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text 2017-12-31 15:51
My December 2017
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain,Crystal Chan
Kakerlaken: Harry Holes zweiter Fall (Ein Harry-Hole-Krimi) - Jo Nesbø
 Vertigo: Of Love & Letting Go - Analog De Leon
Der Himmel in deinen Worten - Brigid Kemmerer,Henriette Zeltner
Sündiges Spiel - J.D. Robb
Theatrics - Neil Gibson,Leonardo A. Gonzales
Rotkehlchen - Jo Nesbø
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - 2 stars
Kakerlaken - 5 stars
Vertigo: Of Love & Letting Go - 3 stars
Der Himmel in deinen Worten - 5 stars
Sündiges Spiel - 5 stars
Theatrics - 4 stars
Rotkehlchen - 4 stars


Favorite book(s) of the month: Kakerlaken, Der Himmel in deinen Worten, Sündiges Spiel, Rotkehlchen


Books started this month but haven't finished yet: Elias & Laia - Eine Fackel im Dunkel der Nacht


I'm super happy with my december. I read lots of ebooks that I got from Netgalley. Just one book wasn't a review copy. I really wanna work on my pile of ARCs. I'm also just happy that I got back into reading and actually finishing books after last month was just a mess.

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text 2017-12-13 18:38
Perfectly suited to be a Shonen Jump Manga
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Manga Classics - Mark Twain

*Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected eARC via NetGalley.


I loved this so, so much. Huck Finn was always my favourite Twain book, so this got a boost just for being imho a great story. I really liked the art style; basically Tom & Huck can be read as mischievous, good-hearted but troublemaking Shonen Jump heroes anyways, so it's just a super fun ride.


The subject matter and choices in adaptation deserve some comment, though. There's definitely what we'd call in 2017 "problematic" content around slavery and the portrayal of black people in general. Maybe it's just because I haven't re-read this book as an adult, but I really appreciated the way the Manga Classics adaptation helped the satire of the story stand out, making it clear how crazy the white kids' approach to their situation was, how little true empathy they had for the black (slaves') experience when it came down to it, and how illogical and absurd much of the adults' behaviour was as well. I remember reading this and watching movies a couple decades ago and thinking it was mostly a fun, at times emotional, kids adventure story. Reading this adaptation, it's MUCH clearer to me that Twain was commenting on slavery and a transformation in one boy's understanding of his world, justice and ethical behaviour. Huck learns to see Jim, the "runaway" black slave, as a full human and feels empathy for him by the end of the story, a big transformation from where he makes fun of him and treats him like something less-than-human at the beginning.


Appreciated the artist & adaptation notes at the end that spelled out some of the decisions that went into making the adaptation and grappling with how to tell the story. I thought this had great pacing (especially compared to some of the other Manga Classics adaptations that are obviously summarizing and racing through large portions of the story), the art was lovely, dynamic or funny and always expressive, depending on what the scene called for. I'd watch an anime based on this.


Language use is preserved from Twain's original, which at times is hard to puzzle out, since it's diving into some pretty heavy accents or dialects. Between that, N-word and the content around slavery, I wouldn't recommend this for cautious/beginning readers. But again, I loved it, so if you're up to sounding out the words and playing some guessing games as to content, definitely give this a shot.

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review 2017-12-03 13:28
Adventured of Huckleberry Finn!!!
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain,Crystal Chan

First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.


This review is going to hurt me more than any review I have ever written. I love these Manga Classics, they brought me closer to stories that I never thought I would like.


But this one on the other hand. I thought I was gonna love this. Adventures. I love adventures. But I was just so damn bored throughout this whole book.


The story was beautifully done. I loved the artwork, I loved the way the story was told. I loved it. It just didn't work for me at all.

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review 2017-10-18 04:37
Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain,Frank Conroy

I've returned to the river.

A year ago I spent a weekend on the Missouri River attending a Writers Workshop. In typical Chris Blocker fashion, I thought it prudent to read something riverish. I selected Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi (my review). Thus a new association was born and once I decided I was returning to the river, one of my first considerations was what Mark Twain book I'd read this year.

I was hesitant to get into the Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn story-arc. I had a feeling I'd be underwhelmed or offended. I was leaning toward a different selection, but at the last minute, I decided to go with a classic. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer wasn't that bad—not as bad as I imagined it could be—but it certainly didn't impress me too much. Part of the issue is that Tom Sawyer feels slightly underdeveloped—ideas are used seemingly haphazardly and are recycled throughout the story. And part of the issue is that some of the novels better moments have become cliché. I recognize that Twain was likely the originator of some of these ideas—at least he was probably the prominent figure who introduced them into the American narrative. But I've seen enough Our Gang to know that children who play pirates will find treasure, children who fake death will convince everyone, and that little boys will always win a kiss from the girl of their dreams. It's not Twain's fault that his story has been resurrected repeatedly, but the familiarity minimized any sense of wonder and adventure I might have had had I come across this book 130 years ago.

In a different time, this book may have had a much different impact on me. This is a strong story of adventure from a unique child-like perspective. Those who enjoy a little swashbuckling or hijinx will likely eat this story up like blackberry pie. (Why blackberry pie? I don't know. It just feels like something I'd expect from these characters.) With a different person, there would've been different results: I'm not one for adventure; I was never a child. It's a good, simple story, very much plot-driven, but I didn't see much else to it.

Sadly, this book didn't hold to the river like I thought it would. There are a few mentions, a few explorations, but I have the notion that Huckleberry Finn is the more river-centric of the two. Will I explore the river someday with Huck? I don't know. I probably should, but I have the same hesitance I did with Tom Sawyer. Maybe I'll leave it up to the river. If it's able to pull me back another time, I'll consider it.

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quote 2017-07-13 17:36
Widzę, że ta komora świetnie nadaje się na orgie.
— Co to są orgie?
— Nie wiem. Ale zbójcy zawsze wyprawiają orgie, więc my też musimy.
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