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review 2018-03-20 08:36
Short Stories of the Normal In An Extraordinary Way.
The Lottery and Other Stories - Shirley Jackson

Before, I did mention I enjoyed reading short stories. There aren't many books with short stories today and for a long time, I heard about The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, which is one of the reasons why I had been looking high and low for this collection. There are 24 short stories altogether and to my amazement, I really enjoyed reading all of them.

 

The Lottery and Other Stories is divided into 5 parts and to its own theme. Here's a short summary for each of these stories:-

 

The Intoxicated - When a drunk meets the daughter of the host of the party. The Daemon Lover - A girl looking for her future husband on her wedding day. Like Mother Used to Make - A man cooks dinner for his guest only to be thrown out of his house. Trial By Combat - A woman's apartment been robbed by another tenant. The Villager - A woman pretend to be a buyer of things. My Life With R.H. Macy - A man works in Macys. The Witch - A man tells a story of a scary witch to a child in gruesome details. The Renegade - When an owner's dog kills a farmers chicken. After You, My Dear Alphonse - A game played between two children. Charles - A boy shares his school days with his parents about a naughty student. Afternoon in Linen - A grandmother proud of his grand daughter of a poem she wrote. Flower Garden - A wife who fell in love with a cottage meets the new owner that the neighbors do not want to be friends with. Dorothy and My Grandmother and The Sailors- A trip to a town only to avoid sailors. Colloquy - A patient shares her problems with a doctor. Elizabeth - A day of a literary agent. A Fine Old Firm - A meeting of new neighbors. The Dummy - One night show of a ventriloquist. Seven Types of Ambiguity - A couple going into a bookstore to buy books. Come Dance With Me In Ireland - When three women shown kindness to an Irish old man. Of Course - Greeting a new neighbor. Pillars of Salt An experience trip to New York to remember by a couple. Men With Their Big Shoes - When an expected married wife gets a different view about husbands from a caretaker. The Tooth - When a married woman goes on a trip to New York to extract a tooth with devastating change. The Lottery - A lottery that is held with unexpected results.

 

There is a small poem as a companion to The Daemon Loverwhich can be read at the end of the book. This is my first time reading a Shirley Jackson book without any expectations. I never thought I would be amazed by her writing, let alone magnetize by her way of story telling. There is some thing about her writings that really makes an interesting read. These stories, some doesn't have an ending. Its like a pick out of the blue chapter from some where. Its plot isn't interesting but by way of reading, its something else. I followed to each of their own and to each of them, they are all good (for me any way). Usually I won't enjoy a short story if it lingers in the end but this is an exception for me because, its just the way she writes that I like about. I had invested in her other books (bought almost all of them I think) and I can't wait to read them all. The Lottery and Other Stories is a book picking up because of its writing but yes, it may not be anyone's cup of tea but still, I would highly recommend it for its weirdness, twist and unexpected spin of tales of the normal that makes it quite extraordinary.

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review 2018-02-16 03:51
One of the Best Manga Science Fiction Ever Published.
Akira, Vol. 1 - Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira, Vol. 2 - Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira, Vol. 3 - Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira, Vol. 4 - Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira, Vol. 5 - Katsuhiro Otomo
Akira, Vol. 6 - Katsuhiro Otomo

If there is one thing when it comes to anime, people will always remember Akira. When it comes to manga, this is a one read people should invested on. I love Akira personally because of its sheer epic story of man versus Godhood and any thing that writes about power, this is the book people of all reader types should read.

 

30 years ago in 1992, an explosion in Japan cause the beginning of World War III. In 2028, Tokyo has become Neo-Tokyo, a place where society is on the rise of political distrust and Japan's top secret military army is trying to prevent one of its biggest secret to leak out to the world... until an accident on a highway towards where the origin of the explosion starts a chain of events that will lead to... Akira. Two friends (Kaneda & Tetsuo) will be fighting for their lives on friendship, love and the fate of Japan.

 

I love Akira ever since its anime was released in 1989. When I watched it, I was floored by its cell animation, its story and its science fiction action dystopian future. I never knew there was a manga series (but that was after I read Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita, and it still is one of my favorite mangas of all time, next to Akira) and it took me a while to finally waited long enough to get the compilation series in six volumes and read it at one go. This to me... is nothing more than one of the best sci-fi manga series ever written and drawn. There is so much to explore here and so much to love. Not many authors or creators these days are bold enough to write some thing this good and this is one of the best 1200 over pages I have ever read. Yes, there are some issues on the book that is overlook and not answered at all but to much of its own, it has answered a lot when it comes to its main story, not the back story. For me, if you want to pick up a manga title and its your first time ever - this is the manga series to invest on. 

 

p/s: Lately my reviews are getting shorter and shorter in writing. I would definitely explore back and write more if I had time.

