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photo 2017-11-10 16:01

My new book is live! It's a satire about concentration camps for fat people and bureaucracy gone mad. (Don't worry, it's a love story.)

 

You can find it on Amazon and other bookstores now!

 

If you're interested in hearing me read from it, here I am reading the first and fourth chapters now.

 

I did chapter two here.

Source: markarayner.com/the-fatness
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-09 11:58
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 - Calan Gaeaf: Nemo Granny & Greebo Impune Lacessit*
Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23) - Terry Pratchett

Well, I guess that's what happens if you p*$$ off Granny Weatherwax (however unintentionally) and make her take to a cave in the Lancrastian mountains ... next thing you know, you have vampires moving into the castle, and into the kingdom as such.  And since they were foolishly invited in to begin with, they're near impossible to get rid of again; and let's face it, Nanny Ogg, Magrat and Agnes between them might be witches; they might even meet the requirements of a proper coven now that Magrat is a mother, but they aren't Granny, not even with all their forces combined.  (Perdita, now ...) 

So all of Lancre and the reader have to jointly suffer for well over half a book before Granny decides she's let things go on for long enough and finally makes an appearance.  And of course she ultimately saves the day, even if only by the skin of her neck and with the assistance of inner voices, a few drops of blood, the general and specific allure of tea, and a meak priest discovering his inner Brutha just in time.  (Of course it also comes in handy that somebody thought of bringing a double-edged axe, and that some vampires of the older generation still have a sense of tradition left.)

(spoiler show)

 

Nice going, at any rate, on the debunking of what "everybody knows who knows anything about vampires" (including the vampires themselves, who however just don't learn ... or didn't until this new breed came around, that is), and big grins all around for the co-starring Wee Free Men.  My favorite moment, however, came courtesy of Greebo -- who by the way also has decidedly too little stage time -- with the incidental appearance of an otherwise entirely negligable vampire named Vargo:

"As the eye of narrative drew back from the coffin on its stand, two things happened.  One happened comparatively slowly, and this was Vargo's realization that he never recalled the coffin having a pillow before.

 

The other was Greebo deciding that he was as mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more.  He'd been shaken around in the wheely thing, and then sat on by Nanny, and he was angry about that because he knew, in a dim, animal way, that scratching Nanny might be the single most stupid thing he could do in the whole world, since no one else was prepared to feed him.  This hadn't helped his temper.

 

Then he'd encountered a dog, which had triled to lick him.  He'd scratched and bitten it a few times, but this had had no effect apart from encouraging it to try to be more friendly.

 

He'd finally found a comfy resting place and had curled up into a ball, and now someone was using him as a cushion --

 

There wasn't a great deal of noise.  The coffin rocked a few times, and then pivoted around.

 

Greebo sheathed his claws and went back to sleep."

(I think someone else included this in their review recently, too, but it's just too good not to do it again -- all the more since Greebo, overall, really is as woefully long absent as Granny in this one.)

 

Read for Square 1 of the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Calan Gaeaf: "Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft."

 

* "Don't mess with Granny and Greebo."  Or somewhat more literally: "Nobody messes with Granny and Greebo unpunished."

 

Merken

Merken

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text 2017-11-07 18:44
Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 425 pages.
Carpe Jugulum (Discworld, #23) - Terry Pratchett

 

This is one of my left-over Halloween Bingo books; I'm reading it for the Calan Gaeaf part of square 1 of the "16 Tasks of the Festive Season". 

 

I started this book last night because I urgently needed a comfort read after Val McDermid's disappointing Forensics.  So far, it's not really doing the job, however ... too little Granny Weatherwax!  (And decidedly also too little Greebo, for that matter.)  I trust Granny will return in time for the grand finale, but man ... a Discworld Witches book where she scarcely even shows her face during almost the entire first half of the book?  What was Pratchett doing, trying to demonstrate what an essential part of the Witches subseries Granny is?  Thank you, I already knew that without having it jammed into my face sledgehammer-style!

 

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review 2017-10-30 08:14
Rezension | QualityLand von Marc-Uwe Kling
QualityLand: Roman (helle Edition) - Mar... QualityLand: Roman (helle Edition) - Marc-Uwe Kling

Beschreibung

 

Die Zukunft ist QualityLand – und in diesem Land gibt es auf alle Fragen nur die Antwort: O.K.!

 

Die Digitalisierung ist so weit voran geschritten, dass das komplette Leben durch Algorithmen optimiert und perfekt abgestimmt ist. Doch der Schein trügt. Denn was passiert, wenn der vorgeschlagene Lebensgefährte von QualityPartner nicht zu dir passt und dir von TheShop Produkte zugeschickt werden die dir gefallen müssten, aber es nicht tun? Der Maschinenverschrotter Peter Arbeitsloser bemerkt nach und nach das irgendetwas in seinem Leben nicht stimmt. Ist das System wirklich so perfekt? Oder sind die Maschinen auf dem besten Weg den Menschen ihre Menschlichkeit zu stehlen? Mit seiner Zufallsbekanntschaft Kiki geht Peter dem Problem auf den Grund.

