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review 2018-12-11 23:45
Learn from my mistakes
Robot Dreams - Sara Varon

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon was sold to me as being a cute little story about a dog who builds a robot so that he has a friend. I was hoping for something with The Wild Robot vibes but I actually found it to be disturbingly macabre and callous. This is a children's graphic novel and yet it explores some really dark themes (in itself not a problem but this was creepier than most). Did I mention that it was entirely wordless? I'm not certain if it's a gift or a curse that Varon possesses to entirely unnerve me without using a single, solitary word. Without giving the entire plot away (this is a very short book by the way), a dog builds himself a robot friend and the two of them are inseparable...until the robot gets rusty at the beach and the dog abandons him there. Yes, he left his very best friend behind at the beach. The next day the beach is closed for the winter and the entire area is fenced off. (That's one strict town!) So now the robot is left on the beach to rust while the dog tries to make a new friend. There are mishaps on both sides of this relationship as the robot is beset by weather, a group of boaters who partially disassemble him, and eventually a junk collector. The dog keeps making friends with those who either can't or won't stick around and he's back at square one without any friends at all. Like I said this is not sweet bedtime reading. If you're looking for a creepy existential crisis well you've hit the jackpot. If you wanted a cutesy little graphic novel you've made a horrible, horrible mistake. 1/10

 

This makes me hungry. [Source: page45]

 

 

What's Up Next: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond and The Science of Supervillains by Lois H. Gresh & Robert Weinberg 

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-10-28 01:45
Competition for survival
The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham

This one went into and explored many of the points that I thought Chocky would, which is doubly great because creepy kids are disturbing as hell, and because I can give Wyndham props for not repeating himself in hindsight.

 

There are differences with the pop-culture classic movie, as it always happens. Beyond the distillation over our narrator and Zellaby (which I imagine stems from a wish to transfer all the BAMF quality from the seemingly absent minded old man to a younger MC), the big fact is that the mind reading is not part of the original book. There is enough flash and imminent danger with the will thing. The hive mind is the cherry that makes the eerie otherness cake.

 

I loved how things proceed slowly, and this insistence of going about business as usual. When the mothers bring the babies back to town, you immediately go "Oh, fuck", and in their heart of hearts, you know every character kinda does too, but they bury themselves in self denial. And as the book comes closer to the end, you start thinking back to Zellaby's wondering if civilization had not been a bad survival idea.

 

Seriously, for all the old man seemed to everyone as digressing from the current point, he was very much clear-sighted.

 

I loved the sci-fi call backs (and the niggling for none going into the morally ambiguous). Some of the doubts it tries to posit (specially on evolution) are a matter of "science marches on" but I always end up finding the idea of outside influence entertaining. The social commentary (outside the references to sci-fi, that is after all a commentary on society too) was a mixed bag, some insightful, some blithely chauvinistic, and there is what is clearly a lesbian couple never addressed as such, so maaaybe fair for its time.

 

At any rate, I had fun reading it. And that's a good way to wrap up my bingo card and get my reading black-out. Just to wait for the calls now.

 

 

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text 2018-10-17 06:04
Replacement "Creepy Carnivals" read?
Daughter of the Burning City - Amanda Foody

I did a quick check for audiobooks with carnivals/parties/festivals in them and came across this. The main character is an illusionist working in a giant carnival. Her illusions are incredibly realistic, but not actually real, or so she thinks. Then one of them is somehow murdered. This is YA, so of course the illusionist heroine is the first illusionist to be born in a hundred years.

 

I have to admit, I probably would have passed this by if it weren't for Halloween Bingo. But I'm still slogging my way through my paper and e-books, so if I want that Creepy Carnivals square an audiobook seems like the best way to go. Between work-time listening and the trip back to the car dealership that I'll be making on Friday (a couple minor issues with my new car that I want them to look at), I should hopefully be able to finish it before the end of Halloween Bingo.

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text 2018-10-07 17:09
I got two awesome books that prove I'm a really eclectic reader!

I put in a special order at Barnes and Noble (because for some reason they didn't carry it in store!) for Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix and while I was at the store to pick it up, we had to go into the kids section to pick up a birthday gift for a 1-year-old.

 

I saw the Buffy the Vampire Slayer picture book based on the series created by Joss Whedon, with illustrations by Kim Smith. I had to have it! For me! I love horror, adult books, YA, middle grade and of course children books. I think even if my body breaks down over time, reading in this manner will help keep part of my mind young.

I'm such a dork. Both of these books are so cool!!

 

The back cover alone makes a Buffy fan happy! Look at the little attention to detail. When you read this, you have to remember it will be way different from the show. It has to be if they are marketing it for children.

I've only flipped through Paperbacks From Hell, but I've already seen some books I own or read, which is pretty neat!

Lupe by Gene Thompson is from 1977. I bought my copy in 2003 from a little used bookstore for $1. So I read it at 19 years old. From memory, this book freaked me out! I was pretty sheltered as a teen, even at 19, so this was probably considered a Taboo book to be reading with my relgious family. I imagine I hid it.

Creepy children...

My copy got a little beat up. I'm not too bothered by that. That just means this book has a history! Would I buy it again if I found a better copy of the first edition (and for cheap again... haha) I probably would if I read this again and still liked the story.

I tried to adjust the photo so you can see the faded text in the receipt! Not every day you find the original receipt tucked away.

 

As I read Paperbacks From Hell, I will keep track of which books I own, have owned and have read! (Oh, and of course the books I will want to hunt for and read! I know I will want to find the books with the covers the book shows, so my hunt might be harder.)

 

If you are a dork like me, you might look forward to my list, which I will share here. lol

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review 2018-10-06 14:51
Locked Doors - Mary Roberts RinehartĀ for Terrifying Women
Locked Doors - Mary Roberts Rinehart

Woo hoo. I love getting lost in a doorstopper, but it takes a skilled writer to squeeze the right emotions out in a shorter work. Roberts Rinehart got mad skills. And a truly modern feel. Hard to believe this was first published more than 100 years ago.

 

We get a quick and dirty set up: Miss Adams is a trained nurse who investgates for the cops from the inside. She packs her gun and a suitcase and is on the scene in a big family home trying to find out what the family is hiding, what happened to the nanny, and what freaked out the last nurse so badly. 

 

I am delighted to say I never predicted that solution. Happily there are plenty of stories available in the public domain. Collect them all.

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