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review 2018-02-16 03:30
A Man Detached From The Living That Is Rich In Writing
The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics) - Sandra Smith,Albert Camus

Detachment. Misunderstood. An outsider. The first time I read Albert Camus's The Outsider (also known as The Stranger for U.S. publication), I was recommended that this was his best work. With over a little 100 over pages, divided into two parts, this is a story of Meursault, a man that doesn't connect with the world of the living.

 

The book opens with a funeral of Meursault's mother. He doesn't feel any sadness of his mother, let alone feel anything at all. He shares a cigarette with a caretaker as his mother's friends attend and watch him, he doesn't shed a tear. After a few days, he met a girl named Marie and they became intimate. He made a friend as well with a colleague of his (Raymond) and soon they embark on a beach where one choice change the life of Meursault that leads him a destination he accepted, even he feels nothing towards the world of the living.

 

The Outsider in many ways speaks in volumes. The right to judge someone, the absurd condition of humankind and the right to challenge one's belief. There are many parts of this book that speaks well of people who many do not understand. I felt Meursault is not a tragic character but a character, in general, people do not understand. I for one... do. There is so much richness in this book that if read between the words, I understand that a person as simple how Meursault thinks about the world itself, its deeper than it covers the depths of a simple book. In fact, there is so much to explore and even discuss the meanings as much as how incredible and carefully written this book where its not meticulous and yet, well written in many ways. I truly enjoy the book as much as I understand the world Meursaultthinks he is in. Where one is forced to believe in God, he doesn't. Where one believes he had no attachments to his girlfriend Marie of love, but he would do what she wants him to. He did love his mother, but in his own way that nobody understands. In a point where how Meursault live his life, he felt indifferent towards what is in front of him.

 

I enjoy reading The Outsider. To me, I would recommend anyone with an open mind to read this. This is truly a book I consider a classic and its a rare thing to enjoy this much. I should have taken more time to finish this since its a short book but in the end, its worth finishing it.

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review 2018-01-21 06:40
A Personal Semi-Autobiography of Anna Kavan In A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Future Science Fiction Novel
Ice - ICE -

Post-apocalyptic dystopian stories are some thing I enjoy most. When I pick up Ice, it was a read I never thought I would enjoy, mainly because the setting is a character itself. While the story revolves around narrator who is in love with a girl that is pale as ice and hair that is silvery that it sparkles when she turns her head, its a story of love that is personal to the author herself - Anna Kavan.

 

The world is ending and ice is forming in almost every where. As the world is near frozen, one man travels from place to place to seek out a girl, held mysterious captive by a man known as the 'warden'. Where society on the brink of self-destruction and no government officials to control the chaos, the man had to travel through harsh ice and snow to save a girl who hardly knows him.

 

There is so much to enjoy in this book. Its my first time I heard about Anna Kavan (a pseudonym she use from one of her book characters; her real name is Helen Emily Woods) and when I pick up this book, it was just the theme I was looking for to read. I never knew that Ice was also a personal journey of her life experiences. Yes, there are some autobiography elements of her life in this book, one that truly shares the deepest depths of her unhappy life. As it may be weird in reading, this is a science fiction novel that truly has a unique voice. For me, this is by far one of my favorite reads this year.

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review 2018-01-09 15:49
A Worthy DC Superheroes Tale of the Silver Age Tribute
DC: The New Frontier - Darwyn Cooke

How did the Silver Age DC Heroes came to be? That has always been a question for me for a long time in my days of reading comic books until I read Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier. I have always been fascinated wanting to read this comic mini-series and waited until a collected edition was available and finally, since its released in 2004 and now its 2018, after 12 years I finally read it. Its a seamless transition from the Golden Age superheroes paving way to the Silver Age of superheroes of a new era. And it was all done by the late Darwyn Cooke's story masterpiece.

 

It is the 1950s where paranoia is a government business, where glamour and glittering lights is the new trendy and superheroes who fought for freedom during the World War II are outlawed by the government - a new enemy emerge from the depths of the unknown. There are still icon heroes fighting on, working with the government - Superman and Wonder Woman. But when bigotry and racism is on the high, are there any heroes left to believe the American Dream or is it all about control? With a new dangerous enemy approaches on a path of destruction, the world needs its superheroes more than ever to save mankind once more.

 

The love the opening of DC: The New Frontier and soon I knew I am going to read a classic of its own. The way the Silver Age superheroes are introduce is just at the right moment for comic fans or new readers to enjoy every moment of the artwork itself. It is so well-balance that not a single superhero was done unjustly of its attention. The battles, the panels and its colors draws riches of its tale and fulfill me with a reading I knew I won't regret much at all. This trade paperback not only includes the entire mini-series but also includes behind the scenes in more than 50 pages of artwork, sketches and designs plus a one-shot special Justice League: The New Frontier that is a companion to the animated movie. To me, this is at its best I have ever read since Kingdom Come. Although can't be compared, on its own it has the same level of epic reading that is decent and beautiful on its own. I highly recommend for any who love DC heroes to read this.

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