 

Meine Meinung

 

"›Jeder lebt in seiner eigenen Welt.‹ Im digitalen Raum ist das nicht nur eine Floskel. Es ist wortwörtlich wahr." (QualityLand, Seite 203)

 

Durch den Erfolg seiner Känguru-Chroniken wurde Marc-Uwe Kling bekannt, daher ist mir der Autor, obwohl ich diese Bücher bisher noch nicht gelesen habe, zumindest ein Begriff. Unvoreingenommen konnte ich nun an seine neuste gesellschaftliche Satire „QuialityLand“ heran gehen.

 

Geschickt zeichnet Marc-Uwe Kling eine gesellschaftliche Struktur die in der digitalen Zukunft liegt und daher gar nicht so abwegig ist. Denn bereits heute befinden wir uns, wenn wir in den sozialen Medien unterwegs sind, in einer Filterblase in der wir auf uns zugeschnittene Werbung, Angebote und Nachrichten erhalten. In „QualityLand“ geht der Autor einen Schritt weiter und legt ein digitales Zukunftsszenario dar, dass mich durch seine Authentizität und Realitätsnähe an die Seiten gefesselt hat.

 

Auf kreative Art und Weise erfährt man am Rande der Kapitel durch spezielle Texte, Werbung, Kommentare und eine Art Reiseführer wie „QualityLand“ aufgebaut ist, warum die Menschen in Level eingeordnet werden, weshalb es viel sicherer ist per Kuss zu bezahlen, wie die Protagonisten zu ihren Nachnamen kommen und was hinter den marktführenden Giganten QualityPartner und TheShop steckt. Das sind ganz schön viele Informationen auf einmal, doch dem Autor ist es gelungen diesen Input unangestrengt und flüssig in die Geschichte einfließen zu lassen, so dass es überhaupt kein Problem ist sich in der Welt von QualityLand zu Recht zu finden.

 

Bereits beim Schreiben des Buches kam Marc-Uwe Kling die Idee, seinen Roman zu personalisieren. So kann man sich als Leser entweder für die optimistische Helle Ausgabe oder für die pessimistische Schwarze Ausgabe entschieden. Der Inhalt der Bücher ist zum größten Teil identisch – nur die Nachrichten und die Werbung zwischen den Kapiteln sind auf die jeweilige Ausgabe abgestimmt. Natürlich verpasst man nichts, wenn man sich nur eine Ausgabe des Romans zulegt – denn es ist immer ein entsprechender Link vermerkt der auf den Text der jeweils anderen Ausgabe hinweist.

 

„QualityLand“ hat mich nicht nur durch den scharfen Blick in die Zukunft und die gelungenen satirischen Anspielungen begeistern, sondern auch durch die perfekte Aufmachung. Das Buch ist in dicke Pappe gebunden und das Cover mit dem TouchKiss Abdruck passt hervorragend zum Inhalt. Von mir gibt es daher ein Leseempfelung in Höhe von 5 Grinsekatzen.

 

Fazit

 

Nicht einfach nur O.K. – sondern sehr O.K.!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-qualityland-von-marc-uwe-kling
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review 2017-10-19 07:19
Animals Talking In All Caps by Justin Valmassoi
Animals Talking in All Caps: It's Just What It Sounds Like - Justin Valmassoi

A goat who wants to sell you some meth. 
A giraffe who might be violating his restraining order. 
An alpaca with a very dirty secret. 
A cat who’s really mad at you for cancelling Netflix instant. 
 
These are just a few of the hilariously human animals you’ll meet in Animals Talking in All Caps. Inspired by the wildly popular blog of the same name and including some of the site’s best-loved entries as well as gobs of never-before-seen material, these pages provide a brilliantly unhinged glimpse into the animal mind.

Amazon.com

 

 

This book is an extension of the humor originally found on author Justin Valmassoi's tumblr page (also called Animals Talking In All Caps). The subtitle on the cover is "It's Just What It Sounds Like" and that's the truth! It's just straight up humorous captions / conversations put to pictures of animals! The conversations touch upon not only pop culture references and relationship craziness but also some more crude or risque material.. but in such a dang cute way! 

 

The book also features a pretty adorable introductory essay :-) In it, Valmassoi writes: 

 

"My friend Stacey asked me to collect all the random caps-lock-captioned animal photos strewn across my many abandoned tumblrs into one convenient spot so she could giggle at them without having to search through years of bad jokes and turgid prose. Having nothing better to do, I obliged. After collecting them all under the highly creative title Animals Talking In Caps, I went on to write a few more. I wrote one or two a day, mostly to keep Stacey entertained. I didn't tell anyone about it because I'm in my thirties and "I made a dog talk about the perils of Western capitalism" is a really embarrassing way to answer the question "What did you do today?" (not that anyone was asking, but just in case). Nonetheless, because it was a website featuring animals, people found it. If it has an animal on it and it's on the internet, everyone will eventually see it because humans are biologically wired to seek out animal photos whenever they get near a computer."

 

I don't have a ton to say about the book other than to say I was endlessly entertained, it gave me a smile on a bad day, and I'm sure I'll be returning to it for a giggle numerous times for years to come. 

 

Some of my favorites from the collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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