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review 2017-11-17 15:22
Dentin Little’s Still Not Dead
Denton Little's Still Not Dead - Lance Rubin

It took me a while to get back into the swing of things when I started listening to this novel. Denton is supposed to be dead but he has now lived past his death date and is currently the first person to do so. Denton is not happy in his new life, he misses his friends and he is bound and determined to return to them. He wants to find Paolo and he is determined to find him. To return to his previous world where friends and family believe that he is dead just cannot happen, can it?

 

This novel was funny and I liked how devoted Denton was to his friends. They The were his constant. I started to admire Denton as he started to think on his own and take chances. I thought it was hilarious when Denton went to the funerals as he had to think and act quickly. This was a great conclusion.

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review 2017-11-15 07:52
A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our Yuletide traditions
A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our Yuletide traditions - Mark Forsyth

I'm a huge fan of Mark Forsyth's books: The Etymologicon and The Elements of Eloquence being just two examples of his excellent writing on language.  When he announced he'd be writing this small tome about the history of Christmas, I pre-ordered it, and I've been sitting on it all year, waiting for the Christmas season's approach to read it. 

 

I needed something light after my last read, and this was perfect.  It's written in Forsyth's usual dryly hilarious style and for such a small volume (171 pages including the index) it's chock full of Christmas facts.  Spoiler alert:  almost none of the Christmas traditions we know and love today are tied to paganism.  If you want to know how this can be true, read the book.  It won't be a waste of your time, and you'll probably laugh at least once along the way. 

 

If you do read it, make sure you skim the index at the end.  It might be the funniest index I've ever read (and I've been known to skim more than a few). 

 

Pagan myths: see

     Hogwash

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review 2017-11-13 07:36
Ein großartiger Zamonienroman über Bücher - mit ein paar Längen
Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher - Walter Moers,Dirk Bach

So nun habe ich zweieinhalb Jahre lang dieses Hörbuch ausschließlich auf längeren Autofahrten genossen und muss sagen, es war teilweise genial, zwar annähernd aber doch nicht ganz von der Qualität eines Käpt'n Blaubär. Warum ich die Art der Rezeption hier in die Rezension hineinnehme, ist leicht erklärt: Ich stelle die These auf, dass erstens beim Hörbuch Szenen, die nicht ganz so spannend sind, weit mehr negativ ins Gewicht einer Beurteilung fallen und weiters mein Vortasten Stück für Stück und nicht in einem Rutsch sich sicher auch eher kritischer auf meine Meinung zu diesem Werk ausgewirkt haben.

Grundsätzlich erschafft Walter Moers ein wundervolles zamonisches Universum in Buchhain, in dem sich alles um Bücher dreht. Dabei nimmt er sowohl bestimmte reale Autoren, als auch den Buchbetrieb - vor allem in Frankfurt - sehr gekonnt und witzig auf die Schippe, um gleichzeitig aber auch eine einzigartige Fantasywelt zu erschaffen, in der sich Haifischmaden, Buchlinge, Buchjäger, Buchparfümeure, Drachen, ein Homuculus geschaffen aus Büchern und Papier und viele andere herumtreiben. Etwa in der giftigen Gasse gibt es  gedungene Literaturkritiker, die aus Ecken hervorhüpfen und TotalVerrissssse anbieten (da hat man gleich den Reich-Ranicki im Kopf :D), aus dem Viertel der Lektoren dringen Flüche und Verzweiflungsschreie. Hier muss ich gleich anmerken, dass dieses Hörbuch noch vom verstorbenen Dirk Bach wundervoll interpretiert und vorgelesen wird.  

In der Story macht sich der Drache Hildegunst von Mythenmetz von der Lindwurmfeste auf den Weg nach Buchhain, um einen unbekannten Autor zu finden, der ein geniales Manuskript verfasst hat. Dort trifft er auf den Antagonisten, die Haifischmade Themistopheles Smike, dessen verdorbenen Verwandten man ja schon vom Käptain Blaubär kennt. Dieser will die hohe Kunst der Literatur zu Gunsten von mittelmäßigem Kommerz abschaffen und Künstler vernichten - Allmachtsfantasien & Größenwahn par excellence -erinnert sehr frappant an geldgeile Verlagsdirektoren.

