Friday, August 28, 2009

Creature of the Night

Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson

The story definitely gripped me from the get go, and the voice of Bobby is raw and oh-so-real. I only wish that it had not been so "realistic," that the creature of the night (which turns out to be Bobby in a sense when he realized how dark his life has been) - the Little Woman/Badger - features more prominently and the slightly creepy, surreal mood is maintained throughout the book. The long stretches Bobby's work habits and his finding his way into PJ Dooley's life are essential to the character development but it definitely slows down the momentum and almost feels like too much light and too light in a dark and heavy story.

Eventually, this is a realistic fiction, a coming-of-age story, a hopeful tale (with its feel-good epilogue,) and an intimate look at a troubled teen's life. It shows a boy who battles with his inner demon, like a boxing match -- He's Down, the Demon's Down, oh, no, He's Down again.. he gets up... and the Demon strikes back... ... ... and yet.. we never got that really satisfying FINAL *POW* PUNCH. It is so real-life that it does not have enough dramatic force toward the end.

I might have been happy to NOT have that Epilogue -- to keep myself guessing and thinking hard about his potential future(s).

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

In Cold Blood

In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote

Finally got a chance to read this. Excellent beyond belief. No wonder it is such a famous book. Capote is not only a great sentence crafter, he is also so skilled in putting together the whole picture bit by bit with just the right amount of tension as each chapter progresses and as each section of the book falls into place. There is the "cold blood" chilling-ness permeating the book, of course, but there is also so much that is entirely human about each person's tale. We wonder about these murderers and what went wrong in their lives and in their brains and in their hearts. I feel both a deep sorrow and a real emotional detachment - two highly opposite sensations and yet they co-exist the entire time as I read the book. I'd credit the author for giving a most unusual reading experience.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

THe Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

So much of the book works for me -- the painfully honest and self-deprecating tone of Fanboy who tells his own "adventure," the unexpected plot surprises, and tension, the pacing, moving briskly and breathlessly from one chapter to the next, and the discussion of excellent graphic novels throughout the tale. And yet, some thing is not quite gelling at the end. I'm not as bothered by the non-conclusive ending as by the "revelation" that all adults are just like the bullies in the school: you just have to bully and fool them back and your life will be peachy. Hmm... is that what this amazingly big adventure all about? Very much puzzled.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Couldn't finish Goodkind's Stone of Tears. His prose style (or the lack of) really grated on my nerves. Specific examples will be posted when I get back home and have better internet access.

Since we ran out of books to read during our travels, last night David and I paid the B&N in Seattle a visit. He got Frankenstein and I got The Time Machine. Both old titles new to our reading eyes.