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Search tags: daniel-handler
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text 2016-09-06 17:34
Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler,Maira Kalman
I think this is a 3 star for me simply because Daniel Handler writes beautifully, but the story just wasn't for me. Chalk it up to me being to old to enjoy being in the head of a person who is destined to grow up to be the most odious of hipsters. My advice would be if you want to read a Daniel Handler novel about teen angst try the basic eight, or maybe Lemoy Snickety(I only read the 1st 3) . Recommend for burgeoning odious hipsters.
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text 2016-07-07 13:59
Why We Broke Up - Daniel Handler,Maira Kalman
I think this is a 3 star for me simply because Daniel Handler writes beautifully, but the story just wasn't for me. Chalk it up to me being to old to enjoy being in the head of a person who is destined to grow up to be the most odious of hipsters. My advice would be if you want to read a Daniel Handler novel about teen angst try the basic eight, or maybe Lemoy Snickety(I only read the 1st 3) . Recommend for burgeoning odious hipsters.
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review 2016-02-15 23:09
We Are Pirates
We Are Pirates - Daniel Handler

When I requested this book on NetGalley, I did understand it was an adult book, but of course my love for A Series of Unfortunate Events guided my decision. After all, years ago I stood in line for hours to get Lemony Snicket’s autograph, err, I mean, I did it with my friend, so her young son could meet him… yeah, that’s right.

 

In any case, this book started out fun, and seemingly light-hearted. As a parent of an almost 14-year-old, I laughed at Gwen’s awkward and increasingly desperate attempts at independence. Her parents, on the other hand, did not seem as inspired. The shrew mother and the self-centered father engaged me at first with humor, but rapidly deteriorated into creepy, and, with some weird and awkward scenes, into strange and inappropriate. I will concede that maybe that’s just me, and suburbia has taken whatever edge I once had (if any), off, and I am ill-equipped to handle these kinds of things. But I’m not so sure. Plus, I am a fan of the weird and often inappropriate.

 

For me, part of the charm in Daniel Handler’s writing has been to make me feel like I am in the know. His asides from the series, “a word which here means” were a wink or a nudge to the reader, and I was proud of myself when I was in on the joke. Here, he uses a similar device, “at this point in American history” and, at first, I get the same sort of feeling, a sly line often delivered to mean just the opposite of what’s being said. As the story goes on, however, I feel like something gives, and I am left unsure if the line is delivered seriously or for a laugh, and if, in some way, I am the butt of that joke. Given the fallout from his appearance at the National Book Awards, the comments about race seemed to be testing the boundaries of what is acceptable, and honestly, made me embarrassed for Handler.

 

The real problem I had with this book is that I was completely drawn into the story by the terrific writing and many interesting characters. But at about the halfway point, Handler’s story jumped the shark and the gratuitous violence and increasingly disturbing plot were shocking to me, which kind of pissed me off. I thought I was reading Cheever, and I ended up with some bizarre hack ‘em up movie of the week. In the end, I still wasn’t sure if he was kidding, and I almost wouldn’t have been surprised if Gwen and her parents woke up in their overpriced condo to find that yes, it was all just a very bad dream. In fact, I might have preferred that.

 

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review 2016-02-13 03:21
Review | Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Why We Broke Up - Maira Kalman,Daniel Handler

I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened. Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note to Readers: You may know author Daniel Handler more for his Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events series

 

 

What with the rave reviews Booktube has been giving this book and all the videos / Instagram pics I've seen showing the illustrations, I thought this would be a sure thing. Nah, not so much for me. In fact, so far I think this is the winner for MOST BORING book I've read so far this year. The dialogue was such a slog for me, not much of anything happened with the actual storyline, and the characters themselves ... OMG. Min likes over-seasoning everything with the G-D curse word, while Ed constantly labels anything even remotely artistic as "gay". So you know she found herself a winner there.

I honestly have no idea why these two tried to be a couple for any length of time. The commonalities between them are pretty tenuous. It's fine for people to come from different interests -- for instance, Min likes classic movies while Ed's love is basketball -- but these two don't seem to really love each other's company all that much. Sure, they acknowledge finding each other good-looking, and Ed keeps talking about Min's "arty" nature that's "so different from other girls" (yep, his interest leans heavily on this trope) but he also spends a lot of time pointing out the different ways it's kind of a turn-off sometimes. Min also seems to use a lot of the stories behind the items as a way to show Ed how he failed her as a boyfriend. Which had me thinking, "Did you not think to maybe talk this out with him while IN the relationship?" {But what am I saying, these are teenagers and as teenagers most of us notably sucked at the finer points of coupling.} It was hard to understand how they could act like they were mostly just tolerating each other, constantly pointing out what bugs them about each other, but then throwing around I Love You's at the same time.

It seemed a bit like petty silent tallying of wrongs, which is a classic killer of any relationship. Especially pointless when you come to the end and see what really ended them is one of the most common reasons for ANY couple to break up. So in the end, it ain't all that deep or epic. And neither was the journey to get there. Hence, most boring read for me so far this year.

I give it credit for beautiful book design (at least for the hardcover copy I read from) and the intriguing story CONCEPT. The concept is a large part of what peaked my curiosity. The execution of the concept makes me hesitant to pick up any more of Handler's books. (I mean, I probably will... just won't be in a huge hurry to do it.)

 

 

 

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review 2015-09-25 04:12
Sad I didn't love this
Who Could That Be At This Hour? - Lemony Snicket,Seth

I, like many other people, loved The Series of Unfortunate Events as a child so when I found out that this series would be a prequel of sorts, I was PUMPED. It only took me a couple years to getting around to reading the first book in this prequel series.

Lemony Snicket is probably one of my favorite characters ever so the fact that this series is all about a younger him made me really happy! I couldn’t wait to get inside his mind and see if he was just as awesome when he was younger. The answer to that is yes. However, this book just didn’t live up to the awesomeness of The Series of Unfortunate Events. The mystery element wasn’t as satisfying and I felt like it didn’t challenge me as much as The Series of Unfortunate Events did. There were also times when the book just jumped around in ways that didn’t work for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book and it had me cracking up at several parts but it really doesn’t even begin to compare with The Series of Unfortunate Events.

One of the reasons this book probably didn’t blow my mind was because in some ways, all I really did was compare this book to The Series of Unfortunate Events and everyone knows that that’s probably not a good idea.

Who Could be At This Hour was a very fun read with an enjoyable mystery but one that didn’t challenge me so I was left feeling a little disappointed but I still plan on picking up the rest of the books in the series. I gots to have more of Lemony Snicket!

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