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Search tags: 4-format-paperback
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review 2018-11-07 02:40
Hocus Pocus ★☆☆☆☆ (DNF)
Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut

I gave it my best for 40 pages, but finally just saw no reason to continue. This book does have a perverse sort of humor and is funny in places, but it was also off-puttingly angry. The conceit of this book is that it is the disjointed scribblings of a (possibly mad) man who is imprisoned in a library, and he decides to write his life story on random little scraps of paper he found laying about. So even as I recognize that the story's rambly structure and style is meant to illustrate the set up, I still found myself utterly unable to summon the will to keep reading. YMMV

 

DNF at 40/325 pages. Paperback, picked up from... somewhere, and had been sitting on my shelf for 3 years. Fly free now, little book, and I hope you end up with someone who wants to read this kind of drivel. 

 

I was attempting to read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season game, for door 19 Festivus (Dec. 23) book task: Read any comedy, parody, or satire. Instead, I'm going to listen to the audio of Carol Burnett's In Such Good Company

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text 2018-11-05 13:18
Hocus Pocus - 0/324pg
Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut

It's probably a bad sign when I'm already expecting I might DNF a book before I've even read the first page, but I have very low expectations here. I picked this up on a whim at a used books sale, but I'm always hit/miss with Vonnegut and based on other user reviews this is going to fall into the dark humor category as I see descriptions of both "funny" and "angry". Also, it also relies on a shifting timeline narrative and I think I've probably had enough of that from the book I just finished. 

 

Oh, well. I'm reading this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season game, for the Festivus door, and if I hate it then I have a Calvin and Hobbes book as an alternate. And although those cartoons are also an acerbic social commentary, they are still more fun than angry, so I won't have trouble finishing THAT one, for sure. 

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text 2018-10-23 15:10
Fragile Things - progress 85/360pg
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders - Neil Gaiman

I think I might have a little bit of a bookish hangover after binge-reading my way through my entire Halloween Bingo card. I'm having trouble settling in to my first non-bingo books. But it might be this book. I normally am enchanted by Neil Gaiman, but I've been picking this book up and putting it down again since August. I'm starting to think that short stories are just not one of his many talents. 

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review 2018-10-20 16:03
The Shadow of Polperro ★☆☆☆☆
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

This book hits the jackpot of terrible books. The characters are uninteresting. The pace is amazingly slow for a 235 page book, with a lot of boring information about characters going places and completing mundane tasks that do nothing to advance the story. The egregious misuse of punctuation and sentence structure had me re-reading paragraphs multiple times in order to make any sense of them.

 

I’m not even going to bother with a synopsis, I’ve already spent more time on this book than it deserves.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. It definitely fits the definition of gothic – spooky old ruined castle with a tragic history, strange accidents that might be supernatural in origin, beautiful young woman alone in the world and in peril, an old woman with supernatural gifts. And a handsome young man to give her a happily ever after, although it breaks from the gothic mold here as he is not darkly brooding and mysterious and a little violent in his temper and passions. He’s just a nice, stable young man with a good job.

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text 2018-10-15 18:35
The Shadow of Polperro - 20/235pg
The Shadow of Polperro - Frances Cowan

I've never encountered a book so badly written and edited. The grammar and punctuation are insane. I keep having to re-read paragraphs to make sense of them.

 

     "Why not? But I'd be careful if I were you."

     "Careful?"

     Her monosyllabic question was answered by another. "Do you believe in psychic phenomena?"

 

* * * * * * * *

 

     "Yes, though I'm the world's worst driver."

     He cleared his throat again, realising that her present financial situation did not run to cars. 

     He held out his hand: "Now remember, come to me for any advice you need. You have enough money for the present?"

     Again the glimmer of wry mischief: "For the present. Thank you, Mr. Deoring"

 

* * * * * * * * * 

 

     Not immediately though; she decided to spend the rest of the week looking for a job. 

     Her lack of experience gave her little choice. Could she type? No. Shorthand? No. Was she good at figures? Most certainly no. She was offered , somewhat doubtfully, the post of matron at a boys' prep school, a job in an office dark and dingy, where she would have been little more than a tea-girl. She refused both and studied the "Wanted ads" in the papers. There were a great many, so many that she found herself in a kind of mental vortex, for none were suitable. Work in London, life in London, in a small bed-sitting room? The thought gave her claustrophobia. 

 

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