After a long hiatus, I've resolved to start reading these again. Whenever I feel like I need a boost I'll go ahead and buy another volume. I mean, I'm never going to retire anyway so what's the point of having a savings account?
Edit: Also, sorry folks you have to click through to the blog to see the whole comic strip.
These were good years for the strip, with Schulz continuing to refine his technique, there are long sequences here - notably Linus' pledge to go without his blanket for two weeks and Charlie Brown's epic baseball gaff - and thee are jokes with almost identical panels repeated many times. This repetition wasn't detrimental, it seemed more like Schulz working out a joke in his mind until it reached maximum absurdity. Violet's hi-fi parasol inevitably becomes Lucy's hi-fi jump rope.
Much of the humor appears timeless, but the Peanuts gang were children of the 1950s, young baby boomers as observed by the previous generation. Their are many gags that deal with no outmoded technology, branding, or early television, but those dealing with child psychology were some of my favorites. This was the beginning of parenting being serious business:
Snoopy's impressions took off in the last volume, but he adds many more to his repertoire in these years and in general is just delightful.
There were no additions to the cast, the last two comics have everyone in them (the very last even with names) but Schulz has a lot on his hands figuring out the group dynamics, good and bad. Schroeder and Charlie Brown compete for who's better at despairing over contemporary pop culture:
It was truly difficult picking a Sunday for this review, but this one touches on a lot of things I love about the series. Poor Charlie Brown, he suffers all the pangs of childhood and rarely catches a break:
Maybe it gets better for him next year, but I doubt it!
Next: 'Volume Five: 1959-1960'
Previous: 'Volume Three: 1955-1956'
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
What can I say about Joe that hasn't already been said...I'm not sure? He's smartly diabolical, seriously delusional and possibly a sociopath. But hey, let's not forget...that he is oh-so flipping hilarious. His inner dialogue made this story what it is, that and Caroline Kepneses (did I pluralize that right?) writing. You know how some characters you love to hate them...well with Joe...I kinda hated to love him.
This imparts some valuable information about how easy it is to find someone on social media and from there, possibly find everything there is to know about that person. Freaky-scary. Maybe, I should have given my daughters common names, after all. Overall, You is a shocking, sexually charged and intense story, that I won't soon forget. I'll have to give Hidden Bodies a listen next, but I think I'll wait a bit so I don't get burned out on too much Joe.
Just a note...My love for Joe and You the story, should not be construed as me saying that stalking is okay because it is, without a doubt, a vile thing to do to a person. The only way you can escape that uncomfortable, looking-over-your-shoulder-all-the-time kind of feeling, is if your stalker dies. True story...
☆4.7☆STARS - GRADE=A
I had to look back over the past year's books to confirm this, but I think this was the most pleasant surprise of 2018. 'Podkin One-Ear' is the first book in the Longburrow series (known as Five Realms in the U.K.) which brings us to an Earth of the distant future where the dominant species are rabbits that have evolved into an intelligent, bipedal, medievalesque society. Which I love so much more than the usual this is a land of talking critters. I love you 'Redwall' but, yeah.
The story is framed so that the events of young Podkin's life are set in the past, some two or three generations ago, and are being told to young rabbits on the eve of a winter festival. It involves a time when the land was invaded by a terrifying force, known as the Gorm, that corrupted warrens and destroyed many lives. Podkin, a chieftain's son prone to slacking, is left homeless and on the run with his brave sister Paz and infant brother Pook. Together they have to make it through the cold winter, find shelter and warn others of the danger behind them. Their only weapon is a magic ancestral sword given into their safekeeping and the Gorm will stop at nothing to take it from them.
This is a story of family and friendship, of learning from one's mistakes, and finding the courage to do what's necessary. 'Podkin' delivers on adventure and some very real scares. This is writing that is appropriate for younger readers, ages 9-12 depending on their level, but it doesn't pander to them. I often find myself qualifying middle grade novels because I shouldn't expect storytelling savvy, epic world-building, and strong characters in a children's book, but Kieran Larwood meets a standard equal to other greats in young people's fantasy from Diana Wynne Jones to Lloyd Alexander.
Next: 'The Gift of Dark Hollow'