Neben Längen in mehreren Kapiteln bei einem Konzert und vor allem als Hildegunst durch die Katakomben von Buchhain irrt, gibt es andererseits unerreicht einzigartige innovative wundervolle Ideen und geniale Konversationen:  

Buchlinge ernähren sich vom Lesen. Trivialliteratur macht nicht satt wie Fast Food - Romane machen fett - mit Lyrik kann man eine Diät starten und Totalverrisse hinterlassen einen schalen Nachgeschmack :D

"Bücher erschaffen kannst Du noch nicht, aber umbringen kannst Du sie schon, bist Du sicher, dass Du nicht lieber Kritiker werden möchtest?

oder die Anspielung auf Zettel's Traum von Arno Schmidt:
"Das Buch ist so schwer, alleine vom Umblättern kannst Du einen Muskelkater kriegen. Niemals ist ein Buch hergestellt worden, das sich sehr gegen jeden Gebrauch sträubt, es nicht nur schwer zu tragen sondern auch extrem schwer zu lesen […]. Niemand versteht das - zu diesem Zweck ist es geschrieben worden. Das finde ich arrogant man sollte schreiben, um gelesen zu werden."

Alles endet in einem grandiosen Finale - einem Happy End - in dem die Haifischmade vernichtet wird und das ORM (Literarische Kreativität und Genialität) den Sieg über den Kommerz und das Mittelmaß davonträgt.

Fazit: Absolute Empfehlung von mir für Kinder genauso wie für Erwachsene.

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photo 2017-11-10 16:01

My new book is live! It's a satire about concentration camps for fat people and bureaucracy gone mad. (Don't worry, it's a love story.)

 

You can find it on Amazon and other bookstores now!

 

If you're interested in hearing me read from it, here I am reading the first and fourth chapters now.

 

I did chapter two here.

Source: markarayner.com/the-fatness
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-09 11:58
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 - Calan Gaeaf: Nemo Granny & Greebo Impune Lacessit*
Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23) - Terry Pratchett

Well, I guess that's what happens if you p*$$ off Granny Weatherwax (however unintentionally) and make her take to a cave in the Lancrastian mountains ... next thing you know, you have vampires moving into the castle, and into the kingdom as such.  And since they were foolishly invited in to begin with, they're near impossible to get rid of again; and let's face it, Nanny Ogg, Magrat and Agnes between them might be witches; they might even meet the requirements of a proper coven now that Magrat is a mother, but they aren't Granny, not even with all their forces combined.  (Perdita, now ...) 

So all of Lancre and the reader have to jointly suffer for well over half a book before Granny decides she's let things go on for long enough and finally makes an appearance.  And of course she ultimately saves the day, even if only by the skin of her neck and with the assistance of inner voices, a few drops of blood, the general and specific allure of tea, and a meak priest discovering his inner Brutha just in time.  (Of course it also comes in handy that somebody thought of bringing a double-edged axe, and that some vampires of the older generation still have a sense of tradition left.)

(spoiler show)

 

Nice going, at any rate, on the debunking of what "everybody knows who knows anything about vampires" (including the vampires themselves, who however just don't learn ... or didn't until this new breed came around, that is), and big grins all around for the co-starring Wee Free Men.  My favorite moment, however, came courtesy of Greebo -- who by the way also has decidedly too little stage time -- with the incidental appearance of an otherwise entirely negligable vampire named Vargo:

"As the eye of narrative drew back from the coffin on its stand, two things happened.  One happened comparatively slowly, and this was Vargo's realization that he never recalled the coffin having a pillow before.

 

The other was Greebo deciding that he was as mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more.  He'd been shaken around in the wheely thing, and then sat on by Nanny, and he was angry about that because he knew, in a dim, animal way, that scratching Nanny might be the single most stupid thing he could do in the whole world, since no one else was prepared to feed him.  This hadn't helped his temper.

 

Then he'd encountered a dog, which had triled to lick him.  He'd scratched and bitten it a few times, but this had had no effect apart from encouraging it to try to be more friendly.

 

He'd finally found a comfy resting place and had curled up into a ball, and now someone was using him as a cushion --

 

There wasn't a great deal of noise.  The coffin rocked a few times, and then pivoted around.

 

Greebo sheathed his claws and went back to sleep."

(I think someone else included this in their review recently, too, but it's just too good not to do it again -- all the more since Greebo, overall, really is as woefully long absent as Granny in this one.)

 

Read for Square 1 of the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Calan Gaeaf: "Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft."

 

* "Don't mess with Granny and Greebo."  Or somewhat more literally: "Nobody messes with Granny and Greebo unpunished."

 

Merken

Merken

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