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Search tags: better-than-expected
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review 2017-12-31 09:02
High "Holy-Shit!" quotient
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

That was awesome! I love it when pop-culture classics are really all that.

 

This one kept surprising me:

 

- Because I had NO IDEA what it was about (beyond some vague notion that there was an apocalyptic event, and some plants were involved)

 

- It changed lanes and directions non-stop (no getting too comfortable here, shit kept happening and fucking everything up)

 

- The dry, matter of fact and concise way some things were put, like

 

Oh, yeah, and one day those plants picked themselves up and went walking, whats it to you? Did I mention they are carnivore? Bah! People got over the novelty in a week or so

(spoiler show)

 

- And the sassy social commentary.

 

I was very much entertained, and could hardly stop reading, or muttering exclamations every chapter or so. Classic campy deliciousness. Loved it.

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review 2017-10-20 15:15
(K)not Quite What He Expected - Sugakane_01

3.5 stars. 

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review 2017-09-29 13:53
So that's why...
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

I've always enjoyed Agatha Christie whenever I picked one of her books, though the level fluctuated somewhat. Now I know why this one is held up there with "And then there were none", and it deserves the praise.

 

The mystery is a good one: closed quarters, and it keeps getting more intricate and tangled with each chapter. This, I expected.

 

What I did not expect, was the emotional charge. I felt intrigued and amused for most of it.

Then mentions of loyalty get dropped here and there, and as it peaked at the end, it dawns: so many people, and it's the real deal.

(spoiler show)

I felt awe, kinship and compassion in the end.

 

So, yeah. Full stars.

 

“In my opinion, M. Poirot,” he said, “the first theory you put forward was the correct one"

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-19 01:21
The devil asks you to sign
The Crucible - Arthur Miller,Christopher Bigsby

When ruling is based, and made stringent, on fear of an outside opponent, and someone has the brilliant idea of escalating yet to marking a personal opponent as an outsider, and it catches.

 

Might be easier to stomach going in without knowing how the episode goes and likely part of the reason that one was picked: no way really. Because no sucker-punch surprise horror can surpass the terror of inevitability, of seeing the evil the pettiness, the hysterical fanaticism and envy wreaths, knowing all the while the devastation it lead to.

 

I'm a bit discomfited by the part women play on this, saints or demons with little true humanity, but as a whole, a masterful depiction that ages all too well for my ease of mind.

 

Giles Corey, the contentious, canny old man, takes the badass-crown with his memetic "More weight". He knew what it was all about, and everyone could keep their saintliness debate to themselves. With Proctor the sinner and Hale the naive believer, they make a nice triad.

 

 

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review 2017-09-14 08:49
Beast, monster, man
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells

This went places I did not expect it to go.

 

For so short pages, I though it'd make a straight story of what we know would be the subject matter, with a tension building, a reveal and a violent resolution. Those elements where there, after a fashion, but not in the order or at the page number a reader would expect. I was surprised, and pleasantly so. For me, it was a truly horrifying read.

 

It takes a bit to get to the Island, setting up the atmosphere, and the MC's seeming passiveness or detachment, but also raising some interesting questions with the aftermath of that shipwreck. Things come to a head early and the story follows from those into unexpected paths.

 

Moreau could have made fast friends with Mengele. After that lengthy explanation, when I though I had grasped his cold evil, there were still little pockets of surprise horror to make me shudder, like:

 

He told me they were creatures made of the offspring of the Beast People, that Moreau had invented. He had fancied they might serve for meat,

 

Gah! Every time I read it I'm swamped with a wave of... Ick!

 

I kept thinking back to Frankenstein. The moral burden is a lot less debatable here: Moreau is the indisputable monster. Actually, it's a bit like human nature is the monstrous part. Like the bit about the leopard?

 

It may seem a strange contradiction in me,—I cannot explain the fact,—but now, seeing the creature there in a perfectly animal attitude, with the light gleaming in its eyes and its imperfectly human face distorted with terror, I realised again the fact of its humanity.

 

And Prendick seems to subconsciously think it so too, given his sequels. I feel for the guy. Seriously, I was melancholy by the end. Talk about connecting.

 

Hats off to Wells for this one. Even if he needs a synonyms dictionary, because "presently" appeared more times than the characters' names combined.

 

 

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