohibit promotion of anything gay related, good god forbid, no no no, don’t read it and don’t buy this book – but why listen to me, you should ask yourselves, if you can make up your mind on your own.
PS: … and my good companions to this jewel were Cohiba Siglo I and a bottle of Barolo 2008. These two I can easily recommend.
Coward. A Criminal edition by Eb Brubaker and Sean PhilipsPosted: September 14, 2014 Filed under: Comic, Fiction | Tags: Books, Comic, Crime Fiction, Criminal, Ed Brubaker, English, Sean Phillips 1 Comment
A glossy two-book hardcover collection of all six Criminal volumes was the reason I decided to re-read volume one Coward again. Actually, on my second try it felt much better than when I first had read it. Actually, I would even say I quite liked it. Is it a consequence of volume six? Hmm, looks like I am getting older and dumber.
P.S. And now I quietly wait for the movie.