Deadlands: elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants.
I don't know whether I read a satire written as a self-challenge to pack as much over-the-top drama in as few pages as possible, or an over-the-top dramatic tragedy on rocket fuel.
I feel a bit like when I watched Venezuelan TV novelas, only those tend to stretch, and barely come to the ankles of this... unholy (heheh) mess. So, pretty much the same reaction: either you unapologetically immerse in the guilty pleasure, or you laugh and mock with abandon. I might have canted for the first as a kid (hell, I was tempted for the beginning pages), but I confess that by Frederik's reveal and Theodore's story I just straight started giggling and could not take anything seriously any more.
And if it resembles history a bit too much at points, well, it comes to show that reality will always prove to be more ridiculous than any fiction, even this.
And double bingo for me! (not like I can really keep avoiding them at this point, lol)
I was not expecting to find such a flawed, three-dimensional cast and a sad grim tone in a short, children's book. I don't know why, really, since I've come across both of those separately often enough in them (Dark Materials, Little Princess) paired with the big questions too. Specially given the fact that I've been a heavy reader since my tweens, and a firm believer in that Cabal's quote "when I want to write something that I think adults will have trouble understanding, I write children books" (I'm paraphrasing, I don't have that good a memory, and she likely borrowed too).
Here is the deal: this was way dramatic than I expected. And when I say dramatic, I mean angst, grief, homesickness, the loneliness of being an outsider. Really sad. Also maddening.
It is maddening because human nature is maddening. And because everyone, MC included, are flawed people with some good qualities and reasonable ideals and opinions and stances, and some appallingly wrong mixed in, so even with the best intentions they rub the wrong way and clash, misunderstand, work at cross-purpose. And there is always a little bitch witch shit ready to hate.
It was an interesting read even before the context of publishing-time kicks in (though I suspect there were some interesting witch-hunt related things coming out then... wasn't The Crucible a contemporary of McCarthyism too?)
At any rate, it was a really good book (totally deserves those awards), and it ended all sweet, happy and neat.
Hey! I keep missing my read for making another bingo. At this point, I'm not even pretending to curve my mood-reading. (There is also the bit where there is no magic here, but I'll let the title excuse my being misled)
I'd never read this collection before, and I'm happy to say I liked this one about as much as Adventures (which is to say, among favourite Holmes').
There is this sense of deep friendship that permeates it and also growth. Holmes has changed as time passed, taking more care of what he divulges once he solves the mystery, he's more... empathetic I guess. Oh, and he has stopped doing drugs.
It might be that I was primed by the first story. I felt angry at the detective for concealing his continuing living from Watson, even as I grasped his pragmatism, but I reached dismay when I realized Watson was now a widower. Holy shit, the man had to have had some terrible three years there.
But whatever I though of Holmes, I could read in Watson's frame his care, and maybe the same tether that saved him in A Study in Scarlet. And if I got fanciful, I might imagine Watson's bereavement is recent, and Sherlock picked a good time to show himself.
Because those are some long years of friendship folks (my maths say 16 from A Study to Abbey Grange), and the bits where Watson points to them being middle aged men have their bittersweet culmination in the mention on the final story of Holmes having retired.
And hell, I'm feeling like bumping Memoirs' stars now.