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review 2017-09-17 14:57
Magic Realism Square
Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter

- A story about stories and illusion.



Magic and reading have something in common. It’s that thin wedge that question of what is real and what is fantasy. We know that the magician is doing some trick, but we just can’t get it, can’t figure it out. With books, good ones at least, the trick is the writing taking you someplace else. Books aren’t the only thing that can do this – a good movie, painting, music. 
It’s this line between reality and fantasy that Carter explores in this novel about a circus performer who may actually have real wings. At first glance it seems as if Fevvers is the only character with this problem, but every character in the book comes into contact with this question. Even the tigers, which may or may not really be jealous lovers.
In many ways, this is the human condition, the search for ourselves. Is our work face our real face? It might not be the wings that Fevvers has, but the question of reality and fantasy is one we change and fight in some way every day

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text 2017-09-16 11:02
Finished Amateur Sleuth Square: I've read 100%.
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins

My only re-read this year and my previous review stands.

 

This is like a guilt-free trip to the circus and the big cats are supporting characters and add some of the humor. The circus people messing with the investigator makes it fun, though there are some tense moments.

 

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text 2017-09-10 11:01
Amateur Sleuth Square
A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins

This is my only re-read this year.

 

 i didn't read it for Bingo, but did read it last March. My review is here: http://loram.booklikes.com/post/1541740/a-spark-of-justice

 

It's a fun book and I've wanted to read it again, so when I saw amateur sleuth as one of the categories I thought of it right away.

 

The protagonist is an insurance investigator who is just supposed to establish whether the death of a lion tamer was an unfortunate accident or foul play, but the circus people start messing with him and a few things happen that look like someone is out to kill him, so he gets in a lot deeper than his job should entail.

 

I enjoyed the focus on the big cats. While I don't condone keeping them the way circuses historically have done, this is an opportunity to step into a fantasy circus world where the cats are better cared for. I've got a soft spot for the panther, though the lion adds the most humour.

 

Anyway, looking forward to starting this one again later today.

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review 2017-08-22 17:43
Circus of the Damned / Laurell K. Hamilton
Circus of the Damned - Laurell K. Hamilton

Most women complain that there are no single, straight, men left. I'd just like to meet one that's human.

I'm Anita Blake, expert on creatures of the night. I've dined with shapeshifters, danced with werewolves, and been wooed - but not won - by Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the City.

And now a darkly dangerous vampire named Alejandro has hit town. He too wants me for his human servant. A war of the undead has begun. Over me.

I would be flattered if my life weren't at stake...

 

I’m still enjoying the Anita Blake series, although I have to tell you, Anita does not seem like a 24 year old character to me. I think she would be much more believable as someone in her late 30’s or early 40’s considering how jaded she seems to be and how experienced she thinks she is.

I wonder if Hamilton got any money from Nike for product placement? It seems like she mentions the shoes by name at least once per chapter. Although I suppose I could say the same thing about 2-3 brands of gun….

In this installment, Anita learns:

1. Working two full time jobs will wear you out
2. When you meet a guy in a vampire’s house, there is very little chance that he’s normal
3. Vampires will always choose dramatic ways to fight each other
4. Snake-creatures are not her friends
5. Training new employees is twice as much work as it should be
6. Jean Claude has nipples. Honestly, she mentions it every time she sees him.

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text 2017-08-18 10:43
More Bingo Choices
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
The Abyss Above Us - Ryan Notch
Stalking Jack - Madison Kent
Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Walter Kaufmann
The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell
Vampire - In the Beginning - Charmain Marie Mitchell
Demon Lord - T.C. Southwell
Goblins - David Bernstein
Circus of Horrors - Carole Gill
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Well, I went through my A-list and B-list and snagged one free book off Amazon, so now my list if full! I also made another change for Classic Noir so I could participate in the group read.

 

So, here is my list now! Still subject to changes if I start to read something and decide it's a waste of my time. Only one re-read this year! I think I kept it down to two last year.

 

Classic noir: The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett

 

Amateur sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. A Spark of Justice by J.D. Hawkins re-read

 

Serial/spree killer: Normally this would have been first on my exclusions, but I've been wanting to read Cabal by Clive Barker

 

American horror story: Children of Chaos by Greg Gifune

 

Genre: horror: The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

 

Gothic: Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

 

Darkest London: Stalking Jack by Madison Kent

 

Modern Masters of Horror: Helltown by Jeremy Bates

 

Supernatural: Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

Ghost: The Ghost of Guir House by Charles Willing Beale

 

Haunted houses: The Elementals by Michael McDowell

 

Vampires: Vampire - In the Beginning by Charmain Marie Mitchell

 

Werewolves: The Werewolf Whisperer by Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierez

 

Witches: The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

 

Demons: Demon Lord by T.C. Southwell

 

Classic horror: I've read rather a lot of these since last year! But I found one I haven't yet read, The Monk by Matthew Lewis

 

Chilling children: The Doll by J.C. Martin

 

Monsters: Dead Sea by Tim Curran

 

80's horror: Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist

 

In the dark, dark woods: Into the Woods by Thomas Washburn Jr

 

Terror in a small town: Goblins by David Bernstein

 

Magical realism: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

 

Terrifying women: Circus of Horrors by Carol Gill

 

Diverse voices: One Blood by Qwantu Amaru

 

Free square: The Abyss Above Us by Ryan Notch

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