Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 star read
This book was recommended to my by my bestie who probably knows better than most what my taste in literature is and she wasn't wrong with this one. However, I'm a fickle mood reader and when I picked up this book I just wasn't particularly interested in reading about the lives of these characters. The story follows a man named Tom who has a rare ability: he ages at an incredibly slow rate. The reader follows him from his birth up to the present where he is struggling with his centuries old existence and having to keep his secret (while trying to locate his estranged daughter). There's a secret society of those like him that are ruled over by a man who will do everything in his seemingly unlimited powers to keep their secret from being leaked. The issue I had wasn't that I didn't enjoy the narrative or its delivery but that once I put it down I didn't actively seek to pick it back up. (It was also on hold at the library so I didn't have long to languish over it.) I took that as a sign that this was one I'd have to revisit some time in the future. (haha time reference) Progress: I made it to page 127 out of 325.
Quick note from me: Eagle-eyed readers of the blog will notice that I said I would be covering The Bear and the Nightingale today but actually I'm going to be reviewing Calypso by David Sedaris. I was working off of my memory instead of my notes and that's how that little boo-boo occurred. At any rate, today's book is a real treat! Calypso is an example of dark humor at its best. It's organized into short stories that cover the complete gamut of familial drama coupled with the woes of middle age. Sedaris divides his time between his home in England and a beach-side getaway he purchased for his family to use in Emerald Isle (among other properties briefly mentioned). I loved the parts where he talked about his relationship with his partner Hugh (who I fell in love with immediately) and his fears that he'll poop in his pants and Hugh will leave him for someone else. It also turns out that he's obsessive about tracking his steps and cleaning up every single piece of litter in the English countryside. He's a quirky guy and I strongly identified with him. He also touches on the tragic death of his sister Tiffany and the contentious relationship he has with his father who is in his nineties and stubbornly refusing to accept help at home. It's sharp, witty, shocking, tender, and hilarious. I laughed out loud at quite a few of the anecdotal stories (wait til you read about their visit to Japan). This would make a great gift especially for friends or family who do a lot of travel as this would be excellent to read on a trip. 10/10
I also urge you to read this article from Variety which talks not only about the beach-side getaway that Sedaris talks about in Calypso but also about Sedaris in general. It's hilarious! (Read the footnotes.)
What's Up Next: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
What I'm Currently Reading: Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan
Afterlife with Archie: Escape From Riverdale (issues 1-5) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was mentioned briefly in my review of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 1 as it was created by the same author AND both books exist in the same twisted universe. Where Sabrina dwells in a world governed by dark magic and witches that do Satan's bidding Archie and his friends are living in a different kind of hell on earth. For those familiar with the comic strip featuring Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead you're accustomed to 1950s nostalgia vibes of burgers at the diner and lovelorn glances across the football field. There's that in this iteration and a whole lot more. Aguirre-Sacasa must have tapped into that same dark vein that Stephen King has plumbed for years because Riverdale's residents are being plagued by the walking dead. I'M TALKING ZOMBIES, YA'LL. It all begins with Jughead's dog becoming infected and passing it to him through a bite until it spreads like an epidemic. (Remember the movie 28 Days Later?) Things come to a head at the school dance where of course Betty and Veronica are vying for Archie's attention so they don't immediately get that something is terribly wrong with their ol' pal Jughead. [A/N: I don't remember them being so catty but in this story they're doing anything and everything to catch this boy's attention even if they have to demean themselves to do it. It's actually pretty horrible how they treat each other and how absolutely ridiculous they make themselves. The boy ain't that great, ya know?] Things quickly devolved from there and it's a race against time as they and a few of their classmates try to find a place free of the undead creatures. It ends on a cliffhanger and volume two is in the works to be published next year so now is the time to get a head-start. Zombie and horror fans will delight in this series (as well as CAoS). For me it's a pretty solid 9/10 with a deduction for sexist/misogynistic depiction of female leads.
|Jughead isn't that good at makeup, ya'll. [Source: Vulture]|
What I'm Currently Reading: Elfquest Archives: Volume 2 by Wendy & Richard Pini