Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: video-book-review
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-07-13 23:19
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch is a big book, both in physical size and ambition. What initially seems like a straightforward story of a teenage boy dealing with the death of his mother turns into an epic coming of age story that teases the us, the reader, with where our emotional investment should reside.

What am I drinking: Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout from Sam Adams



Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-06-28 20:35
Radium Girls - Amanda Gowin

This makes two videos in a row in which I wear a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds shirt and drink Sexy Betty Imperial Stout. No, I’m not a slob drunk; I simply recorded two videos in a row.


Amanda Gowin’s Radium Girls is all sorts of interesting. It’s weird, it’s heartfelt, it’s wavering, it’s beautiful, it’s poetic, and it’s a bunch of other things I can’t think of right now because I’m tired.

You should buy this book!


Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-06-24 02:49
The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny - 'Peter McGraw', 'Joel Warner'

I’ve read a lot of comedy studies books. Well, three, but that’s a lot compared to most people, because most people aren’t sadists.

Luckily, this book isn’t like most humor studies books. This one is readable. It’s interesting. It actually contributes to an overall better understanding of, wait for it, what makes things funny (appropriate subtitles are all the rage right now).



Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-01-25 22:43
Not for Nothing - Stephen Graham Jones

Reading Stephen Graham Jones is like being on a manhunt for a double amputee. Even when I get him, I don't get all of him.


Nick Bruiseman is a has-been PI who lives in a storage locker in Stanton, Texas. A small town, 3,000 people, where everyone knows everyone. So when Bruiseman gets hired, things turn incestuous quickly.


The book will be released in March 2014. If you are a fan of detective novels and oral storytelling, then I definitely recommend it. But know, you're going to have to work for your reward.


I've read a lot of Stephen Graham Jones (show stack), and I've thoroughly enjoyed just about all of it.


Jones is an evasive storyteller, very difficult to pin down and with plots that are often difficult to follow. And I think with Not For Nothing, his 18th book, I've finally figured out why.


First, his very conversational approach to storytelling, much like one would imagine a storyteller around a campfire. His sentences are often very beautiful, but made so by disregarding some grammatical conventions. He's fine with sentence fragments and orders extra commas like their free. He's an oral storyteller above all else, I think. He just happens to write the stories down.


Second, his dialog is full of non sequiturs. When used sparingly, a non sequitur can describe the relationship between characters better than anything else. Don DeLillo is the king of this. But when every exchange has that "inside joke" feel, it can be difficult for a reader to establish a firm footing with the characters.


Third, Jones uses very, very, very little "refresher" text, text used to reminder the reader of important characters and events. When you're reading a 267 page book, it's necessary to be reminded often why characters, events, or places are important, or even just to be reminded why we should care about a particular name. Jones doesn't do this very often. I chalk this up to Jones being a mad genius. Honestly, I think Jones' brain operates so quickly that to him, something briefly mentioned 250 pages ago is still as fresh in his mind as something mentioned 2 pages ago.


Fourth, characters are often introduced quickly only to be forgotten for full chapters before being introduced again. They aren't allowed to stick. Now, for a book like Not for Nothing, where new names seem to pop up every few pages, I'm left trying to re-familiarize myself with characters constantly.


If all of these things seem to you like they'd contribute to a very confusing story, you're right. His stories can be confusing. Incredibly at times. But often, that's the appeal. Much like tracking down our aforementioned legless fugitive, the thrill for me is watch the unfamiliar and at times erratic escape path. To fully capture the fugitive, all four limbs intact, might not be very satisfying. Because then you've got just another convict in custody. Where's the fun in that? Who wants to read just another detective story?

Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-01-25 22:39
Immobility - Brian Evenson

Immobility is about an amnesiac man named Horkai, and in typical amnesic style Horkai begins this novel having no idea who he is, where he is, or who those around him are. So, he must trust the word of those around him, namely a man named Rasmus. Rasmus tells Horkai that he has been brought out of a cryogenic state after 30 or so years and must go on a mission to retrieve something for Rasmus. So, Horkai does.


Now the first half of the novel plays around with Horkai's alternating discovery of and hesitation to accept his surrounds. It's a typical blank memory novel for a while. But then, the novel quickly becomes so much more. It becomes, what I interpret, as a commentary on organized religion, specifically the aggressive, and perhaps selfish, nature of religions missionaries.


See, during Horkai's journey, he finds people who seem very willing, eager even, to help him. They seem trustworthy. And each time, the reader is lulled into a sense of trust. We want to believe these people are truly out to help Horkai. But they never are.


Evenson's own struggles with organized religion are documented online, so I won't go into them here, but this book feels to me like perhaps his most personal. And this includes The Open Curtain which very much plays with the conventions of Mormonism, and until Immobility, I would have called his most religion-conscious book. And what's interesting is that Immobility does this without overtly calling attention to itself as an exploration of religion.


So even if you don't like long form detestation of religion--all two of you out there, right, because I know you guys like to party heathen style--even if you don't like this kind of book, don't discount it. There's a lot more to love here. For instance, the story takes place in an alternate history setting, post-apocalyptic, similar to Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The main character, Horkai, has no legs and must be carried by two people who are referred to as mules, and who refer to Horkai as a burden. Mix in a bit of The Matrix, some sci-fi elements, and sprinkle a bit of pestled Viagra, which must be in there because I was rock hard while reading this.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?