Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book Reviews for August

I really don't have time for this. But if I don't do it right now, it won't get done until September! So here are some truncated reviews from my August reading.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Yes, I reread this. I read it back in April or whenever and after watching some old episodes of The Twilight Zone based on stories by Richard Matheson, I felt I needed to read it again. I didn't read the I Am Legend novella again, just the rest of the short stories. And they were better the second time.

Get this collection. Matheson is a wonder.

Button, Button by Richard Matheson

Matheson is a master in creepiness. I have been so influenced by Matheson. As a writer and a lover of science fiction and fantasy and the surreal for all my life, I have been influenced by Matheson for all my life. Because all writers in these genres have been influenced by Matheson.

There is a story in this book called Patterns of Survival. READ IT.

Burger Wuss by MT Anderson

I don't know why I always look for a happy ending. Maybe because I am just used to writers wanting to tie things up in a nice pretty bow for the reader. MT Anderson has no such desire. Burger Wuss is similar to his other works in that respect. This tale of revenge, the effects of bullying and unrequited love doesn't have a happy ending.

I am always amazed at MT Anderson's writing. It makes me think of Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. So many rules broken, but the prose works.

So, no happy ending. It was fun though. I you liked his other books, I recommend Burger Wuss. And here is much lampooning of McDonald's, which we like.

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Aura Ambrose is fifteen. She's an artist. And she's terrified she'll end up like her mother.

A Blue So Dark explores the connection between art and mental illness. I liked the usage of watery themes and mermaids. The whole idea of a child being the caregiver for a dysfunctional adult is frightening. I suppose Aura's fear that art will lead to madness could be genuine in certain people, but I found it hard to believe that Aura wouldn't just do some research and discover that while many people who are creative suffer from mental illness, it does not follow that the creation of art causes such illness.

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Seventeen-year old Eddie Reeves (female) is struggling with her father's suicide. She doesn't understand why he wanted to die. All she wants is an answer. When she meets Culler Evans, a student of her father's, she thinks he might have the answers.

I like Courtney Summers' writing. The only thing that confused me was whether or not I was supposed to see the reveal coming. Were we supposed to know things that Eddie didn't know? I'm not sure.

I like the idea of Eddie pursuing this at any cost. I just mostly felt sorry for her. I just wanted to tell her, "You know. It's not your fault."

Warning on: language.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Great concept.

Concept: Mackie Doyle is a changeling. Everyone who knows him, knows this. But they love him anyway. Everything in the world above, the town of Gentry, is making Mackie sick. The only way to find a cure, and to find his friend's missing sister, is to go underground.

The descriptions of the underworld were very interesting, and I could see this as a creepy paranormal teen movie. Very Tim Burton-esque imagery. 

Warning on: Language, sexual situations.

The Twilight Zone - The Original Stories

The title says it all. Stories by Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Damon Knight, Charles Beaumont and others.  I LOVED IT.

This is a KILLER collection. I will probably buy it someday.

My fave: It's A Good Life

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

Karen Russell. She's like . . . 25.

Her short stories are astounding.

My only gripe: all the voices are the same. The same gripe I have with HP Lovecraft.  But it's such a teeny, tiny, infinitesimal gripe it means absolutely nothing because I'll just read her stories all day long and never complain.

But it's a must read.

The prose is so crunchy and delicious. Christian, you would like the prose.

Read especially: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Christian recommended this. It's a memoir, sort of I think. It's searing and difficult. But beautiful and transcendent. The artwork was amazing too. Very expressive. I'm extremely impressed with Craig Thompson.

Warning on: nudity and language.

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