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review 2017-07-05 23:04
Five for one
Las Armas Secretas - Julio Cortázar

I understand now why this one is classified as European lit all the time. I haven't researched it, but I'm pretty sure this one was written after Cortázar left Argentina, because the five stories in this volume are all set in Paris.

I was not that dazzled by this too much at first but then, my bar with Cortázar is "Bestiario", and that's a hard one to upstage in the wow (weird, awesome, uncomfortable, puzzling) factor.

Cartas de Mamá, leaving aside the historical parallelism that some scholar or other wants to saddle on it, was an excellent exercise on revealing the past through the present. Many authors could learn a thing or two about how to do back-story. Of course, back-story is the whole issue here: sins and regrets that turn into silences, and that end that is half fantasy, half delayed acknowledgement. And the great opening line:


"Muy bien hubiera podido llamarse libertad condicional."


Los Buenos Servicios was a very scathing look at how moneyed people use "the help", many times frivolously, and often callously, and how hollow the "throw money at it" approach is, which is more jarring  (and ridiculous) from the poised view of Francinet. She had more class than any of the cast.

Las Babas del Diablo is a POV nightmare. As it tends to happen when I read magical-realism, I enter a weird state where I'm paying close attention, but at the same time relax my mind and just go with it. Like suspension of disbelief, but I just suspend logic and sometimes even grammar. I find it pays off with many complex or weird plots, or speculative fiction too. Triggers galore in this one, and one VERY uncomfortable suspicion.

"El Perseguidor", now here is the jewel of the book, and the point where I started to love this collection. It was absolutely engrossing. I understand why it has been known to be edited as "El Perseguidor y otras historias". This one got to me, emotionally-wise, and I'm not even quite sure why. I guess it's that desperate search.

"Las Armas Secretas" you know how it's going to go almost from go. Or maybe it's that I've read enough Cortázar to understand the clues he leaves. Or, maybe more, this sense of having read one of his before, about a big house in San Isidro, that has similar elements, but I can't remember to which collection it belonged to contrast.

You know, the more I write, the higher I want to star this. I realize it made my brain jog, and my thoughts come back to it whenever I wasn't reading.

Not his best, but for "El Perseguidor" alone, so worth owning it. I predict re-reads.


And there it goes my 4th of July extra. I devoured it, lol

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review 2017-04-07 14:22
Batman and Scarecrow
Green Lanterns (2016-) #17 - Sam Humphries,Blond,James Harren,Julio Ferreira,Eduardo Pansica

This is the second part in a crossover, which originally made me nervous.   DC has been pretty bad at making it easy to read the second part of something, even second issues, without having read the first.   When I got scolded and told 'how dare the authors and artists want you to read everything,' I pointed out I might want to dip my toes into something and have missed the first issue, or I might have gotten it in a grab bag and am trying it to see if I want to read more.   Leaving me confused made me want to drop the title completely, to be honest. 


I got this in a mystery swap box, because Batman.   Which is awesome: I'm loving more characters in DC, but Batman, yeah, he's up there in my top ten.   So I really wanted to be not confused, and I really wanted to love this - and it turns out I wasn't and didn't.   Because there are legitimate reasons to start a series with issue 17, and I happened to have one: I'd gotten it as a gift, I was eager to read it, and I send 'I'm gonna.'   And I'm glad I did: it turns out that DC is doing a better job of taking new readers into the fold, even those new readers who start mid-series!   So, there's that to love about Rebirth, too.   They don't have a 'previously on' page like Marvel does, but they folded just enough into the story to make me feel like I knew what was going on which also works.   (I'm sure I didn't get the full story but just you watch me track down the first part of this crossover!  Oh, there you are Green Lanterns #16.  I see you.  I should be downloading and reading you soon!)


