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Search tags: halloween-bingo-2017
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review 2017-09-24 16:45
Freebie Square Read
Wolves in the Dark (Varg Veum Series) - ... Wolves in the Dark (Varg Veum Series) - Gunnar Staalesen,Don Bartlett

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                Varg Veum is a literary character that I first meet though television.  MHZ had the Varg Veum movies on, and I watched them.  So, I started reading the series in a haphazard fashion, or in other words, totally out of order.

 

                This installment finds Veum coming out of a drinking addiction fueled by depression after a death.  In part, some of his sobering comes from meeting a woman (who has a daughter) and part of it comes from being accused of child pedophilia. 

 

                The novel opens with the arrival of the police to arrest Veum and search his apartment, and the book stays to the break neck speed.  In a cell, Veum is forced to remember as much as his drunk years as he can because someone, he doesn’t know who, is setting him up.

 

                Not many people believe him.  Strangely enough his new girlfriend is one of those who does.      

 

                I guess he is lucky that way, for those that have known him the longest, by and large, view him as guilty.

 

                On one hand, the story is a non-stop thriller.  It starts with a bust and keeps going.  The pace never seems to slow, not surprising when Veum isn’t given the time to catch his breath.  The characters are well written, possibly not the girlfriend who seems a bit too trusting, yet she is not stupid.  Even though at times it seems like too much coincidental.  The ending too, is on level, a typical white male ending.  It is difficult to image an immigrant or even a woman, even in Norway, having the same reaction as Varg Veum to the final outcome.

 

                In part, that might be part of the problem with this book – Veum never seems quite aware of the societal pressures, norms, what have you, that contribute or allow the trafficking and abuse of children (and women) to occur.  On one hand, there are times when a reader wants to smack Veum for his cluelessness on the matter.  Doesn’t he realize, the reader might wonder under her breath, in particular when he is confronting woman.  Then one wonders if this genius on the part of Staalesen.  What better way to show a problem?  There is no preaching, no holier than though.  And this provokes more thought.

 

                This book will most likely get less attention then Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  A shame considering that it is better written and far more powerful for its subtlety.

 

 

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text 2017-09-24 12:04
Halloween Bingo update 23 Sept

New Bingo call

 

 

Do not have this square. 

 

Just finished reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith for Terrifying Women square.

 

Update card. 

 

 

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review 2017-09-24 10:49
The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

by John Wyndham

 

I didn't really know what to expect from this one apart from evil plants, so enjoyed the thrill of discovery as the plot slowly unfolded in the early chapters. It surprised me that there was so much of the plot focused on the issue of everyone going blind from an unrelated source before it got to any significant story about the carnivorous plants.

 

It did help set up the end of the world situation though, and showed much of the moral dilemma involved with deciding how much to help others in an unprecedented situation and whether your own survival would be compromised.

 

I'd class this as a Dystopian novel, though the man-eating plants do lend a Horror aspect. More of the plot involved survival in difficult circumstances long before the plants feature significantly.

 

There were times I wanted to shout at the characters "Why don't you..." or "Why haven't you..." and get them to do a few obvious things to improve their situation. I even wondered why it had become such a classic of Horror because much of it was more tame than I had expected. It wasn't what I expected at all, but it still made for an enjoyable read.

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review 2017-09-24 10:45
Tales of Men and Ghosts
Tales of Men and Ghosts - Edith Wharton

by Edith Wharton

 

Victorian-style literature takes a bit of patience to enjoy. It is written in a distinctively wordy style that I often enjoy, but can easily become tedious in some books.

 

Ghost stories were a holiday tradition in Victorian times and it seems some authors known for genres other than Horror lent their talents to this sub-genre, including Edith Wharton (who was born in the Victorian era, though this was released in 1910). The thing about these Victorian ghost stories is that they are seldom actually scary, but with a few exceptions, generally have an amenable ghost involved who behaves with Victorian manners and even becomes part of the family or just a minor irritation.

 

I can't say that Wharton's stories are the most stimulating that I've read. Some of the ten stories in this collection don't even have proper ghosts, but more a concept of ghostliness. One entitled The Eyes is the only one of the collection that I would describe as a proper ghost story, though that one was rather good.

 

Overall I wouldn't think of this collection first if I were going to recommend a book of Victorian ghost stories, but the one story justifies adding Edith Wharton to the list of women authors who can turn their hand to the spooky.

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text 2017-09-24 08:14
Reading progress update: I've read 29 out of 293 pages.
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

Since Dandelion Wine was a bust for Chilling Children (not much chilling in that book, though it fit nicely into Magical Realism), and I have my second choice on hand, here I go for more Bradbury.

 

Already in love

 

(Will/Some boys) they'll get hit, hurt, cut, bruised, and always wonder why, why does it happen? how can it happen to them?
    But Jim, now, he knows it happens, he watches for it happening, he sees it start, he sees it finish, he licks the wound he expected, and never asks why; he knows. He always knew. Someone knew before him, a long time ago, someone who had wolves for pets and lions for night conversants. Hell, Jim doesn't know with his mind. But his body knows. And while Will's putting a bandage on his latest scratch, Jim's ducking, waving, bouncing away from the knockout blow which must inevitably come.
    So there they go, Jim running slower to stay with Will, Will running faster to stay with Jim, Jim breaking two windows in a haunted house because Will's along, Will breaking one instead of none, because Jim's watching. God how we get our fingers in each other's clay. That's friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of the other.

 

 

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