Rebirth has been lauded for going back to what makes DC work, and has apparently outsold Marvel titles.   (There's chatter about this, and about the 'oh, diversity is hurting us' from one of the Marvel VPs.   One of the interesting things that I've been following when I have the urge is the discussion of why DC is outselling Marvel by the fans, and how they're going back to basic storytelling instead of swamping us with crossovers and titles that force you to read other titles, and higher prices, and the code thing that they're adding instead of dropping then adding.   There's actually a lot of really insightful discussion between fans about what DC is doing right and what Marvel is doing wrong; if DC and Marvel are smart, they'll listen to what the fans are telling them, too, not just when it's all good.)   One of the things that was said, that is of particular interest to me when it comes to this issue, is that DC was locking down some of the top writers.   They signed an exclusive contract with Tom King to write Batman - look, directly relevant to this issue since Batman guest stars! - and I notice Sam Humphries is writing this series.   (He wrote Star-Lord, Guardians Team-Up, and Kitty and Star-Lord amongst other titles for Marvel.)   It does seem as if DC is poaching writers, and I see nothing wrong with this if they're offering more attractive terms - like more money and freedom in what they write - to those writers.   (And artists, of course.   But since many of the complaints focus on writers and not artists, I'll stick with that for the moment.)  DC has taken notice of what the fans want, and the writers of quality entertainment, and have merged them.   I love the issues Marvel is putting out, but I used to love them more than DC; now I love them equally, although the fact that so many writers jumped from Marvel to DC might be part of the reason why.   (And might indicate something wrong with Marvel - like them not paying the writers well enough or even treating them badly, or a power struggle within, that we don't know about.  Or maybe nothing's wrong with Marvel and it's simply that DC is offering more attractive terms.   I figure with Jim Lee at the helm, or I believe co-helm, that there's a good chance he's bucking down, focusing on good storytelling and knows that part of that means paying for the top-line writers.)   


Which means this long-ass review hasn't been about this particular story so far.   It did, however, stir up feels about a lot of things happening in comic-land right now.   So, this story had not only Green Lanterns and Batman, but Scarecrow as well.   It was mostly somber: the fact that they needed to find a threat that had even infiltrated Batman's sanctuary to target Alfred meant that he was even more serious-face than usual.  And he's got some serious serious-face.   Simon is dealing with a crises of faith, unwilling to fully trust either the ring or himself.   Jessica is a little bit overshadowed as they deal with these issues but she proves herself a reliable fighter despite what little time she gets to shine here.   (And I can't say this is misogyny; this is one issue where Simon had shit to deal with, and Batman was along to help save people.   I'm sure Jessica has issues where she's at the forefront, too, and until I know otherwise, I'm loathe to say that they're pushing her aside for Simon.   It's a two person series, revolving around her and him, and some issues are bound to be more about one or the other.)


The Scarecrow using the powers of the Sinestro Corps is, by the way, one of the freakiest things I've ever heard of, and I'm hoping this comes back again at some point.   For now, though, it looks like this series is headed onto another storyline.   (Which I think might be a good idea; something too long with Batman might make him seem to overtake the series, especially given how he treats Simon at first.   The last thing he says to Simon is more encouraging, but I can easily see him browbeating these two.  Not only that, it's all his system in this: how he tracks down the villain, how he saves Alfred, so it'll be nice to see the Lanterns work on their own without taking his lead!)


All in all, though, an exciting issue that makes me want to read more of this series.   Thank you to Sorry kids, no feet. for the comic in my package.   I hadn't considered reading this series until I got this, so now I have a new thing to read :D

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text 2017-03-13 02:43
Prosperity (A Prosperity Novel) - Alexis Hall

DNF at 50% - no rating

It can't hold my interest right now. I think it's a mood thing so I'll give it another try some time later.

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review 2016-09-20 14:51
Grandmas and grandmas
closets - Julio-Alexi Genao

This was really short and a pleasant surprise. Not because I didn't expect this to be good, but because this is a love story, but not the one among two men.

It's about a grandma and a grandson.

My own grandma would be scandalized. Not because of the gay part, but because of the 'sex' part. She used to sew the cleavage of my mother's and aunt's bikinis because they were too 'revealing'. For her standars, I mean. My mother and aunt used to unpick them. And my grandma sewed them again. It was a war of wills.

I love it when my mother tells me things like this about her. She was so OTT. I laugh so hard.

My mom doesn't.

So no, I can't see her behaving the way Julio's grandma does.

When I was told my other grandma was close to become a nun I wasn't that surprised (I must say that I thank God she didn't do it in the end and married instead).

So yes, this grandma rocks.

This is Julio™.


You can read it for free here.

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review 2016-08-29 11:22
Twitter story
rolling in the deep. - Julio Alexi Genao rolling in the deep. - Julio Alexi Genao

My first tentacle sex. Weird as hell. Funny and hilarious, too.

It's a pity I don't have a Twitter account.

The best? The ending.

You can read it for free here.

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